Toward the end of February every year, one of those dime-a-dozen stalwart Manhattanites splashes a forensic obliteration across the front page of The New Yorker. And, every single year, it’s the same – something rather like: “I was compelled to sit through another cavalcade of self-congratulation. It’s simply obscene: all this neediness; all this foolish hullaballoo; this litany of designer brands and flawless dentistry; this monstrous gasconading pageantry”. You get the idea…
Of course, they will then proceed to wryly sneer at the Academy for awarding Ms Streep her annual sparkly treat (but then back-pedal to declare that, once again, Queen Meryl’s performance was unimpeachable and – unsurprisingly – award-worthy).
You might be wondering why I am writing about the writing about The Oscars. Well, the design industry is set to welcome another industry award programme into the fold next year. I know, I know – I hear you: do we need another award? And where does this manic hunger for acclaim and recognition even come from?
It’s easy to write off awards as an exercise in vanity. But the reality is so much more meaningful than that. Honour, distinction, privilege, tribute, admiration.
An award is a symbol demarcating bravery, the need to recognise especial qualities of vigilance and fearlessness. They hold the best of us to a particularly high standard of culpability and quality. They are a goal. They are a gold standard. They are our milestones. They are, quite simply, the only collateral we have to really observe, challenge and interrogate what we are doing, where we are going, what we (should and/or do) value.
Far more than a shiny statuette, a ball gown, a throng of paparazzi and a flute of champagne, an awards programme stands for our own momentum as an industry. They celebrate the achievements of veterans and novices in one consistent narrative of excellence, progress, and ambition.
This is the INDE. Awards. The INDE.s are a new kind of awards programme by the creative industry, for the creative industry. INDE. recognises the innovative design story of Asia Pacific – on our own terms. The program is fuelled by your’s truly, Indesign Media Asia Pacific, and supported by the exceptional curatorial eye of a prestigious panel of A+D heavyweights across the region. INDE. commemorates home-grown bravery, innovation, drive and the local spirit of all architecture and design achievements.
“Championing the best in design and architecture across Asia Pacific has always been our number one commitment,” says Raj Nandan, Founder and CEO of Indesign Media. “We can’t wait to celebrate this love of great design with you in 2017, the year of INDE. Awards”.
Words by David Congram