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The rapidly evolving field of design is particularly invested in and successful at recognizing remarkable student work through a variety of annual competitions. Every year, the students in the York University/Sheridan College Joint Program in Design (YSDN) make an impressive showing on the national and international awards circuit.
Competition is especially fierce for the prestigious international Adobe Design Achievement Awards (ADAA). Once again, YSDN has a finalist in the packaging category. Fourth-year student Meghan Bacso’s innovative Ecobottoms Cloth Diapers project embraces sustainability with a design that is both progressive and nostalgic.
YSDN student Meghan Bacso’s innovative Ecobottoms Cloth Diapers packaging design is a finalist for the Adobe Design Achievement Awards
Bacso’s fictional line of cloth diapers, inserts and cotton wipes comes in unbleached cardboard boxes styled like giant alphabet blocks. After the diaper product is removed, a flap inside the box covers the display window to create a building block elegant enough to be used for decorative purposes, yet durable enough for child’s play. The block can even be personalized with a photo, as the converted display window acts as a picture frame. The designer’s concept encourages brand loyalty, as consumers will want to collect more boxes to expand their set of blocks.
If Basco wins over the other two finalists for packaging design, YSDN will have swept the category for four consecutive years (Rochelle Roger’s Kreature Clips entry won in 2012, Man Wai Wong’s Tissue Box won in 2011 and Linna Xu’s Ilford Film won in 2010). Never before in the history of the awards has one school dominated a category so consistently.
The stakes are high. The first prize comprises a US$2,000 cash award along with a certificate, a 3-D award, a 24-month membership for Adobe® Creative Cloud education version software and a one-year mentorship with a design leader. The winner will be announced on the ADAA website in December.
YSDN student Michelle Hyemin Lee and her teammates Kevin Ng and Tina Chen received an honorable mention in the ADAA finals round for information design for their group project Platter. Incorporating motion graphics and user interface/user experience design, Platter is an online community that connects people by creating a local marketplace for goods and services.
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YSDN students Michelle Hyemin Lee, Kevin Ng and Tina Chen received an honorable mention in the Adobe Design Achievement Awards for Platter in the information design category
YSDN had 60 students among the 813 ADAA semifinalists – more than any other school in the world, almost quadruple the number of any other Canadian design school and 25 per cent more than all other Canadian schools combined. An impressive number of YSDN semifinalists were also nominated in more than one category and for projects spanning more than one discipline, making YSDN’s showing even more significant.
This trend of multiple awards continues with the 2013 Applied Arts Magazine student competition. Graduate student I-Ying (Annie) Chen from York’s Master of Design program won three prizes, as did YSDN student Teresa Man. Her fellow undergrads Nora Leca and Conrad Shen each picked up two awards, and Jake Blakeley, Tiffany Chan, Jessica Ho, Jiani Lu, Hyojung Julia Seo, Conrad Shen, Michelle Wu and Lucas Young won one each, bringing the tally to 18 and ranking York among the most awarded schools.
The Applied Arts Magazine competition is open to students at design schools across North America. Entries are judged on creative merit, technical excellence and suitability for end use by an international panel of industry professionals. The winning works will be celebrated at a gala alongside the professional Applied Arts Creative Excellence awards on Nov. 28 at the Berkeley Street Church in Toronto.
YSDN students netted three awards in the 2013 Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD) student competition. Heather Wimmi received the regional Forge Design Award for GTA and Jiani Lu and Erica Yasuda received the q30 Design Award for branding and the Entro Award for information design, both specialty-based, province-wide awards. There were also 10 YSDN honorable mentions and one from York’s MDes program.
The competition was juried by 50 award-winning designers from across Ontario. Winners each received $1,000 and their work being highlighted on the RGD website.
MDes student I-Ying (Annie) Chen’s winning editorial design Escape
RGD is also behind the So(cial) Good Design Awards, open to student and professional designers around the world. The competition invites submissions of graphic design projects on the theme of communication design for social good – work with the power to incite action and make meaningful change in the way we live our lives.
Four YSDN projects received recognition: Jessica Baratta’s A Cup of Reality, Heather Goulter’s Drink. Drive, Marissa Korda’s Teens Need Better Sex Ed and Kaitlyn Pannunzio’s Flat Packed Sustainable Birdhouse. Graduate student Jillian Ditner won for two of her projects: Visualizing Bird Migration and Seed Saving Info Wheel.
The winning works were recognized at the DesignThinkers ’13 conference held Nov. 6 and 7 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and will be featured in a printed catalogue and free iPad app.