Justified Juror Comments: GE Garages
In 2013, for “Justified: AIGA Design Competition,” a distinguished jury chaired by Clement Mok selected 14 case studies that each serve as an effective tool to explain the role of designers in conceiving and implementing solutions.
Valerie Casey, founder and chief executive officer, Necessary Projects, San Francisco, California
With Sub Rosa, GE has created a powerful platform for interaction. By engaging the curious minds of consumers with the craft of skilled people within the organization, GE Garages has humanized manufacturing, excited innovative thinking and shaped a conversation where before there was only passive consumerism. Watching the video interactions and listening to the participants gave me goose bumps.
Jessica Hische, letterer and procrastiworker, Title Case, San Francisco, California
I really love this idea. While I didn’t get to experience the project in person, just reading about it and seeing the reactions that participants had to it made me wish I could time travel back to the original SXSW installation. SXSW was the perfect location to launch this, and I think GE did a brilliant job showcasing the “maker” side of the company, demonstrating that all GE products are a combination of tech and handwork.
Brad Johnson, VP, executive creative director, Second Story (now part of SapientNitro), Portland, Oregon
This is an inspiring example of design fueling design. The concept and execution delivered on inviting audiences into the world of possibility through immersive pop-up experiences that introduce the tactile tools of invention and making.
Clement Mok, design and business consultant, The Design Office of Clement Mok, San Francisco, California
Game changer. Moved the needle. Inspirational. This is a wonderful example of how design can facilitate brand stewardship without “graphic design” screaming in your face. The tactic of engaging the community with all aspects of the GE brand—communication, products and services—is commendable and should be encouraged.
Josh Rubin, founder and editor in chief, Cool Hunting, New York, New York
GE is a household name, but few consumers know much about the brand. By creating GE Garages, the company not only invites people in but also shows just how forward thinking their brand really is.
Christopher Simmons, principal and creative director, MINE™, San Francisco, California
Historically, AIGA has recognized excellence in graphic design. While many of the projects selected for this year’s “Justified” competition were chosen for their graphic excellence, GE Garages stands out for its broad interpretation of what a design engagement can be. When one examines this project from start to finish—including the initial challenge, research and insight, execution and effectiveness—it represents an ideal case study for the role design can play in connecting people and ideas.
Alina Wheeler, author, Designing Brand Identity, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Humanizing a complex global technology and innovation behemoth is a daunting task. Many of the judges had actually experienced this entry and raved about it. I wish that more corporations would demonstrate rather than declare how they are making a difference. Our everyday lives have been inextricably linked to devices that arrive in sealed boxes but have invisible parts and functions, so re-engaging with “making” educates and inspires us all.