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this is my 11th year as a gia innovations award judge. today was judgement day to scrutinize five product design finalists in 10 categories. that meant a visit to mccormick place and an attempt at a pre-show peek of this year’s the inspired home‘s 2022 show. i didn’t go into the great halls however because i didn’t bring a hard hat. the photos give an idea of a very different presentation, a refreshing new experience.
the global innovation awards (gia) program was launched in january 2000 with the goal of recognizing and honoring excellence in home and housewares retailing on a global scale. in the 20 years since its inception, the gia program has expanded to recognize innovation in four different facets of home and housewares excellence: retail excellence, product design, booth design, and student design. the photo below may be the display case build-out where the winners will reside. in 2022 over 250 entries were viewed by 20 judges to select the 2022 gia awards winners:
discover design is seven years old in 2022 and is a destination of more than 100 design-centric exhibitors from around the world. the confines includes the discover design gallery – the photo below may be the display case build-out featuring the products submitted for the gia awards; and design debut, an incubator program within discover design, featuring new companies.
on the way out after judging and in the great concourse we find, well not really, you have to pass the pantone booth to get to the great halls or the buses. this venue is way better than their previous location in the lakeside building. here, though the architecture is a bit busy, an abundant amount of natural ambient light means a correct color presentation, a rarity seldom realized in a trade show environment.
this sunday leatrice eiseman, director of the pantone color institute will speak sunday – check your inspired home app for more details. leatrice is also the creator of the annual pantone color forecasts illustrated in the colorwatch display. color is such a vital component to good design, we recommend taking this opportunity to hear what this highly esteemed color expert has to say.
i also met this year’s student winners. this category is one of my favorite happenings and manages to showoff amazing talent and their winning effort.
below > we see the six winners and in the foreground vicki montranga. i’ve known her for over 20 years. vicki is a chicago product design historian without peer. she’s also an advisor to the chicago design archive. she conceived the student competition in 1993 and 2022 is the 29th year. i’m told there’s a box of anniversary booklets on site and one has my name on it. please do not miss this special opportunity to hear their presentations and share ideas of what does good design mean.
below > les mendelson, founder of umbra, said these student competitions are the future of design. he shared his story of his company’s history and had two of his design managers do a walk-thru of the students booth.
below > evan dash, left, founder of storebound, outlined his company’s history and design determination. dash and mendelson have both hired past winners of iha’s competition. dash hired an arizona state student who then grew the design department and manages production in china.
formerly the international home + housewares show, the inspired home show is north america’s largest housewares trade show! we connect not only buyer to seller, but also product to lifestyle and the industry to the consumer mindset. every year, more than 52,000 home and housewares professionals from more than 130 countries converge upon chicago to discover new housewares products and industry trends, meet face-to-face with executives from top retail and manufacturer brands, and gain the insights, leads and exposure to jump-start a successful year. the show is owned and operated by the international housewares association (iha), which has a rich history within the housewares industry dating back more than 80 years.
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