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11 Jul 2019

Design School academic judges global design awards

Mark Evans, a Reader in Industrial Design in Loughborough Design School, travelled to Dearborn in the USA to join fellow jury members for four days of on-site judging of the 2019 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).

Supported by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), the IDEA represents one the longest running and most prestigious global design awards programmes in the world. Each year, thousands of entries are submitted by design teams across the globe, making IDEA one of the largest and most widely anticipated annual awards programs in the world.

The judges are experts in their field, and represent industry, consultancy, academia and private practice. This year’s jury was represented by organisations that include Apple, Amazon and Microsoft who met at the Henry Ford Museum to Michigan to arrive at decisions on 19 award categories that ranged from Consumer Technology, Design Strategy, Digital Interaction, Medical, Social Impact and Environments. 

The IDEA is distinctive in that judging focuses on complete design solutions in which it is not enough just to have beautiful styling . Form factor is only one part of the judging criteria, with the totality of a product being taken into account in terms of how does it work within the user’s daily life; how is it providing value; what problem is it solving; what materials is it made of; has the circularity of its existence been considered; and does this product need to exist in first place?  

Commenting on his experience as one of the 21 on-site judges invited to Dearborn by the IDSA, Dr Evans said

“To be surrounded by hundreds of incredible products and work with so many design leaders was quite amazing. These products represented the state of the art in the creative integration of technology, aesthetics and usability – a task for which industrial designers are uniquely qualified”

The award winners will be announced at the IDEA Ceremony and Gala on August 21, 2019 in Chicago, USA.