The winners of the 2018 iF Design Award have been celebrated with a huge party on Friday and we’re proud that 4 of our designs have been awarded.
This year we’re even more curious about the awards because Moritz, managing director of designaffairs China was on the jury and can give us a glimpse behind the scenes.
2018年iF设计奖获奖者名单已经于慕尼黑时间3月9日的颁奖典礼公布。今年，designaffairs的4件设计作品也荣幸获得了iF大奖。今年我们们的designaffairs China执行总裁 Moritz 担任了iF设计奖评委, 大家的好奇心被激发了。让我们来一起来到颁奖典礼现场，并且和他一起以评委角度来看“iF设计奖的幕后”。
Q: The picture you’ve posted from the jury location looks like there’s a huge number of entries—what is the interesting aspect of the iF design award jury?
A: It was quite funny how often I found I find myself as an ambassador for Chinese consumers. After all the projects we've done in the Shanghai office, I had to share several background stories on the use cases and design nuances specific for the China market. Some of them were really surprising and foreign for the European designers.
One good example is the segment of air purifiers designed particular for the targeted market China. This is pretty much the opposite of my usual role in China, where I tend to be the advocate for German design values.
For the iF organization, the challenge here is to strike a balance between the strong German heritage of the Award and the increasingly international nature of the competition.
Q: What are the criteria for design awards? How much influence does personal taste have?
A: In general, the discussions are more on a meta-level, not simply about beauty orrsonal preference. The award is driven by the bigger purpose in the design - the question it addresses and the problem it solves. Design styles are becoming global phenomenon, it is difficult to tell whether a design is from a Nordic country, the USA or China. The local expectations – evaluating a design in the cultural context it exists in—becomes very important. We discussed entries such as kimchi refrigerator from Korea and water purifier from China that all aim to solve very specific questions for theirtarget users. It was very obvious that good designs combineglobal aesthetics and local expectations.
Q: Can you give us a glimpse into the jury process?
A: Every category gets a dedicated group of three jurors. We try out all products when evaluating them. It’s important to try them out to see every detail so that we understand their real purposes. Every team is accompanied by iF moderators who document everything and keep track of time.You can imagine how heated things can get, if three designers debate their thoughts on a new product - and we evaluated more than a hundred products! Overall it took three days to complete the evaluation and it was quite an intense program.
Q: What was the most impressive product for you?
A: I was impressed by the overall quality of the submitted products. Technically challenging details such as screws, knobs, connecting parts and pieces are no longer hidden but rather exposed with perfection, showcasing honesty and authenticity at a new level. Believe it or not - I was very excited about the refrigerator that won the gold award. Incredible details, no compromise in the use of material and every component showed how much dedication the designers put into the development. It was the mindset behind it that made it stand out. A very impressive proof of how deeply design can influence and change a whole category.
Q: What advice would you give to future applicants?
A: It's essential that your designs are honest and authentic, without pretention or imitation. They have to excel beyond design styles or aesthetics, to convince people on functionality, and to create an exciting experience. Actually, its about making your design experienceable. And I highly recommend sending real products to show how much effort you put into every detail for perfection.