Regional Design Annual 2015: East

RDA_2016_0205_468The Regional Design Annual is America’s preeminent design competition. View the winners of the 2015 RDA from the East below, or enter the 2016 RDA.

E (1)A sense of bravado, fun and authenticity—these are all things judge Stephen Doyle can promise you’ll find as you fl ip through his RDA picks for the East. “My selections for inclusion in this year’s competition showcase work that I thought was clear and vivid, confident and exuberant. What I responded to was the sight of one original (or almost original) idea executed well over a range of materials or spaces,” Doyle says. He also can tell you what you’ll find very little of.

“The bewhiskered, plaid-shirted, bootwearing and camo-bag–carrying trend to watch out for is ye olde Victorian-ornamented, chalk-boarded, drop-shadowed, in-line–shaded whiskey bottle wedding invitation remix, which, while heartwarming if taken with a neat shot, has to be executed in a most extraordinary and surprising way if it’s going to win its way to the top of my competition heap.”

In an age where everyone is exposed to more design work than ever through a simple “pin” or “like,” Doyle fears the result “is a deficit of original voices and new tales,” as it “creates a community of designers who are exceptionally good at retelling stories.” This emergence of a common design language is something he takes note of with part fascination and horrifi cation each time he judges a design competition. “Good enough is no longer enough,” Doyle says.

So what you’ll find in the pages to come is work that exemplifies originality and brilliant execution. And as you seek your own inspiration, Doyle leaves you with these parting words: “Take heart, designers, there is work that is worthy of emulating, though not, I remind you, imitating.”

Regional Design Annual Winners from the East