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Challenge Accepted

This week’s reflection question is simple. If you had a design challenge, would you join and participate in one of the types of online communities we’ve been researching? Why or why not?

One of my favorite things about industrial design is the challenges presented to us as designers. To actually have to use our imagination and problem solving skills to overcome these barriers is what makes it so interesting to me. 

In addition to this our industry is developing so fast that as a designer you always have to be one step ahead of your competition. You have to be the most innovative, to come up with the most clever solutions, to foresee what the future will be like what people will need or want. That is in my opinion the biggest challenge facing designers today. Which makes design a sort of “competitive sport”, in which your competitors are also your fellow designers.

“Design trends change more often than the wind, and slightly less often than my socks” - Suleiman Leadbitter (designer and project manager)

Additionally this sort of competitions are a very good way to get your name out there in the world of design, not to mention they give you a lot experience in the field and allow you to see how different competitors solve the same problem.

On the other hand, one can spend a lot of time on the competition and not get anything return, not even the satisfaction of seeing your products out in the shops or the hands of the consumers. This is in my opinion the most frustrating part of a design competition.

Concluding I would be very keen on entering a design competition online, firstly because I think I would enjoy that challenge and seeing how other people approach the same problem, secondly because it is a good experience and can add a lot to a designers CV. However I don’t believe that design competitions are perfect, I mean a designer can work for hours, days or even months on a design and then not even be selected. Overall I think this competitions are a good way to start a carrier as a designer, but once you become more mature and experience you will want to make sure your work will be appreciated and produced. 


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Posted in All Students, Group 8, Work Teams
This was originally published at Miguel Guerra
2 comments on “Challenge Accepted
  1. Kiril says:

    Hey Miguel, nice post. Relating to your opinion about competitions I totally agree that they are not always fair. The best example is probably to be found in the architecture world. A lot of projects are send in to this world as a competition, and with the crisis this really issued a problem. Architecture company’s now had to invest time and money into a competition that has to much requirements compared to the chance of actually winning the project to receive their investment back.

  2. Nancy White says:

    Miguel, thanks for bringing up the aspect of building one’s professional identity and visibility through design competitions. Do you think participating in online communities OF designers – as a place to learn, share ideas, etc., is useful or even critical for designers today?

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