Still thinking about submitting your best design projects from the past year to the Core77 Design Awards? Well, the time is now! You have until March 8 to submit while regular deadline still applies, and final deadline is March 29. But things get busy, so why not save yourself the stress and apply now? To get you even more excited about the awards, learn a little bit more about the esteemed designers who will be judging your working in Part 1 of our for part interview series: Introducing your 2017 Core77 Design Awards Jury Captains!
Part one includes chats with our judges for the Design Concept, Visual Communication and Furniture & Lighting categories. In their interviews, these seasoned designers touch on how they see design evolving in the future as well as a few things they'll be looking for in your Design Awards submissions.
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Benjamin Hubert is an award-winning British design entrepreneur and founder of creative agency, LAYER. The new agency is the evolution of Benjamin Hubert Ltd. and is focused on experience-driven design for both the physical and digital worlds.
On our first episode of "Core Talk", we spoke with Hubert about the future of design and what he's hoping to see from Core77 Design Awards submissions this year.
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Co-founder & Creative Director, Karbon Design Studio
Selen Selviler Özüekren graduated as an architect from Istanbul Technical University in 1999. Karbon is a multi-disciplinary design studio providing creative solutions and consultancy in concept design, branding, communication design & strategy, architectural design and interior design. The Karbon team is a hybrid combination of graphic designers, communication designers and architects. The company established a reputation through their work specifically in overall concept designs for café&restaurants, packaging design and branding. She is a member of GMK, Turkish Graphic Designers Association since 2006.
What are some guiding principles to designing graphics and branding that stand out in an information saturated age?
Designing for busy minds of a loud and online world is clearly a challenge. We are exposed to an incredible amount of information even throughout a daily routine. So, the way we deal with information is worth a look; attention span of an average person is told to be shrinking, we are addicted to crash courses and short videos for almost any subject, infographics are trending. Actually, the way we are dealing with information is also changing.
A competent designer has the analytic skills to organize and arrange information and mould a pile of data into a simple but sharp message. Establishing a unique point of view requires a clarity of thoughts and a strong capability of expression.
On the other hand, we now have access to the perfect tools and an enormous resource of information.
We have access to logo templates, visual materials, mock ups and everything. We have smart phones to take beautiful photos, great editing tools to work on them and tons of information about how to do it. So rather than "how" I think we're supposed to dig deeper on "why".
So the information saturated age is pushing us many levels forward to dig deep, make great use of technology and information and come up with the unique idea or product.
In what ways have you seen the role of communication designers evolve since you started in the field?
I'm a person of communication. I believe that strong communication and instincts make up the perfect foundation for me to start a design project.
In the past decade, I had the chance to observe how we transferred from verbal communication to visual communication. Phone calls and brief meetings evolved into e-mails and presentations, text messages evolved into emoji, instant photos and photos with customized graphics. I think it's more about communication now, as we are trying very hard to express ourselves in the electronic world. We are globally exposed to visual communication more than ever. Eventually, this is positioning the communication designer at a very strategic point.
What specifically do you pay attention to in work and in life to be the most effective and inspired in your practice? Do you have advice for other designers on how to stay inspired?
Curiosity is my trigger. I'm craving for information and it keeps me inspired to learn. Never stop learning and never think it's too late to learn something new.
Lastly, I believe that the nature of design is interdisciplinary. Cooperative work of people from multiple fields of design is exciting in a totally different way.
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Founder, Zhoujie Zhang Digital Lab
Zhang graduated from Central Saint Martins Art & Design College in London, and is a member of the Architectural Association School of Architecture. He established Zhoujie Zhang Digital Lab in 2010. Zhang believes that objects in the digital world can grow and morph much like things found in nature, and he is dedicated to discovering and exploring the methods within these transformations. His work mainly focuses on the simplicity of logic, variety and unpredictability, which is based on his understanding of nature. His collections have been exhibited around the world and selected by museums as well as individual collectors. His work has appeared in mainstream media such as Wallpaper*, the New York Times, and Vogue.
Your background and philosophy doesn't echo the traditional resume of a furniture designer—how did your interest in the field begin?
At the very beginning around 2008-2009, I was conducting lots of research around digital design and fabrication. At that time parametric and computer generated design were starting to take important roles in the field of design, so I thought this was a promising area to do tests. I thought furniture might be an appropriate field, especially the chair, in that it is the most over-designed object and easy to test new ideas on it.
That is how I began designing furniture. After 7 years, I am still doing many digital tests in this field—in addition to furniture, I'm also working in the fields of digital artwork and sculpture.
Technology allows us more than ever to produce things we have imagined in our heads. How do you think digital rendering technologies have changed the definition of this craft and the role of the designer? How has it presented new opportunities?
Rendering technologies are just a small part of digital design—it's like a 3D visual effect. Overall, I think digital technologies have changed the role of designers quite a bit, as more and more smart software is being developed for human's needs. More advanced computer-aid softwares allow designers to design increasingly complicated objects. In the near future, the AI designer might be more prevalent than any other type of designer!
So yes, I think the role of designer is changing; designers at this point need to understand digital language and work with computers. Thus, I think it is a great opportunity for new generation designers to explore digital technologies in a variety of fields such as artificial intelligence, interaction design, digital fabrication and so on.
What are you hoping to see in the entries of the Design Awards this year?
First of all, I would be most interested to see some revolutionary designs—projects presenting a different way of thinking and making that propel us into the future. I would also be happy to see some clever designs, including different ways of solving familiar problems, groundbreaking new styles, and so on.
You have the chance to get your design in front of these industry leaders. Don't wait: submit your entry in today!