By Rodney McMahon, Design Guild Mark chairman
Design has the wonderful power to arouse very different emotions and feelings within people. A sublime innovation in one person’s mind can be viewed as a hackneyed disaster in another’s.
Of course with something as subjective as design, there will always be debate over personal preference. However, when the Design Guild Mark was launched in 2007, the objective was to create an independent awarding body that would recognise excellence within the design of furniture in volume production. Ultimately, a trusted indicator of quality for both consumer and design professional alike.
Ten years on and the Design Guild Mark has steadily built a reputation as the UK’s most important design award programme through its unique judging day, which asks the designer to present their piece in person to our panel of renowned judges.
The judges – experts from the domestic and contract market - then deliberate on whether the design meets the standard of excellence by assessing it against the following criteria:
- Are the materials appropriate?
- Are they from sustainable sources?
- Does the piece show new thinking?
- Does it represent value?
- Does it solve a problem?
- Is it fit for purpose?
- Does the design have longevity?
- Has the design been reﬁned for and is it capable of being produced in volume?
Unlike traditional awards, the Design Guild Mark doesn’t pit design against design. There is no first, second or third place. If a piece meets the criteria, it is awarded a Mark: simple. There is no limit of how many pieces can receive a mark – all of them could receive one or none of them.
In 2017 we had our highest number of entries ever at 60 with 34 pieces attaining the Design Guild Mark, and across the 10 year history 196 pieces out of 362 applications have achieved Design Guild Mark success.
In 2018 the Design Guild Mark is undergoing some major changes as, for the first time in its history, we will be expanding out of simply furniture and launching a 2D category.
So what constitutes as 2D? Well, we’re going to be accepting entries for fabrics, textiles, wall coverings, floor coverings and carpets.
Obviously, a completely new field of design demands its own set of expert judges scrutinising the work and having the final say as to what signifies design excellence.
We are sure you’ll be very excited to learn who we’re in discussion with. However, I’m afraid this will have to remain closely under wraps for now.
If your appetite has been suitably whetted and you’d like to find out more about our plans for the expansion into 2D, you are welcome to join us for a breakfast briefing at the Sleeper Bar on Wednesday 22 November at 9.30am.
Please register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we look forward to seeing you there.