Design and its Outcome
Working on a design ― for whom? Purchasing a product ― are the materials and structure socially good? This design here ― does it empower me in any ways?
In today’s society, the word "design" is used everywhere. In such an age, are we in the design industry proud of our work, striving toward the common goal? What can design do in this complex world with no right answers?
Behind every manufacturing process are numerous intangible designs and to accomplish intangible design, manufacturing is a must. GOOD DESIGN AWARD evaluates the process from the beginning of an idea to its output. We would like to further evolve the award under the theme of "design and its outcome," rather than using the dualistic framework of tangible/ intangible design.
In this modern world, information design enables us to deliver what is in surplus to where it is lacking. Traditional methods and uniquely regional wisdom are highly valued as the design handed down from generation to generation. Instead of putting ourselves in the cycle of mass production and mass consumption, we can now deliver many high-quality designs to many people or the necessary amount of design to those who need it. Also, the evaluation criteria for companies have changed, where they can demonstrate the economic benefits of social contribution.
Precisely because we live in such an era, GOOD DESIGN AWARD will play a role in finding the direction in which design, industry, lifestyle, and society should progress together by appreciating the ideas created by designers, companies and organizations. It was 20 years ago when the term "social design" came into use and 10 years ago when people sought the social significance of narratives. And recently, people have defined "purpose" as corporate values and brands. With this background in mind, GOOD DESIGN AWARD will take the role of discussing and finding out the loadstar, the “outcome” for all involved in design to reach for.
The jury members are looking forward to meet the designs full of ideas with diverse perspectives and awareness of various issues.
Design with Intention
This world that we live in is fluid and varies widely, with diverse values, cultures, and interests of people constantly shifting by the tides of the times.
Considering that design exists to explore a better balance between people, things, and surrounding environments, how should we envision a landscape in which these coexist in harmony?
GOOD DESIGN AWARD, which was launched to celebrate designs that contribute to industries driving the economy, has been undertaking a role as a “yardstick” to project the values of the times while changing and reflecting social situations over its long history. The product designs that we screen are imbued with the thoughts and wishes of companies and designers. Such “intentions” become the basis of the elements that make up a design, and generate the force that drives their products and efforts. Intentions are not judged as good or bad in terms of the scale of the effort; rather it is their expression in various forms; for example, bringing modest happiness to our ordinary lives, evolving humble products properly, or caring for the environment and all the animals and plants on the planet. We are earnest to acknowledge the preciousness of such intentions.
At the same time that the value of intentions is emphasized, it is also very important to examine whether such intentions are realized and implemented in an appropriate manner and with high-quality technology. Good design combines a generous view of projects as a whole with an insatiable focus on details.
I look forward to encountering a variety of wishes, thoughts, and suggestions through the GOOD DESIGN AWARD again this year.
Power of Design
Someone once asked me if I believed in the power of design, and I said “Sure, I do” without hesitation. But now, I look back and wonder if I still do. When I was a child (in the ’80s) I somehow felt more confident that we were heading to a bright future than I feel now. There were new designs and movements born from it. However, in this age in which our children are born and raised, is it possible to have dreams about the future? Or can we show them a brighter future through new designs? The coronavirus pandemic swept across the entire world. On top of the fear of an unknown virus, society has been losing its vitality because of restrictions on movement. The fear of war has shattered the ungrounded myth of peace that we blindly believed in. Climate change and disasters are encroaching. Can we really say that the future will be better than the present? This is the reality confronting us.
But I still want to say “I believe in the power of design” once again from the standpoint of a creator, especially in this day and age. This year’s theme is “design and its outcome.” We will begin an attempt to nurture a theme for next year based on this year’s results. The present is always a point of passage to the future. Design as a means to draw in the future we desire and believe in. I would like this to be a place where we can share this with many people and explore the future together.
I am pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications to the GOOD DESIGN AWARD 2023.
With the pandemic winding down, we are finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Various COVID restrictions will be reviewed this fiscal year, allowing activities to be conducted at or beyond pre-pandemic levels. Having welcomed a new Chair to the GOOD DESIGN AWARD Judging Committee, we, too, are aiming to increase opportunities for applicants to gain exposure and be inspired by other designs. As part of this effort, this year’s showcase (GOOD DESIGN EXHIBITION 2023) will not be limited to the top 100 winners (GOOD DESIGN BEST 100), and instead will include all award-winning entries.
As you know, the GOOD DESIGN AWARD is not limited to specific genres of design. What makes us unique is that multiple experts carefully analyze the ideas behind each design, as well as the process through which they took shape. Indeed, the high expectations people have for us in this regard is reflected in the diverse pool of applicants, which includes major global companies, local small and medium-sized enterprises, startups, and those who work with government and community activities. Trends in the GOOD DESIGN AWARD reflect how Japan and the world are evolving. We believe this helps applicants know where they stand in relation to others, as well as decide their future direction.
This is a special year for those of us in the design field in Japan. The World Design Assembly 2023 will be held in Tokyo in October, convening stakeholders from all over the world. As our field undergoes many transformations, this international forum will become a great opportunity to discuss the future direction of design and the challenges we face. The GOOD DESIGN EXHIBITION 2023 will be held in conjunction with this event. By showcasing the works that won the GOOD DESIGN AWARD, we will demonstrate the strength of Japanese designs to design professionals in Japan and around the world.
As the organizer of the GOOD DESIGN AWARD, we at the Japan Institute of Design Promotion look forward to receiving many applications in 2023.