Main Content

Sean Carney to Chair 2024 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards Judging Panel

We’re delighted Sean Carney, former Chief Design Officer & Business Leader Healthcare Transformation Services at Philips, will be Chairing the Judging Panel for the 2024 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards. Sean shares a few thoughts below on why evidencing the impact of design is important and why he’s looking forward to chairing the awards. 

Let's not be shy of clearly stating the value we, as a design profession, bring to the table.

Sean Carney, Design Effectiveness Awards Chair of the Judges

“In the course of the last year we’ve seen the design industry come under more pressure than we’ve seen for many years. As the economic headwinds grew and companies looked to cut costs, we’ve seen projects put on hold and for the first time in many years the industry retracted. Whilst I recognise the need to manage costs as sales fall, it’s inevitable overheads will have to be trimmed down. But cutting future product development and innovation spending is a short term gain and a longer term problem. 

As companies seek out efficiency gains and look for opportunities to standardise, it’s easy to see why design systems and AI are seen as potential saviours. But this is where we need to exercise caution and ensure we integrate and leverage AI as an augmentation of the creative process and not a replacement. As with any process, set of tools or indeed system, it’s ultimately only as good as the people who are involved. 

Of course design is only a part of the new product development and innovation process. But let’s not be shy of clearly stating the value we, as a design profession, bring to the table. Now more than ever we need the passion, the empathy and ultimately the creativity that good design(ers) will always bring. Let’s continue to build the case for design by celebrating diversity and nurturing creativity, to build better solutions that deliver better outcomes for people and businesses.”

Demonstrating design's benefits to society, the economy and the environment.

“It’s an incredible privilege to be a part of the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards’ judging team. The panel of judges are all at the top of their games and come with a broad variety of experiences from a diverse set of industries.

I’m looking forward to some robust discussions as we review and challenge the entries to ensure they clearly demonstrate the true impact that design has had. And as more businesses and brands strive to be known as being purpose led, I’m looking forward to seeing more entries where design can clearly demonstrate its benefits to society, the broader economy or the environment. 

I’m hoping we’ll see many inspiring cases where design has helped deepen understanding of human behaviours and how to drive the change needed in delivering more sustainable and equitable solutions for society. But more than anything else I’m looking forward to learning more and being inspired by a dazzling display of creativity and design talent that has clearly delivered an impact.” 

Evidencing design's impact is a powerful asset for designers and design leaders.

“I love the fact the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are far more than the usual celebration of good design. Entrants need to demonstrate impact and have evidence to show they achieved, or surpassed the intended goal. This can be an incredibly powerful asset for designers and design leaders who so often struggle to demonstrate the value of design to their counterparts in a business. I’ve had the privilege of judging a number of international design awards and what really sets the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards apart from others is this focus on demonstrating impact, through good design.

Behind every one of the winning entries are effective collaborations between businesses and designers; teams who have gone the extra mile to ensure they’ve understood the target user or audience. They’ve equally paid attention to the commercial realities of costs, as they’ve made informed choices and trade offs. It’s also evident that great design can only happen when you have frictionless collaboration across all parts of the business, from concept through to launch. The DBA Design Effectiveness Award winners clearly demonstrate why it makes good business sense to enable and support designers to do their best work.” 

About: Sean Carney

Sean is an Internationally recognised thought leader in Brand and Design, advocating user Insight and Creative Foresight strategies while delivering results through focused Innovation. He served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Design Officer for Philips, and has held Global Design & Innovation leadership positions with Hewlett Packard, Assa Abloy and Electrolux. 

Sean has been the recipient of numerous design awards and most recently he and his team were awarded the coveted Red Dot Design Team of the Year award. He is a Co-founder and serves on the board of Design for Good, a Non-profit which brings together thousands of designers each year to create solutions that address the needs of those members of society most in need.


We use cookies to help improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our use of cookies.