The jury for next year’s IDEA competition (which we feature each year in BusinessWeek) has been announced. Alistair Hamilton is chair this year. His background in mobile (at Symbol, Motorola and now at Microsoft) suggests that this medium will be in the spotlight this year, which seems about right. Lots of exciting stuff bubbling up, as everything aligns and really interesting stuff starts to be viable — and visible — in the real world.
As usual, a whole host of design bigwigs will be taking part. I was particularly taken, however, with the inclusion of Ryan Eder. Who?
Eder won Best in Show and the People's Choice award in the 2007 IDEA competition -- for a concept he produced whilst a student at the University of Cincinnati. His appearance on the panel will bring a fresh, young take which is much needed at these sorts of events, but rarely actively sought out.
I pinged Ryan to get the lowdown and to ask him how he's going to negotiate the judging process -- and how he's coping with the IDEA aftermath. Suffice it to say, he's pretty giddy with the year he's had, but also amazingly, impressively grounded. Here's Ryan:
"I was completely surprised when I got the email asking if I wanted to be a judge. Wanted?! Of course, I would love to!"
"After graduation, young designers are thrown into the professional world in which we seek acceptance and hope to find a place for ourselves. Its encouraging that IDSA is so welcoming and open. I am very grateful and appreciative of everything that has happened. I look forward to it all, and hope that I can participate in the judging process in the future."
Ryan works at Priority Designs, and gives credit to them for supporting his work to date. And what's the latest with his award-winning exercise concept? "Active interest," apparently. It'll be slow going to bring a radical idea for universal fitness to market, but that's one advantage of being young... time's on his side.