The founder of the Canadian lighting brand bearing his name focuses on ‘original and timeless’ design
Canadian designer Matthew McCormick, founder of the lighting brand bearing his name, is the guest for our weekly conversation with the jurors of the new edition of the Archiproducts Design Awards.
Matthew McCormick, member of the 2021 ADA jury, founded his multidisciplinary studio in Vancouver in 2013, designing and selling lamps and custom-made light sculptures produced in Canada by a network of talented young craftspeople. Balancing craft with modern technology, the brand’s aesthetic pursues of excellence in minimalism.
The deadline for submitting entries to the sixth edition of the awards for excellence in worldwide design has been extended to September 27th. With less than a week to go before the final deadline, we continue our encounters with members of the jury of the new edition of the ADAs, the annual awards promoted by Archiproducts to celebrate excellence in international design.
We asked Matthew McCormick about his expectations for this year’s submissions, and about his personal vision regarding the near future of a sector that is changing rapidly, also due to the global pandemic. Here is what he told us.
Interview with Matthew McCormick, on the 2021 Archiproducts Design Awards jury
What do you expect from the entries and what features should the winning products have?
I am looking forward to discovering emerging talent from all over the globe. I am very honoured to be sitting on a panel with such a distinguished line-up of influencers in the design world. I tend to appreciate originality, authenticity and a fully resolved design idea above all else. For a designer, but more generally, for a creative mind, this means taking full ownership of one’s aesthetic and making it a recognisable signature.
How should contemporary design evolve to meet the needs of the community?
Today’s products need to stand the test of time and fashions and move beyond mere aesthetics to reflect upon attributes like quality, durability and adaptability.
In the last decade, the production side of design has seen very little innovation. I believe we need to shift our focus to more responsible production methods, using technology to maximise efficiency. This will move us away from the focus on selling and marketing to concentrate on how to responsibly produce a durable product with long-term intrinsic value.
As a designer, I believe it is our responsibility to strive for timelessness and durability. We must look for materials and processes that do not harm our ecosystems, keeping consumerism and hyper-productivity at bay. Good design should ultimately inspire people to do better and live better!
In the post-pandemic era, how can design define a ‘new normal’?
I would say that the ‘new normal’ has had an impact on design, and not the other way around. With the cancellation of major in-person trade fairs, delays in global shipping and the work-from-home phenomenon, the pace of life has inevitably changed – just as the way we spend our time during our days.
I am also seeing a return to crafts, a desire to experiment with our hands, to play with new materials and refine our creative and design process, which tends to become slower but at the same time can lead to better quality artisanship. And that’s what people are looking for: sustainable products that are lasting pieces for their homes – the places we’ve spent most of our time over the last year and a half.
How do you think the pandemic has affected design?
For companies around the world, Covid was a unique opportunity to pause and think. For many, cancelled events and trips had a real impact on the usual modus operandi. We are still looking for new ways to stay in touch, to participate in online events, to do virtual promotions and enhance e-commerce platforms. In general, designers have shown their resilience, especially in smaller companies, who often lack the tools to change and reinvent themselves in the face of pandemic. I am certain of one thing… we will all come out of this stronger!
The deadline for competing in the sixth edition of the awards dedicated to excellence in global design has been extended to September 27th. Brands from all over the world still have a few days left to apply for the award and be among the winners of the 2021 edition!
The jurors – called upon to vote on the submissions to the award’s sixth edition – are ready to evaluate the fundamental aspects of innovative, ethical and sustainable design.
The jury’s vote will lead to the definition of an initial longlist, a selection of proposals destined to enter the final stage of the Award.
The winners will be selected from the longlist and announced during the first week of November.
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