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Put it to the People

Put it to the People

The INDE.Awards 2017 is proud to announce that voting for our People’s Choice categories is now open. Vote for your 2017 INDE Prodigy now.

Thanksgiving Day 1942, New York City Hollywood Theatre.

Every single person in attendance, sitting in the darkened cinema, was ignorant of the momentous cultural instance at which they were present. So much of the next 79 years was hanging on this moment.

Casablanca: opening night.

Now one of the most celebrated films in cinematic history, no-one (in the audience or even in the production) had the foresight to predict that the ultimate underdog would eventually come to define the direction of modern cinema for over the next 7 decades.

So what can Design Hunters learn from Casablanca?

Look past the modernist Marrakech aesthetic. Look past the lush, noirish interior designs. Look, that is, at the film itself.

One of Hollywood’s most frazzled productions, an atrociously shoestring budget, an unfinished script and a reel that only received the final edits on the week of the premiere, Casablanca had nothing going for it – apparently. No marketing, a questionable leading man (certainly not a romantic lead), a nobody leading lady (certainly not in USA), and a host of German ex-pat actors (certainly not P.C. in 1942).

In short: no brand, just talent.

There is an important lesson that Asia Pacific’s A+D community can learn from this strange history of Casablanca. Undoubtedly, our industry places stress on the importance of branding. This is neither surprising nor undue. But in a market increasingly preoccupied by the vicissitudes of promotion and expansion across the globe, our industry’s emerging talent is beset by unique challenges.

Not dissimilar to those challenges which faced Casablanca – if we put war aside – emerging talent in today’s A+D community has to grapple with a pointedly over-capacity workforce over-saturated with the noise of competitive marketing on a global scale.

Leveraging oneself as emerging talent in a trend-entrenched marketplace is by no means easy. But if Bergman and Bogart have taught us anything, you needn’t follow the trend – spark one!

For the 2017 INDE.Awards, we want to celebrate trend-sparkers and we’ve noticed that “this looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship”. Our expert panel of judges and Indesign Media Asia Pacific editors have kept their finger on the pulse of what A+D will look like tomorrow.

Across our region, our INDE experts have selected a shortlist of emerging A+D talent that eschews trends, old rules and infuses their creative output with the spirit of innovation and questioning.

Indesign Media Asia Pacific is proud to announce that voting for your 2017 INDE. Prodigy is currently open – and you get to decide!

Presenting the 2017 Prodigy shortlist for the inaugural INDE. Awards



Holly Cunneen was the editor of Habitus and has spent her time in the media writing about architecture, design and our local industry. With a firm view that “design has a shared responsibility to the individual as much as it does the wider community,” her personal and professional trajectory sees her chart the interests, accomplishments, and emerging patterns of behaviour within the architecture and design community.