Picture: Tim Larcombe left and Jesper von Wieding right.
1. Why have you chosen to become engaged in this Design denmark project?
Our motivation lies in our belief that Denmark is synonymous with Design. It’s a bold brand statement, but for us “Denmark = Design”. To bring this about requires the synergy created by friendship, trust and sharing. We understand however that “Design = denmark” can only be realised by the Danish eco-system working together and it requires a lot of patience. Our use of the Intent process, first to create a unified professional organisation and then to create the Danish Design Award, equally and together with the Danish Design Centre, is our method to achieve this. As Design denmark we also think that Design is much bigger than Denmark, which is why Design is represented with a capital D in our name.
2.A What’s the cool thing about winning a Danish Design Award? What would you say, Tim?
As a foreigner, I am allowed to say this! You Danes do not truly realise the degree to which design, in a broad sense, is embedded into the fabric of your society – and that it is this that makes society function so well. For you, it’s just there. But paradoxically, because it’s almost invisible to you, it needs to be brought out into the spotlight so that you can celebrate this great resource and what you are doing with it. To win a Danish Design Award means that you are doing what Denmark is good at, that you are part of Danish Design history and that you have achieved an independent quality mark to communicate this. The other cool thing, of course, is that the “Golden D” award looks great on your desk and is a good starting point for a conversation!
2.B Jesper, how has it been to create this award? What is it like to have it as your heart child?
Looking back, this has been one long joy-ride for me! My mission was always been to bring Danish design and creativity further onto the world stage. I was part of bringing design to the Creative Circle award, positioning it equally with advertising and digital there. Also, I bought the URL “www.danishdesignaward.com” about ten years ago, with the aim of bringing the whole industry together of using the approach of trust, friendship and sharing. It continues to be a joy-ride today and I envision a bright future for Danish creativity and design together.
3. Why is there so much emphasis placed on documentation in the submission material?
Actually, we think the documentation is relatively light and we think it’s important that submission remains free. The main purpose of the documentation is to communicate contextual fit for the users, the innovation height and the economic impact of your submission as aspects of the overall design quality. It’s important that these are communicated well, of course, so that the jury is able to understand your concept fully. Denmark is recognised as a “well-being society”, and the categories are defined to reflect this. If you need help to select the most appropriate and impactful category, the secretariat can support you with that.
4. In which direction do you think Danish Design Award is moving in the future?
The Intent behind the award, “We celebrate the difference design can make”, is not limited to Denmark. It has meaning in every society and culture. Together with the Danish Design Centre, we want to use the Award to create dialogue and activity around the world to promote well-being everywhere. The emerging collaboration between the design institutions of Denmark and New York City is a good example of this.
5. What is your hope for the finalists and winners?
Our aim is that the Award catapults the finalists and winners forward in some way – that it becomes “worth winning” for them. Also that their ingenuity becomes part of a body of work that, that we, together with the Danish Design Centre, can use nationally and internationally. The plot for each story in the Award is consistent – the impact that design has for individuals, business and for the well-being of society as a whole. Like all good stories, the message spreads by itself through being told in different and refreshing ways. That’s why the each years’ finalists and winners are so important.