Previous winners share their PIDA experiences and their views on this year’s brief
What are they doing today, the previous PIDA contestants? What is their opinion about the 2017 brief? And how did they themselves benefit from the competition? We had a chat with winners Jonatan Scherer, Packaging Brand Expert at Beiersdorf and Elvira Claesson, Designer at Designkontoret Silver who shared their experiences and observations.
Jonatan Scherer has participated in PIDA four times and won on several occasions. In 2008 he took home the second prize with “Alpenglühen” (Cheese Fondue Packaging) and in 2009 he won the second prize with two other students with the project “Schokoladen-Tangram” (a chocolate puzzle). Today he is a “Packaging Brand Expert” at Beiersdorf. Read the interview to learn what that means and what he got from PIDA.
Hi Jonatan, what do you do as a “Packaging Brand Expert”?
– I am responsible for all packaging related tasks and activities within product development projects and relaunch projects for our pharmacy brands (e.g. Eucerin). There is also a lot of support from other colleagues in the Packaging Department. We are a very big and diverse team of engineers, chemists and designers who work closely together.
There are so many examples within PIDA of how creative and open-minded students find solutions that are really new and ‘outside the box’. There is so much inspiration!
What are your key take-aways from PIDA?
–It was a great opportunity to let the creativity flow but at the same time to get acquainted with the interdependencies between a briefing for a certain task, technological challenges and holistic concept creation.
What are your thoughts about this year’s brief " Challenge the conventional”?
– Sustainability is not just a buzz word. It really matters. To reduce material and optimize processes is one thing. But if you really want to make a difference you have to challenge the conventional. That’s why I really like the brief! Also, it is not only about the most environmentally friendly solution of a product packaging, but it is more about the whole concept and storytelling. What impulse does a product concept deliver to the customer? How might it influence his or her specific way of consuming?
Another former PIDA contestant we had the opportunity to talk to is Elvira Claesson, Designer at Designkontoret Silver. She participated in PIDA in 2010, when the challenge was to create packaging with a potential second life. Together with four fellow students she designed a pack for neckties – a brilliant pack that transformed into a nifty hanger for the necktie. The concept won second prize at PIDA 2010.
Hello Elvira, what do you remember from PIDA?
- What I remember best is the cooperation in the team and how we learnt to work towards a common goal – to win the competition! The fact that it was a competition with fine prizes made it all more fun.
It’ll be exciting to see how different students interpret the assignment and what solutions they will come up with.
What kind of work do you do today?
- I work as a designer at Designkontoret Silver, we are a strategic brand and design agency. A huge part of our day-to-day work consists of assignments that involve packaging design.
What does PIDA mean to the industry?
- PIDA is an opportunity for any company that needs packaging to discover smart solutions to exciting challenges – but also to check out talents on their way out onto the job market.
What are your views on this year’s brief?
- It’s typical for our times to challenge old-school thinking and old solutions to the demands and requirements of packaging. To not take anything for granted, but dare to challenge and question. In this line of work we have to keep doing just that all the time. That’s why I think this is a good exercise for students on their way to their first jobs. And the environmental aspect is of course a good thing because it is an everyday issue for us who work with packaging.