DECODE Montréal - Serge Côté, Winner of the UNESCO Cities of Design CODE International Competition
Designers were invited to define the visual identity of a UNESCO City of Design, expressing each city's most distinctive aspects. Submissions were judged based on the originality and creativity of the concept, relying on solid principles of design, relevance and connection with the competition's theme, as well as the possibility of adaptation in whole or in part to other applications, formats or merchandise.
Promoting Montréal design internationally"The CODE competition is a tangible achievement that fits in with the Action Plan 2007–2017 Montréal, Cultural Metropolis, aimed at reinforcing Montréal's status as a UNESCO City of Design," said Christine St-Pierre, Québec Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women.
For his part, Laurent Lessard, Québec Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy, noted: "Montréal is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, alongside major cities such as Berlin, Buenos Aires and Kobe. Our government is proud to support creative activities that strengthen the local and international networking of Montréal design and that promote the city's influence."
Raymond Bachand, Québec Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the Montréal Region, added: "The CODE Montréal competition is an ideal occasion for local designers to express their vision of the urban landscape and to define their perception of the city, its personality and its identity, and then to measure their work against that of designers from other UNESCO creative cities, thereby playing a role in promoting Montréal on the international design scene."
Helen Fotopulos, City of Montréal Executive Committee Member responsible for Culture, Heritage and Design, stated: "This initial joint initiative has led not only to the forging of stronger links with the other UNESCO Cities of Design and for our expertise in organizing competitions to be applied for the benefit of this Network, but also helped Montréal designers to obtain outstanding visibility at the international level."
And Manon Barbe, Chair of the Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal, commented: "Montréal's creative community must be able to constantly renew itself and flourish worldwide." She add that the body of elected officials she heads "is pleased to support this competition, which provides a fine opportunity to stimulate our designers' creativity and to discover through them Montréal's unique characteristics."
Serge Côté, graphic designer, winner of the CODE Montréal competition.Singled out for its quality of execution, his work expresses the individuality, dynamism and free spirit of Montréal's cultural life, resulting from the symbiosis of the French- and English-speaking cultures. Mr. Côté describes Montréal as a city of contrasts, both American and European, synchronized with the seasons that influence our way of life. Drawing inspiration from water to illustrate what he is articulating, Mr. Côté explains his concept this way:
"This fluid and constantly moving ferment is the results of two opposites meeting to form a whole. The blue and the red blend with one another, without ever losing their tonality. In it can be seen the letters forming the name Montréal. The T is in the shape of a cross. This either represents Mount Royal, or simply the street intersections where east meets west on Saint-Laurent Boulevard."
Above: Serge Côté with his winning poster. Photo: Ville de Montréal
About the CODE Montréal competitionThe competition aroused great interest among creators, and a total of 807 posters were received from the seven participating cities, 87 of them eligible for the Montréal competition.
This project, organized by the Design Montréal office of the City of Montréal, is co-ordinated by Melinda Pap of Atelier Punkt and is part of the Building Montréal UNESCO City of Design initiative. The idea for the competition originated with Montréal agency Sid Lee, which, inspired by the theme "Montréal, UNESCO City of Design," designed and produced a series of posters celebrating that designation in 2006. At the urging of Sid Lee, Create Berlin organized a similar project in 2009, on which the current competition is largely based.
The finalists in the CODE Montréal competition are:
- Julie Bisson, graphic designer
- Alexis Coutu-Marion, graphic designer
- Maxime David, graphic designer
- Christine Demarbre, graphic designer
- Sophie Pépin, graphic design student
- Josiane Poirier, visual artist
- Jean-François Proulx, artistic director and graphic designer
- Jolin M. St-Onge, graphic designer
- Raphaël Daudelin, associate graphic designer, Studio FEED
- Matthieu Dugal, host, Tout le monde s'en fout, Canal Vox
- Hélène Godin, creative director and Partner, Sid Lee
- Masaaki Hiromura, graphic designer, creative director and professor, Faculty of Design, Tokyo Polytechnic University
- Philippe Lamarre, graphic designer, co-founder of Toxa and Urbania, president, Société des designers graphiques du Québec
International tourThe 10 posters in the CODE Montréal competition are on exhibit at Atelier Punkt from 9-12 September. The 70 posters that were selected will also be exhibited together at the UQAM Centre de Design in June 2011 and will be presented in each of the UNESCO Cities of Design from this month until December 2011. In addition, they will be shown online on the websites of the participating cities.
Each of the seven Grand Prize winners will also receive a cash award of USD $2000 and a UNESCO medal.
For more informationwww.realisonsmontreal.com
About the UNESCO Creative Cities Network
Established in October 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network seeks to facilitate and promote exchanges of best practices and know-how among cities that have creativity in common and, as a result, help spur their development via international networking.
Winners and finalists from other UNESCO Cities of Design
Buenos Aires (Argentina)