ABOVE: Best of Show winner “Platform Summit 2014”
Washington, DC, USA — In a world increasingly enabled by digital technology, designers are continuing to experiment with ways to integrate electronic and traditional media. And experiential graphic designers in particular are learning how to use digital technology—not to replace physical environments—but to enhance users’ enjoyment of the “real” world with the immense content and data created in the virtual world.
Winning projects in the 2015 SEGD Global Design Awards—from a volcano museum in Iceland to a poetic public installation in Atlanta and an enchanted forest in Quebec—use both digital and traditional tools to tell stories, build brands, and create a strong sense of place.
Since 1987, SEGD’s Global Design Awards have honored design that connects people to place by providing direction, content, and compelling experiences in the places where we work, play, learn, travel, shop, and gather.
“We’re now in the second digital revolution,” says Graham Hanson, principal of GHD | Graham Hanson Design (New York) and chair of the 2015 SEGD Global Design Awards. “The first one has many of us glued to our small and large screens, and the second one will liberate us from them and reconnect us with the physical world in meaningful, beautiful ways. That’s what we saw in the Design Awards work.”
Designers and clients are finding that electronic media, while powerful in many ways, should be carefully considered but not implemented just because it is possible, says Hanson. “We’re continuing to see digital technology inserted into projects without any recognizable purpose.” But he adds, “Refreshingly, we also saw some examples where designers understood the lack of necessity for electronic media and developed the design successfully without it.”
The Eldheimar Volcano Museum in Reykjavík (a 2015 Honor Award winner) uses sophisticated interactive technologies to help visitors explore the physical remains of an island community buried under volcanic ash. In contrast, the 2015 Best in Show Award, event graphics for a conference on minority entrepreneurship, illustrates the ingenuity of low-tech graphic elements such as balloons and creative typography, used in combination with digital display techniques. Other projects, such as interactives for the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, show how digital technology can be used to create memorable shared experiences in public spaces.
Hanson’s multidisciplinary jury chose 33 projects—6 Honor Awards and 27 Merit Awards—spanning the full spectrum of Experiential Graphic Design, from wayfinding to placemaking and identity, public installations, exhibitions, and research projects. Four of the winning projects were designed by students.
In addition to Hanson, the diverse, multi-disciplinary jury included expertise in architecture, graphic design, experience design, digital technology, branding, public art, and academia. 2015 jurors included:
• –Michael Donovan, Donovan and Green (New York)
• –Jody Graff, Drexel University (Philadelphia)
• –Nik Hafermaas, Ueberall (Los Angeles)
• –Javier Lloret, interaction designer (Rotterdam)
• –Kristine Matthews, Studio Matthews (Seattle)
• –Stephen Minning, BrandCulture (Sydney)
• –Lana Rigsby, Rigsby Hull (Houston)
• –Anthony Vitagliano, Digital Kitchen (Chicago)
The 2015 winning projects were announced June 6 during the 2015 SEGD Conference: Experience Chicago.
>>See the full stories on the 2015 SEGD Global Design Award winners.
The 2015 SEGD Global Design Awards were sponsored by 3M.
Platform Summit 2014
Event Graphics / Morehouse College, Atlanta
Public installation / Atlanta
Design: Second Story, part of SapientNitro
Eldheimar Volcano Museum
Interactive exhibits / Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland
Haymarket Pedestrian Bridge
Placemaking & Identity / Lincoln, Neb.
Design: Dimensional Innovations
Oxford Brookes University Wayfinding
Wayfinding / Oxford, UK
Design: Holmes Wood
TING: Technology & Democracy
Exhibition / Norsk Teknisk Museum, Oslo
Design: Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Tamschick Media+Space GmbH
American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial
Public Installation / Washington, D.C.
Design: Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, Cloud Gehshan Associates
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine Dog Signage
Environmental Graphics / New York
City of Dandenong Interpretive Structures
Environmental Graphics / Dandenong, Victoria, Australia
Centro Roberto Garza Sada Signage and Environmental Graphics
Environmental Graphics / Universidad de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico
Century: 100 Years of Type in Design
Exhibit / AIGA National Design Center, New York
Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum Interactives
Interactive Exhibits / New York
Design: Local Projects, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
Cornell University Stocking Hall
Placemaking & Identity / Ithaca, N.Y.
Design: Calori & Vanden-Eynden
Interactive Experience / Philadelphia
Design: Mike Garzarelli (Drexel University)
Curtain of Names / The Advisory Board Company Members Wall
Member Recognition / Washington, D.C.
Design: C & G Partners
Dongdaemun Design Plaza Wayfinding
Wayfinding / Seoul
Design: YiEUM Partners Consortium
Multimedia Experience / Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook, Quebec
Design: Moment Factory
Garangula Gallery Facade
Placemaking & Identity / Canberra, Australia
Get Back to What Matters
Public Installation / Richmond, Va.
Design: Cassie Hester (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Learning to See
Exhibit / Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver
Design: Second Story, part of SapientNitro
MIT Media Lab “Deploy” Fall Members Event
Branding & Identity, Event Graphics / MIT, Cambridge, Mass.
Environmental Graphics / New York
Design: Nastya Lobova (Fashion Institute of Technology, Graduate Exhibition Design)
Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Wayfinding/Interpretives
Wayfinding & Interpretives / Mount Stirling, Victoria, Australia
New Practices New York 2014
Exhibit / Center for Architecture, New York
Parc du Sergent Blandan
Wayfinding & Interpretives / Lyon, France
Design: Nicolas Vrignaud & Analia Garcia Ramirez
Randen Arashiyama Station
Placemaking & Identity / Kyoto, Japan
Design: GLAMOROUS Co., Ltd.
ReFRAME x FRAME
Public Installation / Houston
Design: Students, University of Houston College of Architecture / School of Art, Graphic Design
Sculpture in the Age of Donatello
Exhibit / The Museum of Biblical Art, New York
Design: Studio Joseph
Seattle Children’s Hospital Art and Wayfinding Program
Wayfinding / Seattle
Design: Studio SC
SkyPad™ Interactive Wall
Interactive Experience / Space Needle, Seattle
Design: Belle & Wissell, Co.
Snap-on Museum Experience
Exhibit / Kenosha, Wisc.
Design: Kahler Slater
Stories about Man and Power in 10 Objects
Exhibit / Museum of History of Riga and Navigation, Riga, Latvia
Design: Design Studio H2E
Wushang Zhongyuan Mall International Cinema
Placemaking & Identity / Wuhan, China
Design: One Plus Partnership Ltd.
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