It is your response to winning or losing that makes you a winner or loser. Every award or competition will always have more winners than entries. This is so by design and this is what makes winning meaningful. This also raises the bar. Every year we see better work and presentations – more attention is paid to images and language. This was the main reason we started bringing out a dedicated winners’ issue. We also decided on a hardbound book format that can be retained as reference material. These books get read by many more people than an average DesignIndia issue.
Winners always respond in extreme ways – either a very confident “We knew we would win” or a disbelieving but ecstatic “We didn’t think we could win!”
However, as editor and host of the awards, it is the loser’s response that makes me very emotional. Most people take the loss very graciously, even elegantly. Most are determined to get it right next time – an amazingly perfect reaction that makes me feel very good. I really admire people who keep trying despite losing several times. When they win, it is clear that they have used their loss to their advantage. Then there are some who get sad when they lose and message me to say that they will never participate in any awards again. I always tell them that losing should never be taken as a judgment on their worth as a designer. I also get my share of abuses from some, words about how biased the Jury was or how the purpose of the awards is to make money from entries, and how they will not enter these awards ever again…
I really want every entry to win – that is why these awards are noncompetitive. That means each project or studio is judged on its own merit. This makes it possible to have multiple winners. Each project is judged by a Jury that has a domain expert, a non-design domain member, and three other designer members. The panel always comprises an odd number so the decision is always clear.
Losing needs to drive you to do better and move ahead – not the other way around. It is a stepping stone to winning.