December 25, 2023

Judges’ comments for the final judging have been published.

Regarding the finalists of the KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2024, who were announced the other day, we received messages from the judges about the trends surrounding the works of this year’s second judging and their hopes that the works in the final judging will be improved.

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〈 Messages from the Judges 〉

Shogo Kishino (Representative of 6D-K / Art Director and Graphic Designer)

We found this year’s theme, “primitive,” to be very difficult to judge. During the judging, we concentrated on parts that redefined essence as part of the theme, and focused on whether the works fundamentally explored those parts. We also judged works that made us think, “Was it originally like this?” or “Is this how it always should have been?”The second round of judging focused on ideas, but this round is the real deal, where we focus on the designs. The fine details, shapes, and feel can make a good idea or concept better or worse.
We are looking forward to seeing how the finalists improve their mock-ups!

Tsuyoshi Tane (Founder of Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects / Architect)

We were impressed by works that were created with the theme of “primitive” and made a fundamental impact on the DNA formed by our consciousness until now. There were works that made us think about the fundamental relationship between people and things before we perceived things as tools or functions. In the final judging, we will also judge the quality of the mock-ups. We are very eager to see works that are unique in their feasibility, attractiveness as objects, and their attention to texture.

Nao Tamura (Designer)

When we were judging, we focused on works that abandoned the stereotypical ideas of how things should be and allowed the user to nurture the seeds sown by the creator through his or her work. Rather than one-way relationships between the creator and the user, we viewed the works as tools through which both the maker and recipient can create or think about something new. In the final judging, we expect to focus on the balance between the two: the sense of story that grew from “Why did you make this?” and the formative skills conveyed through that story.

Teruhiro Yanagihara (Designer)

With this year’s simple theme of “primitive,” the works were more conceptual and essential in their approach, making it more difficult to spot differences than in the past. Many of them had simple shapes, and there were works that emphasized story.
In the second judging, we imagined the desire that arises in the process of using the products, and why people would want the works as products.
We very much hope that the finalists will refine their storytelling to complement the accuracy and simplicity of their prototypes.

Satoshi Yoshiizumi (Principal of TAKT PROJECT Inc. / Designer)

I honestly thought that the works had a small impact at first.
However, as we discussed from various perspectives in the second round judging, the impressions became more intense. When people explore the concept of primitive, they tend to have the same viewpoint, cut out unnecessary things, and make a mediocre proposal. However, I think that the finalists’ works originated from fundamentally unique discoveries.
In the final judging, we hope to see the ideas deepened and the strength conveyed by substance, rather than the proposals made in the second round being shaped as they are.

Hidekuni Kuroda (KOKUYO Co., Ltd. / President and CEO)

We are delighted that more people took up the challenge this year than in previous years. The ten finalists were selected after a very interesting and fruitful second round, in which the respective primitives depicted by the creators were discussed from each judge members’ point of view.
We hope that the finalists will embody as much as possible the ideas they were unable to express in the presentation sheets from the second round of judging, and go through to the final round of judging. We wish you all the best of luck.

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