Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Reflections from Sitting on a Design Jury

This is a great essay from a non-designer, Micheal Schrage, who was invited to sit on the jury of one of the most prestigious American design award competitions.

"I confess that I had a hoot of a time and learned a lot--both about design and about myself. More important, I gained a very keen insight into the way that great design does--and does not--align with great innovation. You're fully welcome to disagree (this was originally written in July), just as did Lord Rees. But if you do disagree, please make a better argument.

Serving on a criminal jury exposes one to unpleasant realities about the legal system and human nature. Serving on a design jury, on the other hand, merely exposes you to unpleasant truths about corporate innovation and creative talent.

Much to my surprise, being a design juror gave me a far more useful and revealing glimpse into pop culture than a criminal trial. The experience radically altered my perceptions--and preconceptions--of how designers design and what "good design" really means. I literally do not look at "designed" objects or services the same way anymore. Neither would you."

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