Good Design Award Exhibition 2012

What is the Good Design Award? Like us, you have probably seen the ‘G Mark’ of the Award on a product you have bought before but not, perhaps, quite known what it symbolizes.

The award is actually a “design evaluation and commendation system” that has been in operation in Japan since 1957. At the heart of its bold philosophy, says the Japan Institute of Design Promotion, which oversees it, is an aim to “brighten and enrich society through design.”

Companies and designers who do something worthy of the stamp have something to be proud of and are many and varied. Judging products and accepting that they are worthy of the award – around 3,000 submissions are received from more than 1,000 companies and designers from both Japan and abroad every year – is done on various criteria.

There are four “viewpoints” around which products are usually considered – those relating to the ‘human body’, ‘lifestyle’, ‘industry’ and ‘Society and the Environment’.

The mark we as regular consumers see on a day-to-day basis are often those awarded for such aspects as user friendliness but awards are also given to other innovations, somewhat harder to think of in a material way. For example, a product that ‘makes the suggestion to prompt a user’s creativity’ might get the nod, albeit in a different category to an industrial innovation utilizing a new material or technology.

This year’s overall theme is ‘beauty and ease of use’ but giving ‘social or cultural value’ is also a key award section – it’s most certainly not just ergonomic potato peelers in Tokyu Hands that are deserving of the red G.

Expect to be able to more than glimpse some gadgets – while aspects of the show will have a trade fair feel, there is a focus on visitors who want to experience design workshops, take part in seminars and, well, do some shopping… Surgical tissue management systems may not be on your list, but perhaps a pair of headphones or ‘flylit’ Nikes?

More details on the seminars and the apparently ever-popular ‘Design Communication’ booth can be found here.

When: Friday, November 23 – Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:00 – 19:00

Where: TOKYO BIG SIGHT East Hall 4 (3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0063)

How Much: ¥1,000

See the G-Mark website for more information (in English)

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