Design competitions for projects involving the built environment have a rich history that continues today. Those who participate bring a great deal of thought and creativity to the design submittals. Conversely many resources (labor/time/money) are spent to find ways and means with which to set the effort and submitted design apart so as to at least get a favorable evaluation and hopefully be selected as a winner.
Because of their widespread use in society, both as physical and intellectual contests, competitions and their rules were formalized long ago; boundaries were set and awards established. Competitions continue to offer many advantages in terms of education.Participation through contest prepares a person not only for the upcoming task, but also for any number of challenges faced in life. After all as the dictionary definitions suggest it is about striving for something better or more.
“National and regional design competitions are excellent forums for the survey of Design understanding and applicability.”
Today, hundreds of design competitions take place all over the world with any amount of variables, attributes and dimensions. Noteworthy are the number of people who decide to compete and submit design solutions. The outcome of each of these contests is significant and does its part to promote and share in public the wealth of accumulated design knowledge. Those who can envision, resolve and explain with creativity beyond the limitations of the norm are apt to develop design solutions that make meaningful contributions and provide direction to efforts to improve the human condition.
National and regional design competitions are excellent surveys of Design understanding and applicability. They provide a unique cultural insight into the development and contributions of the Interiors discipline and the ways in which specific cultures perceive design and space and their Design interpretations. Moreover, Design solutions at this level have the distinct advantage to inform strategies and constructive discussions among local communities, its design and business leaders and civil society at large.
At the same time these competitions are an effective platform to challenge participants to consider not just local culture but also broader perspectives as a reflection of our modern society. They must address issues of growing global concern – social responsibility, technological advancements, population diversity and density, and quality of life, to name only a few. Drawing from an expansive pool allows us to seek and find solutions that straddle the global/local divide. Those that are successful in this task give back to the world and their local community intelligent, smart solutions and exemplary design. These competitions offer a series of interesting opportunities. They represent the possibility of a systematic and comprehensive approach to identifying and formulating design performance, thereby providing a means to measure and impetus to economic, educational, political and social issues and variables.
“Participation through contest prepares a person not only for the upcoming task, but also for any number of challenges faced in life.”
In a broader sense open design competitions provide the opportunity to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship among current and future designers, all the while encouraging them to re-examine, re-define and re-create the world around them. The most successful participants in any level or type of competition should recognize and focus on the full spectrum of human nature and incorporate dynamic and progressive thinking in order to address the needs of all.We, at IFI, continue to look ahead and seek to assist and facilitate in the global exchange of professional and educational knowledge. We judiciously use the design competition as a carefully calibrated tool to provide incentive and impetus for design betterment. We believe the next generation will be aided through competition.
WING COMPETITION CONTINUES TO THINK/WORK
The WING student design competition, supported by Teknion, is an example of that strategy for a search for new directions and your opportunity to share your brilliance and creativity with our global design community. If you have not already done so, please immediately visit the WING Website to register, view the competition challenge, brief, rules and entry requirements.
ARE YOU READY FOR WORLD INTERIORS DAY 2013?
By now, all our members will have received their copy of the official poster and press release for World Interiors Day 2013. As you will recall from our last President’s Update, this year’s theme of “Celebrating 50 Years of Design Around the Globe” is taking its cue from IFI’s 50th anniversary this year and which recognizes the rich history of global communication and consensus within the Interiors profession over the past half century.By organizing a function, open-house tour or lecture – for example – you are contributing to and participating in a global effort to raise awareness about the value of what we do and, in turn, enable us to increase that value. No event is too small – so get involved this year and celebrate Interiors Day with us and our global community on Saturday May 25.In closing, please consider how we can all best continue to strengthen our global community of Interior Architects/Designers with IFI. For this 50th year milestone, I/we would like to hear from you in what way we can better recognize and highlight the enormous and unique value our discipline and organization holds for our industry and our professional lives. I look forward to your communications.