Matilda Flºdmark, Maryam Fanni and Sara Kaaman

The Name of the Game

In this talk we will present findings and preliminary outcomes of the project “The Name of the Game”. “The Name of the Game” is an investigation into the design competition format – the currently dominating forum for gathering and presenting graphic design and its practitioners. Design competitions and awards function as a “seal of quality” towards public and clients, but on what terms? The study “The Name of the Game” investigate competitions as meeting places. Who participate in and benefit from competitions? What kind of work is promoted? Are there other ways to meet? How are design competitions deepening and expanding the graphic design discourse?

We wish to talk about how competition organizers – consciously or unconsciously – create standards for the type of design that is judged, and how the desire to compete could be related to for example class and gender. “The Name of the Game” aims to discuss competitions as an occupational health and safety issue by documenting how the well-being of designers relates to the podium. Which bodies and experiences are allowed to be “successful”?

By looking closely at design competitions, we wish to bring up questions about professionalism vs. amateurism, design vs. crafts, and competition in relation to quality.

Matilda Flodmark, Sara Kaaman and Maryam Fanni – all practising graphic designers – are a collective working with writing, teaching and research with a desire to expand the field of design critique and explore the relationships between word, image and society.