Niccola Phillips' Cannes Diary #2

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 9.33.20 pm.jpgNiccola Phillips, head of art, M&C Saatchi, Sydney is sitting on the Cannes Design Lions jury. Phillips reports on the judging exclusively for Campaign Brief.

When I wake, Kevin Costner is in duplicate, his eyes narrowed, and I'm regretting the second bottle of rosé. The bathroom is accessed via a diagonal leap over the corner of the bed, and I barely make it over, taking the curtains along with me.

The curtains have this synthetic glow that if combined with Maria's unlikely talent for curtain couture, could instantly turn the von Trapp Family Singers into Sonny and Cher. If we shot the music video in Versailles with Captain von Trapp popping and locking, I'd give it a solid 5.
These are the kind of deeply insightful thoughts that are plaguing me constantly now. I'm in a state of 24/7 hyper-awareness. As I dream my rosé and carrot-cake-scented dreams. I'm levitating somewhere above a hall of thousands of un-judged samples. An Aladdin's cave of modern scrolls, ironically styled sneakers, elaborately carved doors and sentient garbage bins. I keep re-staging our jury photo. I just can't get it right. Do we go by height? Do we compose for ombré? Do we all nonchalantly swagger off in different directions?

This kind of madness makes me happy. Le Design Dungeon makes me happy. It's love at first whiff. If you have ever popped your head into your office stationery supply room just to breathe it all in, this will be your jam. And we should hang out and sniff squeaky pens some time. Welcome, friend!

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 9.33.32 pm.jpgAt lunch, I resist the urge to make off with an entire hollowed out pineapple filled with crab salad, instead choosing to sip sedately on a rosé that's heavy on the ice cubes. A sub-group of design jurors form a four-continent quorum and discuss the relative merits of the luxury yachts on offer. Children play happily on a carousel as three beret-clad soldiers carrying sub-machine guns watch them suspiciously.

And then we duck out of the bright sunshine and back into our dark, cool, cavernous dungeon. What pleasures await us this afternoon? A package whose sound design will carry us back to our childhood? A book for children that will make an adult cry? A video so psychedelically joyful that we'll all gravitate to the screen and watch it together?

It's a kaleidoscope of colour, texture, light and shade that with every tumble takes us further from our day-to-day. I don't ever want to leave. I'm happy here.

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