Students compete in creating packaging for all five senses in BillerudKorsnäs’ design competition

This year, packaging design competition, PIDA, offers a new, modern, and digital format that enables a larger audience to be part of this exciting event.

What makes a packaging concept not only functional and visually appealing, but also able to interact with our senses, when it comes to sound, touch, taste, or smell? That’s the challenge for this year’s design students in BillerudKorsnäs’ Packaging Impact Design Award, PIDA.

The competition aims to highlight young talents and their ideas but also push the development of packaging design even further. It has engaged thousands of students throughout the years and 2021 marks the 16th event since its inception in 2005.

This year, organisers are not only developing the competition into a modern, digital event but also expanding geographically to let design schools in the USA compete. During May and June, BillerudKorsnäs will host the competition at four events: Sweden, France, Germany, and a joint event for the UK and the USA. In September, an international winner will be selected in a Grand Finale at Luxe Pack Monaco.

“When we launched PIDA, we wanted to challenge the conventions of the industry and drive the development of packaging design forward, which is why we chose to highlight young new talents and their ideas,” said BillerudKorsnäs manager application development paperboard, Lenna Dahlberg. “Our hope [was] that their creativity and smart solutions would contribute with inspiration and new thinking for the whole industry, which is something that the students have really lived up to. Over the years, we have seen loads of smart and innovative packaging solutions, and naturally expectations are high this year as well.”

She continued: “The brief this year is Awaken the Senses, which encourages the students to create a sustainable, innovative, and functional packaging concept that stands out compared to the conventional applications that we find in stores today. The packing needs to engage our senses. It can be about making an impression through smell, sound, or tactile experience.”

Organisers have seen a big trend on social media around the theme ‘awaken our, with unboxing videos where consumers unbox a product while smelling, touching, rustling, and studying every little graphical detail now frequently seen on channels like YouTube.

“Packaging that speaks to our senses is a fast-developing trend,” said BillerudKorsnäs marketing manager Anders Gathu. “In the future, we can expect packaging concepts with sound effects, visual illusions and augmented reality. In an increasingly digital world, the packaging needs to stand out and in the interaction with consumers speak to all their senses.”

Students compete in four different categories: sustainability, user friendliness, innovation, and Gold Award – winner of all categories. The jury at each individual event consists of experts from the industry. The ‘Gold Award’ winners of the four PIDA events will meet in an international grand finale at the prestigious packaging trade show LuxePack in Monaco this autumn. The winning team in the final will be invited to participate in a design summit in Frövi, Sweden later this year.

Mr Gathu concludes: “PIDA offers a win-win situation for students as well as for the audience. Aside from the actual competition, PIDA offers a unique opportunity for the participating students to create relationships and build themselves a network within the packaging industry – while the audience gets to enjoy an enlightening and entertaining event filled with inspiration, creativity, and innovation.”