This year we’ve tasked our jurors with envisioning the future of product design. Each one of them had their own ideas to share with us and we’ve decided to collect their thoughts in a series of interviews called “Talking to Jurors”. We’ve asked all of them what they’re looking for in an entry and what they’re going to reward. Among all of their predictions and opinions, one stood out – design must be human and provide solutions that meet people’s needs. What is truly unforgettable is the product’s ability to improve the lives of everyone.
Here’s what the Belgian Designer Job Smeets is looking forward to finding in all entries and is willing to meet “the new Picasso in Design”.
What are you looking forward to finding in our entries and which features are you going to reward?
I’m looking for the new Picasso in design. We are always all looking for the holy grail. In essence I am looking for authenticity, in combination with other talents such as tactility and character.
Which role do you think a Design Award should have nowadays?
The basic principles of a Design Award should be an objective judgment of all current design, and at that moment in time the person winning fitted the style and times, and fulfilled our imagination. An award gives the winner something to further develop their practice, or at least that they can celebrate with a few drinks with friends.
In which direction should contemporary Product Design go and how should it evolve to answer people’s needs?
I don’t know how or where it should go but probably it will likely go in waves as it always does, and every generation of designers will have their own problems, specific questions to answer, and dogmas. I think contemporary product design can be smug and even naughty. It should be less pragmatic with excel sheet and algorithms, there should be more soul, more identity, more personality. Also foresee that contemporary product design is no longer about the amount of products, I think it going to smaller additions that are better quality and more conscious decision making. I say I think because I hope.
Street lamp floor, Studio Job for Seletti
Burger Chair, Studio Job for Seletti
Always close, a project by Studio Job (Luxembourg)
About Job Smeets and Studio Job
Studio Job is a groundbreaking art and design studio based in Antwerp, Amsterdam and Milan. Job Smeets, a pioneer of contemporary conceptual and sculptural art and design founded Studio Job in 1998 in the renaissance spirit, combining traditional and modern techniques to produce once-in-a-lifetime objects. Joined in 2000 by a graphic designer Nynke Tynagel the studio went on to grow to over 30 people and work with a vast range of high profile clients, galleries and collectors.
In the ateliers, traditional and modern techniques are combined to produce once-in-a-lifetime objects. A vast range of crafts are practiced at Studio Job, where traditional craftspeople such as sculptors and specialists in casting bronze and making stained-glass windows and hand painting, work alongside experts adept in using lasers and 3D printing. Spread over three countries, technique, science, design and art come together in their work as examples of what can be described as Gesamtkunstwerk – a total art work or an all embracing art form.
Studio Job are pioneers of contemporary conceptual and sculptural design. The results range from art, to complete interiors to concept, with unique bronze artwork in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, to a royal stamp featuring the Dutch King (forty million pieces produced), from the unique life-size bronze sculptures on Miami Beach, to the one-off Wunderkammer complete work, produced for Swarovski in Innsbruck.
All Studio Job projects are distinguished by a love of detail, freedom of expression and blend of 2D and 3D. With more than 400 exhibitions, including solo shows, around the world Studio Jobís work can be found in most important museum collections. In June 2019 Bonhamís New York broke the world record for the highest price on auction for their work with the sale of the ëPerished Cabinetí. Their iconic, heraldic and cartoon-like sculptures are popular with collectors world-wide. Proclaimed one of the most influential design teams by the Financial Times, Studio Job are passionate about building up an oeuvre that is becoming increasingly extravagant in its details and increasingly personal.
Studio Job work across many areas including art, design, fashion, architecture and interiors having worked with a vast range of high profile clients including sculptures for Gufram, Barneys and LandRover, set design for Viktor & Rolf, and product collections for many brands such as Swatch, Alessi, Moooi and Pepsi to name a few. In 2017 Studio Job teamed up with Italian manufacturer Seletti to form the joint brand BLOW producing products in their pop spirit with a radical twist. In 2018 Studio Job launched their own online store JobShop of limited edition collectibles. Now in 2019 the studio open their permanent base in Milan in the prestigious area of Porta Venezia, with Job Smeets joining the new wave of Italian post-modernists.
Studio Job is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most influential players within design and art. Their highly collectable work creates a bridge between object and product by merging monumental design and graphic artwork.