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 are Matthew McCormick‘s words. The Canadian designer opens up and tells us what he’s looking to find in this year’s entries – something unique.
What are you looking forward to finding in our entries and which features are you going to reward?
I look forward to being exposed to emerging talent through a broad spectrum of disciplines from across the globe. I am honoured to be sitting on a panel alongside such a distinguished lineup of contemporaries.
In addition to good design, I tend to appreciate originality, authenticity and a fully resolved design idea above all else. I truly value a designer or creative mind who takes full ownership of their aesthetic — honoring a unique authorship without reservation.
Which role do you think a Design Award should have nowadays?
Design Awards are important on many levels — they can help consumers make purchasing decisions, they can indicate a pinnacle of excellence for a designer in their craft, and perhaps most importantly they can inspire and motivate the next generation of up-and-coming designers.
We are seeing consumers make more informed buying decisions because the internet allows for a full scope of product research and peer reviews. From environmental impacts and product lifecycle, to overall user experience, to safety and durability, there is a greater public understanding of product knowledge. Designers have to take this into consideration during the design and manufacturing process, and I think this consumer perception should be recognized on the award circuit.
While there are a range of design-related awards offered across our industry, Archiproducts has always done a commendable job in advocating for good design and maintaining a respected presence on the global stage.
In which direction should contemporary Product Design go and how should it evolve to answer people’s needs?
We live in a world of abundance where consumption is always available and highly promoted. The resulting saturation means that products must endure the test of time, and trends need to be defined beyond just an aesthetic – instead, reflecting a more valuable set of attributes like quality, durability and adaptability.
Over the last decade, the production side of design has seen very little innovation. I believe that we need to shift our focus to more responsible production techniques, using technology to maximize efficiency. This will move us away from our fixation on how to sell and market a product, and instead focus on how to responsibly manufacture an enduring product with inherent long-term value.
The language of design continues to evolve, but in my opinion, it’s our responsibility as creators to aim for timelessness and lifelong durability. As designers, we have a very clear mandate to research materials and processes that will not harm our ecosystem, thus keeping consumerism at bay. Good design should ultimately inspire people to do better and live better.
Matthew McCormick working at the Halo lamp
Hand blown artisan glass for the Mila series
Mila lamps at Galleria Rossana Orlandi
About Matthew McCormick
Matthew McCormick Studio is a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Vancouver, Canada that produces high-end lighting products and artistic installations distributed around the world.
Founded in 2013 by Matthew McCormick, the Studio designs, manufactures and retails McCormick’s own lighting collections. In addition to creating bespoke, sculptural work, all of McCormick’s products are made in Canada by a network of talented young artisans and craftspeople. Balancing handcrafted process with modern techniques, his design aesthetic is a pursuit of excellence in minimalism.