We are pleased to announce that Caleb Bennett (follow him on twitter @_calebbennett), WIRED senior art director, will be one of our six esteemed RDA judges. Bennett, a Texas native, is looking forward to his first time at bat selecting winning designs from the Southwest region entires. If you are a designer from the Southwest, you’ll be inspired to hear about this pro’s emotional connection to the region and why you should also be proud. He sees the RDA as an opportunity to showcase both regional and national pride alike.
Print: What are your feelings about being asked to judge the Regional Design Awards?
Bennett: It’s a huge honor and I’m very humbled to be involved in the selection process. In school and early in my career, it was something I and most around of those around me looked to not only for inspiration, but aspiration. I’ve always enjoyed taking a look at the great work people are doing all over the country and in smaller markets that I might otherwise not see. So, to have an opportunity to view more than only what gets accepted is a great privilege.
PRINT: Tell me about your connection to the region we’ve asked you to judge.
Bennett: I’m very proud of where I’m from, as most other Texans will tell you. But in a way, everyone is proud of their geographic origins. At least they should be. The regional format provides a great opportunity to show the rest of the country, and the world that you can do great work from anywhere. The Southwest has always had a strong showing and often carries a perspective or approach that I feel a strong connection to. It’s hard to ignore.
Print: What are you looking forward to most when it comes to judging this competition?
Bennett: I’m excited to see how that perspective continues to evolve and hoping to see work from old friends and former colleagues in the mix. Since leaving Texas four years ago, I don’t often get to see much of the work other than in the RDA.
PRINT: What are you not looking forward to?
Bennett: Making decisions! No, as with any competition I’m excited to see all the work but not looking forward to the tough calls.
PRINT: Have you judged a design competition before?
Bennett: I was fortunate enough to be selected as Young Gun by the Art Director’s Club in 2012 and by way of that fortunate to judge the competition last year. It was amazing and almost frightening the see amount of talent coming from such young people all over the world. The range of disciplines are astonishing, not only between different people, but that one person might bring to the table. I’m hoping to see some of that work in the RDA entries.