UQAM exhibit tackles intelligent packaging

Say goodbye to packaging that is bulky, superfluous, non-recyclable, illegible, and unopenable. That is the ethos of PACKPLAY at the UQAM Centre de Design, which celebrates user-centred packaging. Organized by Sylvain Allard, professor at the UQAM School of Design, this exhibition offers a current approach to packaging that puts users and their needs at the centre of the design process. PACKPLAY presents ingenious projects, submitted by nine North American and European universities.

At the intersection of graphic design, environmental design and industrial design, successful packaging design must take six facets of user needs into account. It must be responsible, practical, functional, seductive, informative and dynamic.

PACKPLAY brings together the best projects from universities studying and teaching this approach to packaging design. “A good package is more than just a functional box labelled with a brand”, says Professor Sylvain Allard. “Putting users at the centre of the design process entails understanding their expectations and assessing whether the packaging adequately responds to them.”

Unfortunately, in reality, industrial constraints, such as cost and ease of production, often take precedence when the time comes to produce a package. The vision of the PACKPLAY project explores the possibilities for improvement in this growing design field. The quality projects by Professor Allard’s students frequently appear alongside professional packaging in specialized publications (e.g. The Art of Package Design, Sandu Publishing; Boxed and Labelled Two, by Sylvain Allard, Gestalten Publishing; and Ecological Selection Packaging, Monsa Publishing), in addition to winning prizes on the international stage (e.g. the grand prize and several other prizes and mentions in the Young Package competition in the Czech Republic from 2006 to 2011; the Pentawards BIC Prize 2013, won by Simon Laliberté; and the Gaïa Awards 2013 Netpak Student Award, won by Sophie Pépin).

Competition and Publication
An international jury of 27 judges, composed of two people from each participating school and nine design professionals, will present the best packaging design projects with three awards, ranging in value from $1,000 to $1,500, and nine mentions. A comprehensive publication presenting all the packaging projects in the exhibition, as well as the creative process behind them, will be available for purchase at the venue.

Participating Universities
ECV Atlantique (France)

FIT New York (United States)

HTW Berlin (Germany)

LUAS Institute of Design (Finland)

Nackademin (Sweden)

Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

Strate (France)

Université de Montréal (Canada)

Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)