JANUS 2016: major trends in design and innovation

On 22 November 2016, the 62nd JANUS label award ceremony of the French Institute of Design was held. 64 companies were awarded this label, which recognises the "5Es": Economy, Ergonomics, Aesthetics, Ethics and Emotion, under the chairmanship and in the presence of Matthias Fekl, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad. This ceremony was preceded by a press conference analysing and deciphering the major design trends for 2016, the place of design in the company and its promotion. Report.
En the run-up to the ceremony, a speech was given to analyse the major trends in design and innovation perceived during the year 2015-2016 during the fifteen different sessions of the JANUS, which gave rise to a real reflection on the place of design in any company.
Chaired by Anne-Marie Sargueil, from the Institut Français du Design, this conference gave the floor to four eminent members of the JANUS labels jury: Anne-Frédérique Gautier, Marketing & Brands Director, ARISTON THERMO Group / Mathieu Riou-Chapman, Global Brand Design Manager, PEUGEOT / Jacques Mandorla, Publicist / Michel Levron, journalist specialized in construction.
"Design is an economic investment that has a strong impact on people's lives." introduced Anne-Marie Sargueil "when it is everyday and embodied, it is the best answer to societal questions".
 The first trend that stands out this year is the notion of non-client, identified by the majority of winners. The non-client is the one who is respected, considered and who broadens the notion of stakeholders in terms of usage.
 All brands are looking for a plebiscite "
"All brands are looking for a plebiscite for their product, their store, or their service."recalls Mathieu Riou-Chapman.
- Generate a strong identity immediately perceptible to their customers,
- Generate values around this identity.
This is the primary function of the design. Depending on the market, one can look for an archetypal expression that is in line with the expectations of the greatest number of people (quantity research linked to the mass market). For other distinctive offers, it is the qualitative resonance with the aspirations of the identified targets that prevails. (premiumness).
The essence of relationship design is to conceive and formalize an aesthetic strategy to make clients adhere to its model, which is an emotional equation. Beyond the product, the service, it is this coherence that seduces customers. »
Design is the backbone of innovation in business."
For Anne-Frédérique GautierDesign is the backbone of innovation in business, more than the product or service itself. Design is about posing a problem, associating it with an inspiration and turning it into something that will produce a result that will be Ergonomic, Aesthetic, Emotional, Ethical, Economic, the "5Es". This is what makes the heart of companies beat and ensures them a form of sustainability. »
"A company is there to produce, propose services, offers and solutions that will feed our daily life. Design is at the heart of this daily life, it brings it to life and takes it further". continues Anne-Frédérique Gautier. "Innovation will enable the company to differentiate itself, which is its value, but also to lead it towards managerial and behavioural innovation. Investing in design means leading the people in the company towards a more open way of working, which goes beyond the product. "In the company, the strength of design is visible in commercial success. »
JANUS is not a prize, it's a label."


