Do Good Design? Enter the AIGA (Re)Design Awards

Does design have the power to change the world? AIGA, the premiere organization for professional and student designers, believes that yes, it can.

AIGA is hosting its second annual (Re)design Awards to prove that design is both a strategic tool and cultural force for transforming the way we function in the world. With the mission of “igniting change,” they’re looking for submissions in two categories: Environmental Sustainability and Social Responsibility. Stan Evenson, founder and CEO of Evenson Design Group and co-chair of the event, explains that those two categories can include anything from multimedia, interactive design, packaging and product design to brand identity, environmental design, permaculture and urban planning.

“If one’s design submission is using sustainable materials and/or promoting environmental sustainability or socially responsible actions to benefit people, it’s eligible.”

The competition runs through July 22, 2011 and is open to the international design community. Thus far, entries have come in from Greece, Australia, Canada and across the United States. All submissions will be judged by design luminaries Eric Benson, Rachel Martin, Naomi Pearson, Tim McNeil and Brain Dougherty. The winner will be honored at a special Gala event on October 27, 2011.

Design, Ever-Evolving

While infringements and frustrations abound, our collective consciousness is awakening, particularly when it comes to awareness about what we wear, how we eat, and what we buy. Design is elemental, both subtly and integrally, to the choices that we make (and have) as consumers.

“[My wife and co-chair] Tricia and I have had our design business, EDG, for over 35 years. And many of those years we were wearing blinders, encouraging our clients to print more and use more, and not stepping back for one moment to admit that we were definitely a part of an enormous problem.”

Three children later, they were “awakened” one day in 2005 with the realization that they wanted to be part of the solution. They, like so many of their colleagues, set out to revolutionize the field with sustainability in mind.

“How can we be enlightened through design,” Evenson wonders. “The (Re)design Awards are about rethinking, reengaging, reconnecting, repurposing our design. It’s about more than just creating something beautiful for a client. It’s about doing something bigger for this world. For designers, it’s a responsibility and an opportunity.”

We tried very hard to get the inside scoop on potential frontrunners and projects to watch, but to no avail. Like everyone else, we’ll have to wait. All you have to do, in the meantime, is enter.

“The deadline is impending,” Evenson warns.

(Re)designAwards 2011 from AIGA | Los Angeles on Vimeo.

K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.