The inner workings of our research studio

September 21, 2009 | Jess Sand  |  Share
We got the good word this weekend that Re-nourish placed third in AIGA's (re)designAwards competition, which recognizes "those designers whose work best represents an environmentally and socially sustainable approach in every element of their professional lives." We're obviously extremely excited to be recognized for our efforts - especially among such an impressive roster of winners - yet the three of us (myself, Eric Benson and Yvette Perullo) have found ourselves wondering aloud about the real implications of such an award.

I've always been on the fence about awards competitions - I've never entered any of Roughstock's work in one because I feel like I should be able to derive confidence in my work based on my own values, beliefs, and opinions rather than a judge's. And I know I'm not the only designer who thinks these competitions tend to lie somewhere between a beauty pageant and a popularity contest.

And while all three of us readily admit to feeling the occasional yearning for a pat on the back, we haven't put in hundreds of unpaid hours into this site to rack up compliments or awards - we've done it to make genuinely useful sustainability information accessible to all. Let me say that again: this information should be accessible. To everyone. But it's a huge undertaking, and it's hard. So to really make Re-nourish work, we need to use every decent tool we can to expose more people to our message.

This is why we've embraced entering Re-nourish in competitions. The truth - calculated as it may be - is that it gives us leverage. That, to me, is the most important thing if we want to put this information into the hands of designers everywhere. In other words, entering these competitions is not a way to prove ourselves (our user statistics and ultimate influence must do that for us), but as a strategy to increase our exposure and build credibility within our target audiences.

And yes, it does feel pretty good to get that pat on the back, too.

It should go without saying but I'll say it anyway: we're hugely grateful to our support team of developers and contributors for all their hard work on Re-nourish. This win belongs to them, too.

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About the Blog
The Re-nourish Blog is a showcase of our work and research, and serves as a place to explore what's going on in the world of sustainable design. Here, you'll see what we're working on in our studio, and learn about what other sustainable designers are doing.


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