ID Annual 2006

“When we have a World Championship, we invite teams from other countries.”

    - John Cleese, on the difference between England and America

I just got my ID Magazine Annual in the mail a couple of days ago, the one that has their annual design competition in it. A rather lacklustre year this year, I have to say. Nothing really knocked my socks off.

One thing that was striking, however, was the parochialness of the competition. For a magazine that claims the title of the “international design magazine”, the review is hardly international. Of the products in the “consumer” category, 25 of the 35 clients/manufacturers are US-based, and 22 of the design firms (including in-house groups) are US-based. The remainders are sprinkled across Canada, Korea, Taiwan, France, Sweden, Brazil, UK, Netherlands and Japan, mostly one each. Most of the other categories are similarly skewed, with furniture being the sole exception.

But then look at the list of jurors and moderators. This chart shows where they were drawn from.

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Does it look a little east coast centric? Only one juror from west of the Mississippi, Doug Patton in Irvine. Not a single non-US-based juror (though a couple of European connections). Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of design and writing talent in NY, but it’s no means the center of the universe. A little broader perspective would go a long way.