D&AD Sharp’ner — You The Jury

Last Thursday, I was down in that London to speak at a D&AD Student Awards Sharp’ner session at the Vibe Bar on Brick Lane.

I’d been invited, as last year I was the Foreman on two Student Award Briefs, Interactive Design and Microsite Design, which was a fantastic experience. D&AD invited judges from both Professional and Student awards to the evening to help students understand what we are looking for when we score and assess all the work in front of us, in such a short time.

There was some great insight from Steve and Clem about what makes a great piece of award winning work, and I found Paul West from Form to be a great speaker, who shared his gut feeling belief about a good design and advocated being challenging, to give the judges something to think about.

During this time, about eight students had been selected to disappear into a private area and run through a mock judging session on the Nokia Interactive Design brief…

Next up on stage was Paul Kemp-Robertson from Contagious and myself. I’m not going to lie to you, I can hardly remember anything Paul or myself said, so I’m looking forward to the D&AD video that’ll be online shortly, to see what the hell I was going on about! I chose a piece of winning work from the Microsite Brief, the BBC iPlayer backed one, and spoke about why it appealed to me, and us judges as a group, and we tried to convey some of the atmosphere that happens when judging is in progress on the big day.

The student judges then came out, and revealed their judgement for the Nokia brief. At this point, Paul and I were getting a little concerned about remembering all the reasons we selected some work and knocked some back, arguing the toss and backing up our groups choices, should our winner not be picked. Fortunately, the students chose this piece by Matt Turnbull as their unanimous winner, just like our group of Judges did. Phew!

Matt Turnbull was also at the event, and got up to say a bit about how his life has changed thanks to winning the award and a six month internship at Nokia. An absolutely brilliant chance, Matt seems to be on his feet and enjoying himself.

Afterwards, a few students said hello and thanks, and pressed a few questions, which is always great, then it was off to Jack The Ripper’s pub, The Ten Bells for some beers with the D&AD crew.