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The Pursuit Of Design Perfection Never Ends

CHICAGO— Year after year, the Housewares Design Awards competition gathers a group of product design experts and presents them with the challenge of selecting a dozen or so winners from hundreds of entries.
Designers generally aren’t shy when it comes to discussing the subject of what constitutes great design. And, naturally, they infuse their unique, subjective sentiments into their philosophies and methodologies.
The collective of that dialogue, though, underscores a common passion and a common objective: to improve the human experience by evaluating each variable that contributes to the experience and bundling what is learned into a more effective form.
The most successful designers, like the most successful in all walks, are driven by a pursuit of perfection. But they do so with an honest understanding that perfection likely isn’t attainable.
If it were, their work would be done. Design never stops, however, and that’s important.
All of that pride and determination was on display as the 12 judges for the 2013 Housewares Design Awards competition convened earlier this month to evaluate and rate the entries (see the finalists on page 10).
The Housewares Design Awards judging panel— representing industrial design, housewares retailing, design education, visual merchandising and consumer product reporting— was completely absorbed in its independent responsibility throughout the two-day judging forum.
Each and every entry was opened, examined and tested. Many were tested again. And then again.
The judges delved into the fine
details of the products and of the
methods by which the products were presented to the end-user. They weighed in on how the products looked, how they were made, how they worked, how they were priced and, ultimately, how all these factors contributed to the potential marketability of each entry.
They found design inspiration in some of the lowest-priced entries, just as they found reason to pause in some of the most expensive entries.
They engaged in healthy debate to ensure the finalists were thoroughly vetted. And in the end, despite differences in approach and opinion, they were thoroughly unified in their selections.
It should be rewarding to each 2013 Housewares Design Awards finalist to know how carefully all of the entries were considered.
And perhaps it should be of some solace to those whose entries didn’t make the final cut that not one of the finalists was judged to be a perfect product.
That reinforces the design objective.
Design competitions often tend to spotlight winners when the more important message is about celebrating the relentless pursuit of perfection by all that enter believing their products are one step closer to that ideal.
The passionate, detailed effort by the design experts gathered to judge the 2013 Housewares Design Awards is but a reflection of what they expect from themselves and the industry. It is what consumers expect, too.
Win or lose, there should be plenty of motivation in knowing there is always more work to be done.
And there is always next year.