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Being part of the iF jury is like being part of an exclusive circle. Since over six decades, iF invites high profile design experts from all over the world to take part in the jury session of the iF DESIGN AWARD.
We are very proud of the jury 2020 that lists high profile names of the interational design scene and is very diverse – in professional experience, origin, age and gender. The jurors come from more than 20 countries.
“First of all, every member of the jury of course has to be a highly qualified design professional. At best the international design community should know the juror and trust him or her to make an objective, neutral judgement. So, being part of the jury, is a professional appreciation”, summarizes iF CEO Ralph Wiegmann.
“Because the iF DESIGN AWARD is international, iF jurors have to have intercultural experience and they have to know, why a washing machine for the brazilian market has to fulfill other expectations or dimensions than for example the German equivalent.” The jurors have to understand which cultural influences stand for certain design criteria. They need the ability to distinguish it.
They need a special eye for the smallest detail that makes a product an innovation and should be able to appreciate and award a future-driven design despite some weaknesses in its presentation.
Apart from that, fairness in combination with respect for the work of colleagues is a major aspect. The ability for a responsible handling of each entry is a key characteristic as well.
One of our aims is to have as many female as male iF jurors – and we are sure on our way. ”This year, the female proportion is around 37 percent. That is – compared to other award juries and the last jury sessions at iF – a very high rate, which is growing remarkably every year”, says Wiegmann.
Certainly, there are products that male and female designers would create in an identical way. "But there are products female designers definitely would design with a different focus. This makes the gender topic so important."
Great jurors who understand all above mentioned aspects of jury work, accept them and take part with curiosity, fun and fairness, are actually hard to find. The jury members have to reflect the countries the entries are coming from and be a mix of young and experienced.
iF does an intensive scouting by monitoring different media, visits to companies, studios and events as well as by asking former judges for their recommendation. This is something we do right after the jury sessions and which is very important to us. They know best what great jurors have to offer and where to find them.
“Thankfully, iF has a good and international reputation for over 65 years, so the search for good jurors is not as hard as it was in the beginnings – today, there is a huge and international group of iF friends”, says Wiegmann.