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And the Creativity Oscar Goes To... Vol. 22 No. 12 December 2013

We've all seen the logo - a colourful, fat and funky city moat - on t-shirts, stickers or as a sponsor of one creative event or another. But even after having written about Chiang Mai Creative City (CMCC) a few times in Citylife, and in spite of its huge following on Facebook and solid brand recognition, many people still scratch their heads over what exactly it is.
Simply put, it is an initiative comprised of a loose network of academics, businesses and government organisations which aims to develop and promote Chiang Mai so that it can become an internationally recognised city of creativity and innovation.
The Annual Chiang Mai Design Awards (CDA) by CMCC, now in its third year, is organised to encourage innovation and creativity across a range of design categories.  Launched during the Nimmanhaemin Art and Design Promenade in December 2011, the CDA's objective is to recognise, promote and celebrate Chiang Mai creativity in exciting new ways.
The benefits for award winners range from large-scale recognition to support for the development of their projects. This support comes in the form of design, development and export offered by numerous organisations including the Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC), Department of Export Promotion (DEP), Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA). The winning designs are also displayed in exhibitions in Chiang Mai and Bangkok.
I met up with "Mr. Network" himself, Senior Advisor and Judge Martin Venzky-Stalling, at his office at Chiang Mai University to learn more.
"We are a voluntary formed network," he told me. "We want to bring artists together to contribute to Chiang Mai's art and design. We want to promote Chiang Mai in a new light, promote designers, promote websites, and promote different designs and products."
The selection process involves several rounds of discussion, analysis and voting by creative experts from both the public and private sectors. Judges look for entries that demonstrate originality, market appeal, uniqueness, and commercial acumen. The CDA specifies that designs should have a contemporary touch, not just pure arts and crafts.
"Our judges come from all walks of life," Venzky-Stalling said. "Some even from a non-design background, hence we have some serious discussions because everybody has a different definition of design."
Currently, there are four categories: Architecture and Interior, Crafts and Furniture, Printed and New Media and Packaging. The only rule to submit a design for the awards is that it must have been designed, produced and sold in Chiang Mai.
Venzky-Stalling hopes to expand the awards in future years, to keep pace with Chiang Mai's own expansion as a city. "We want to add some more categories," he said. "You see so many shopping malls in Chiang Mai. We are looking to add a retail design category next year. This will focus on shop designs, window displays and shop and mall interiors."
Now that this year's awards have been handed out in a posh ceremony to beaming recipients, CDA is already beginning to look for 2014's creativity. So, if you admire a particularly creative piece of design, or have even produced one yourself, visit the Facebook page CDA2013, or the website www.creativechiangmai.com/en/ida to submit it.
by Pooja Kothari
And the Creativity Oscar Goes To...      Holiday Events Listing
l  Review  l
   Review 1:
The reason we added packaging this year and hope to add merchandising display and retail design in 2014 are that we see many great products that are not well packaged or displayed. This is particularly the case with many craft businesses, but also other sectors (food packaging, for example). We are unlikely to include the interior design of malls. The opening of the many malls in Chiang Mai is a separate issue. We are not saying it is good or bad, we are just saying that there will be more shops designs to consider. We hope that well designed *independent* shops (not part of large chains) inside the malls can also be inspirations to shops outside of malls - be they in the old city center, Nimman, Baan Tawai, or anywhere. We will open the process for application or nomination for the CDA 2014 in early 2014. As the article correctly states, Chiang Mai Creative City (CMCC) is a voluntary network and initiative with over 40 members coordinated by its secretariat, the Chiang Mai University Science
From: Martin Venzky-Stalling    [ 13 December 2013 13:48:04 ]
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