A week or so ago, a small but select gathering of designers, students and guests congregated to discuss the role of awards in design industry and education. The conversation was enlightening on a number of counts, not least the assertion that while awards are, in at least four different ways, a contrived nonsense, they are nevertheless an enduring part of creative practise, particularly when it intersects with business.
My main issue with awards is that they are so deeply unimaginative, but as one contributor so rightly pointed out, rather than focussing on what’s wrong with awards, we should look for new models and new networks that can exist as an alternative to these outmoded forms of patronage and posturing – That is what I’m taking away from the discussion.
The debate was being recorded for posterity, and barring any technical problems, will be posted online at the statement site as soon as possible.
Further resources, gathered as part of the research for this debate, can be found below:
Our survey results:
Confessions of an awards juror/Nick Bell:
Mad about Awards/Alissa Walker
May the best design win?
Design Awards are so over:
D&AD seeks counsel:
What next for Graphic Design and D&AD?
Lost the D in D&AD?
Awards Madness/Jason Grant:
David Crowley onD&AD, and histories:
Rick Poyner on D&AD + Design Awards:
Design Museum / Design of the Year