Xavier Perrenoud, designer and professor at the ECAL University of Art and Design in Lausanne, talks about the greatest challenges facing the jewelry and watch industries and about the significance of awards.
What are the biggest challenges in the watch and jewelry industry at the moment?
There is a lot of change going on recently. It‘s not only about the way young people think about consuming. All generations are changing their ways of looking at individual needs. The biggest challenge is to foresee these changes and present our customers with solutions for problems they haven‘t even discovered themselves yet.
Can you give an example of a similarly profound change that happened in the past?
Well, we talk about digitalization constantly. Yes, it is a big change, but we do see the opposite trend as well. We have the smart watch hype and we have a need for traditional, truly mechanical watches. Customers like to understand the items they wear. They like to understand why things work. On the other hand, digital devices open up a field of possibilities that were unthinkable ten years ago .
How important are awards for the watch and jewelry industry?
First of all, awards are important because they support innovation. We all know how esteem can rise our motivation and creativity. Also, it is great to have the opportunity to think “out of the box” and to present creativity to the public, in order to give the watch and jewelry industry greater visibility. Last but not least, you can‘t overestimate informal settings to get in touch with new contacts, and possibly new business partners.
What are you most looking forward to when thinking of the INHORGENTA AWARD in February?
I am very curious to see daring and strong design projects. I am looking forward to seeing the designers get all the attention they deserve. They are working so hard all year, the INHORGENTA AWARD finally rewards them. Additionally, I am convinced that the AWARD helps to stimulate creativity in the watch and jewelry industry in general.