Communicating Your Vision—Insight Into the 2018 SEGD Global Design Awards

Christina Lyons, Professor and Chairperson of the Graduate Exhibition & Experience Design programat the Fashion Institute of Technology,  is no stranger to the SEGD Global Design Awards. In addition to joining the jury last year, she’s leading an impressive lineupof talented designers on the 2018 SEGD Global Design Awardsjury.

Curious about why you should enter, what the jurors look for and how to put together a winning entry? Here’s what this jury vet has to say.

Why are the SEGD Global Design Awards important to the experiential graphic design community?

Award-winning projects define our industry and keep us all moving forward; it’s important to take a hard look at the latest built work and—in deciding what is exemplary—collectively refine, or re-affirm, where we are going.

How was your experience on the SEGD Global Design Awards jury last year?

The 2017 SEGD Global Design Awards jury was an honor to be a part of—and so inspiring to see the direction our industry is going. There were wonderful moments when the entire jury was taken aback in awe and appreciation of a stunning entry.

What are you most excited about this year?

I’m excited about the jury team we have this year. There is a wide range of practice areas and perspectives brought to bear on each submission with its ideas and merits discussed between (for example) a typographer, a fabricator, wayfinding and branding experts, an exhibition designer, a digital media designer and others.

They are carefully selected experts—each for their perspective, expertise and experience—to ensure a multifaceted and rigorous review process. Such a varied group of ideas, opinions and experience in the jury pool has a way of distilling the submissions with real reach and vision.

What do you look for in a winning entry?

I try not to have any preconceptions when reviewing entries. In general, I look for entries with a strong and meaningful conceptual foundation that permeates all aspects of the design—integrating thoughtful and informed typography, form, technologies and materials, as well as entries exemplifying the mission of SEGD: to connect people with place and to do so in innovative, unique and even emotional ways.

For me, the most successful entries are those that are less about large budgets or spectacle, but more about embracing innovative ideas that push the industry forward—spaces and experiences that are inspiring, educating and impactful for people and communities.

What do you hope to see more of this year?

I’m hoping to see projects informed by their audience: that are empathetic to their users, evoke emotions and ask compelling questions. And entries that are simply FUN—that allow people to enjoy the spaces they inhabit more and have elevated and unique interactions with others.

Why should someone submit an entry?

Winning an SEGD Global Design Award is a tremendous honor. Award winners are the best of the best from around the world, representing our industry. They become the inspiration for practicing and future designers and the projects clients look to when envisioning their own evolution.

What should entrants keep in mind when putting together their entries?

Short, clear and concise project descriptions are crucial. The descriptions that stand out are less about the nuts and bolts of a project, but work to convey the conceptual process behind the project. Describe the inspiration and the story behind the design decisions that were made in the project.

Short and concise image captions that link each image back to the overall concept of the project are also important. Each jury member reads, reviews and debates close to 500 submissions; capture the jury with captions that simply convey the essence, the excitement and certainly the poetics behind the project.

Videos are also extremely helpful to the jury in understanding the layers and depth of an entry.


Don’t forget to submit your entriesfor the 2018 SEGD Global Design Awards by January 31!