Each year before the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Ad Age asks creatives execs around the world for their thoughts on what will nab big honors. For 2017, we checked in with the festival's former jury presidents for insight into what they believe works best for each category and for their advice to this year's judges. We'll be counting down each day until the festival with their thoughts.
Today, we hear from Amina Horozic, creative lead-industrial design at electric vehicle company NIO and last year's Product Design Lions jury president.
Since Cannes 2016, what's the best work you've seen, or what should win Grand Prix in product design?
It appears that there is a lot of focus on humanizing technology and making it more integrated into our day-to-day lives, taking it away from being intimidating and sterile. Standards for what is considered good product design continue to get higher and higher, and it's been interesting to observe how it's impacting product development. It's great to see consistency of quality of product design across the board, in all aspects of our industry. Attention to detail is very high these days, as is consideration of materials, and execution of fit and finish -- all of this combined yields for a very tough-to-choose-from dilemma. I dare not single out one product just yet, but will instead be looking forward to what the 2017 jury lands on.
Overall, what was your assessment of the entries you saw in the category last year? Were there things you would have wanted to have seen but were not entered?
It was apparent that the Product Design category is still a new addition to Cannes. We saw a lot of entries that were submitted that simply did not qualify -- for example, promotional throwaway items. It would have been great to see more actual product design entries, so I am hoping that the word got out through to the appropriate channels and that product design studios submitted more entries this year than the last.
What's the most overrated idea of the past year? What work that's been getting a lot of attention do you think won't or shouldn't win a Grand Prix?
Considering the overall global climate we find ourselves in these days, I'm hoping that the winner of Grand Prix for Product Design is a project with legitimate gravitas, that is solving for a need, that considers the environment, and that adds some layer of magic to the everyday. We are overwhelmed by the faux, and are hungry for authenticity, for consideration, for inclusiveness, for progress. The Grand Prix winner should embody the progressive values of this century, and raise the bar on what we as design professionals can do to impact positive change through our work.
What trends in the work did you see from judging last year that you hope won't happen again this year?
It would be nice to see brands make an effort to connect to their audiences without resorting to cheap, throwaway promotional items. Environmental impact of our work, now more than ever, needs to be front and center.
Any trends you do expect to see?
From my San Francisco-based perspective, I'm expecting to see a lot of tech-based products: artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and robotics will continue to evolve and dominate our conversations. Additionally, I'm anticipating a big spotlight on wellness and wellness-related products and experiences, as well as products that are redefining industry categories and pushing us further into 21st century with grace.
What advice do you have to jurors and jury presidents for this year?
Expect to be enlightened by the debates and surprised by the process, as well as your final decisions.