Jacques Mandorla goes back over the criteria for obtaining the JANUS label and the course of the sessions. "The JANUS isn't a prize, it's a label. It is awarded, or not, according to precise criteria and requires a large majority of votes to be awarded, which gives it the value of a seal of approval"
"For JANUS winners, it is essential to communicate ERGONOMICS - AESTHETICS - EMOTION - ETHICS - ECONOMICS The "5 E's", prerequisites for the award of the label The award criteria are common to all JANUS categories. These criteria concern both the process of developing the product or service and the result. 60 years after being defined by Jacques Viénot, founder of the Institut d'Esthétique Industrielle, this conviction, renamed the "5 E's", still dictates the jury's selection. The jury's selection is based on this label, both internally - via the jury's verbatim reports - and externally via press relations or advertising, in order to ensure its relevance and to reap the benefits. This label is not created by designers for designers, it unites companies, from the giants of the CAC 40 to creators and start-ups, including many SMEs, and thus delivers a number of unsuspected creations". adds Jacques Mandorla.
"The jury sees all the products"
Michel Levron makes this clear from the outset: "I knew nothing about design. And I found it exciting. The strength of this jury is precisely its multidisciplinarity. It brings a listening ear that can be felt in the questions asked and in the profiles that are mutually enriching. The jury sees all the products, which is essential, and also meets the project owner and project manager. The duo must imperatively come together to present their product, store or service and this is how the subtle workings between the two entities are felt. I think I'm beginning to understand what design is all about". concludes Michel Levron. The JANUS jury is composed of 63 members who meet several times a year. It includes industrialists, distribution managers, designers, architects, school directors, journalists and communicators. The JANUS juries are chaired by two presidents: Claude de Méneval (for product) and Éric Ranjard (for trade). "It's about sharing knowledge but also about meeting new people. "Pauline Polgar, journalist and jury member.
Ecology at the heart of this selection "
Anne-Marie Sargueil insists on the fact that for this 2015-2016 prize list, the winners have proposed extremely technical, often connected products with a strong environmental component and ecological materials.
For Anne-Frédérique Gautier, the JANUS label has been able to create a common denominator "a virtuous and enthusiastic circle that it knows how to make grow and last".
Mathieu Riou-Chapman confirms a transversal conception of the creations: the notion of "phygital" in the laureates, that is to say "a relationship to spaces or objects where forms, materials, functions are coupled with an experience, digital. This notion is now present in all points of sale, to ensure an experience of image value, without any break in the chain of discovery from the screen to the point of sale. Architecture then becomes a media where physical spaces blend with the virtuality of motion-design".
Jacques Mandorla notes that a third of the winners of this edition presented a project integrating digital - including a number of connected objects. "Design is not meant to become entirely virtual." assures Mathieu Riou-Chapman "he goes through a lot of material identity. "The more virtual there is, the more consumers want a strong experience through simple or extremely sophisticated things (lights, comfort...). Design is an expertise in perceived quality, thanks to the most relevant choices that allow to emerge in a competitive economic sector. With the constraints, the designer must find identification levers that create value. »
According to Anne-Frédérique Gautier, whether the designer is external (agency, personality) or integrated, his role is to "take ownership of the problem and understand the company's desire. "The company, for its part, must "open up to a way of working, of treating a solution differently from what it is used to doing. Risk-taking is mutual. »
Anne-Marie Sargueil observes that the two entities appropriate each other's language and culture.. "During the JANUS jury sessions, we see all the designers' profiles and we see that they all have one thing in common: they are extremely professional people. You have to trust them and invest in them. »
What is French design today? "Design is relevance in the market"
Mathieu Riou-Chapman deciphers the question. "French design is made up of many heterogeneous actors. There are two main categories of design: agency design, which develops the brands' own aesthetics, and the design of stars (or starlets for some), which generates a specific writing style and which the brands appropriate or not. The French question lies in a strong culture of decoration, the French tend to confuse design and decoration. And France, with its strong anchorage in fashion, loves the culture of the name, of creative genius. So for the company, the question arises as to whether to call upon names that are very well known in the world of design, bringing them their stylistic identity and relative notoriety, or whether to call upon an agency whose mission is to distil the codes and values formulated by the company itself. Nevertheless, the design of excellence will always be precisely the relevance of aesthetic codes adapted to their markets. »
"In international companies, we like design because we know it is a vector of sustainability and economic success." assures Anne-Frédérique Gautier.
"France represents elegance, quality of design and a stylised approach (sometimes too much), French design has a real identity. But French designers are not linked to a French image. »
According to Mathieu Riou-Chapman, "The major French agencies have an ever-increasing turnover on the international market. French designers are recognized for the quality of their strategic choices. This is a real future for French agencies. »
How can French design be enhanced when a product is not made in France? For Mathieu Riou-Chapman, design creates intangible value, which may be difficult to quantify, but which is the greatest value of the major B to C brands. In this search for efficiency, French design is recognised, so following the example of Made in France, we could also promote Conçu en France or "Designed in France".
Today, many brands still invest more in advertising (short sugars) than in design (slow sugars). However, the biggest brands have demonstrated the performance of an inverted balance where their aesthetic identity fully constitutes their communication. It is above all the transversal design of their products, their points of sale, their packaging and their advertising that makes the brand's coherence and strength. (Cf. Apple).
"It's always difficult at the beginning with a new idea because no one is waiting for it and it disturbs what exists." Anne-Marie Sargueil
 "Design is a recognised approach, and the criteria for purchasing have changed a lot over the last ten years. A product made by a designer has everything to seduce the consumer and meet the expectations of companies. " concludes Anne-Frédérique Gautier.

List of 62nd Janus recipients : Marc Aurel, AUREL URBAN DESIGN Christophe Blin, IN SPIRIT Michaël Boumendil, SIXTH SOUND James Cole, DA DESIGNERS ASSOCIÉS Vincent Créance, MBD DESIGN Eric Denis, EDDS Alain Doré, BRANDIMAGE François Dumoulin, L'AGENCE VERSIONS Chafik Gasmi, CHAFIK STUDIO Stéphane Jardin, INTANGIBLES Luc Joubert, ONE BUY ONE Patrick Jouin, PATRICK JOUIN Xavier Laforge, STORIES DESIGN Jean-Pierre Lefèvre and François Hannebicque, AKDV Daniel Lellouche, WORKSHOP Hubert de Malherbe, MALHERBE DESIGN Philippe de Mareilhac, MARKET VALUE Stéphane Mathieu, Agence STÉPHANE MATHIEU Frédéric Messian, LONSDALE Françoise Novel, CBA Christophe Pradère, BETC DESIGN Stéphane Quigna, ARTE CHARPENTIER Oliver Rasquinet, MINALE DESIGN STRATEGY Mathieu Riou-Chapman, (integrated design, juror JANUS), PEUGEOT Olivier Saguez, SAGUEZ & PARTNERS And Anne-Marie Sargueil, INSTITUT FRANÇAIS DU DESIGN, for her contribution to the promotion of design in France.

64 labels awarded in the fields of Industry, Health, City, Living Space, Components and Materials, Service, Fashion and Trade - 16 special mentions from the jury - 26 Foreign Trade medals awarded - 400 people present.

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