President's Design Award
I was looking at the new President’s Design Award and was a little troubled when I looked at the nomination guide. What was more confusing was that, this event was reported on a Mediacorp TV news coverage, with a clip with Singapore Famed Movie Director Eric Khoo. I was like, Eric Khoo a “designer”? I mean if Eric Khoo wins he will recieve a President’s Design Award for a movie?. Is this right?
Technically by the dictionary definition it is correct, a designer designs. To design is to create, and Eric Khoo creates something and thus could be called a designer. Unfortunatly this will lead to a whole load of confusion, espically to a public just beginning to understand design.
I think the discussion here is two fold. First is the sope, the second is the title.
In terms of scope, we need to be careful, by recognising the people who is responsible in creating the actual design. Reciently there was an article in the newspaper about Singapore 10 most promising designers. One of the gentlemen features was from Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. My question was not of his credentials but of how close was he to the actual creation process of a ad compaign? I’m sure he leads in overall strategy, but I’m sure there are a lot of creative copywriters and graphic designers that made the ads a reality. My gist is that there are many people involved in the design process, so what aspect do you own, and at what level is this award directed to?
The next that could make this distinction easier is the title and name of the award. If you win a design award means you do design, or a designer by profession. So what is a designer? In this day and age, even though “design” is a verb, being called a “designer” or doing design is tagged to a professional title, such as Graphic Designer or Industrial Designer. It should like all professions should be given the respect that it deserves.
Fortunatly or unfortunatly, it covers only just these few professions (Interior, Graphic, Industrial, Interface, Web, Multimedia etc). The other prominent creation type professions has its own professional title. I believe Architects would not like to be called “Building Designers”. I dont think copywriters like to be called “Sentence designers”. Or Eric Khoo, be called a “Film designer”. What about Accountants being called “Number Designers”?
The list is endless, perhaps by my 2 cents worth, change the name to The President’s Creative Award? At least it a much more clearer blanket statement that covers all aspects of the creativite industry. Please not “design”, as we know how confusing the term “design” has become.