when the world’s most prestigious creative forces converge beneath magnificent architectural masterpieces to celebrate design excellence — magic happens. the 2017 and 2018 editions of THE DESIGN PRIZE — the annual award program initiated by designboom and abitare — brought together a radiant roster of industry luminaries in recognition of extraordinary achievements, and little sparks of beauty and delight. if you’re thinking, another design award? — you’d be right — but in a world of set society rules, entry fees, and elites, THE DESIGN PRIZE is daringly different.
experience the glamour of the THE DESIGN PRIZE 2018 gala at teatro alla scala
THE DESIGN PRIZE recognizes the extraordinary achievements over the past 12 months. since its inception, the award program has become the most noble prize: there is no self submission, and no fee to enter! instead, we simply ask world’s most esteemed creatives —‘what, in your opinion, was the most remarkable project this year (in different disciplines)?’
from backstage to center stage, THE DESIGN PRIZE is created from the inside out, and calls upon a worldwide scientific committee of designers, journalists, curators, critics, lecturers, scholars and institutional figures to help draw up the nominations. this international network of professionals present a ‘LONGLIST’ of nominations, with selections distributed across 10 award categories that recognize design culture at its core. these voices create an essential litmus test of the industry at large. an esteemed panel of judges then carefully chooses the ‘SHORTLIST’ of winning nominees. furthermore, the introduction of a public vote award dedicated to projects with a significant social impact last year furthered the initiative’s ethos of openness and inclusivity.
kazuyo sejima of SANAA was awarded EX-AEQUO winner for lifetime achievement
in its inaugural year in 2017, THE DESIGN PRIZE debuted during the most important event on the design calendar — milan design week. at a star-studded, VIP gala event hosted at the extraordinary gerolamo theatre — milan’s ‘miniature la scala’ — the year’s most impactful projects and brilliant ideas were awarded the golden madonnina statuette — a contemporary reinterpretation of the famous madonnina statue that sits atop the city’s duomo. winners were crowned across 10 interdisciplinary categories: social impact; distribution; communication; artistic realm; exhibition; experimentation; design curator/design critic; best design newcomer; best designer; and lifetime achievement.
antonio aricò was chosen to reinterpret the statuette for THE DESIGN PRIZE 2018
prizes were handed over by representatives of the city of milan, milan’s polytechnic university and jury members. visionary victors took to the stage, such as christo and jeanne claude for ‘floating piers‘ in the category of social impact, olafur eliasson for ‘little sun‘ and ‘little sun diamond‘ in experimentation, and marc newson for his lifetime achievement. notable industry figures — like ma yansong (MAD architects), naoto fukasawa, tom dixon, william sawaya and paolo moroni, richard hutten, didier faustino, bethan laura wood and many more — celebrated late into the night.
the award’s inaugural edition was held at gerolamo theatre in milan
a year later, THE DESIGN PRIZE returned to milan design week in spectacular style, with a glamorous gala event this time actually housed inside the prestigious ‘teatro alla scala’. protagonists in the field of architecture, art and design came together to celebrate the award program’s second edition, and the stellar lineup of nominees and winners did not disappoint. EX-AEQUO winners enzo mari and kazuyo sejima of SANAA were honored for their lifetime achievement, fondazione prada for its exhibitions in venice in miami, and ‘the shed‘ by diller scofidio & renfro and rockwell group for the first ever public vote in the category of social impact. prizes were handed over by representatives of the city of milan, la scala theater and jury members.
now, let’s take a look at the winners…
2017 jury members: silvia botti, editor-in-chief of abitare; birgit lohmann, editor-in-chief of designboom; cristina tajani, councillor for employment policy, economic development, university and research at the municipality of milan; curators alexandra cunningham cameron, ingeborg de roode (stedelijk museum); curator maria cristina didero; land art/architecture studio ensamble; architect ma yasong (MAD architects); and jeffrey schnapp (founder and director of metaLAB harvard).
winner: marc newson
all images © designboom
winner: ronan & erwan bouroullec
images: courtesy of michael anastassiades | © designboom | © designboom
BEST DESIGN NEWCOMER
winner: muller van severen
images: courtesy of florim | by ringo gomez | by rory van millingen
improvements in the public realm, like public spaces, mobility, and infrastructure
images: photo at DFA award exhibition by designboom | by wolfgang volz © 2016 christo | © paul clemence
shop design, retail, and packaging design
images: © paola pansini | © valextra | courtesy of RED valentino
including branding, advertising campaign, print and online magazines
images: courtesy of design indaba | © better shelter | © céline
IN THE ARTISTIC REALM
(limited) design and art editions
images: courtesy of bethan laura wood | courtesy of philippe malouin | courtesy of didier faustino
concept and spatial design
images: © designboom | © designboom | courtesy of 21_21 design sight
research, education, labs
all images courtesy of the artists
DESIGN CURATOR/DESIGN CRITIC
exhibition; design event; design week
images: courtesy of alice rawsthorn | © designboom | courtesy of the walker art center
2018 jury members: architect stefano boeri; designer jasper morrison; co-founder and chair experimentadesign guta moura guedes; carlo ratti, director of senseable city lab at MIT massachusetts institute of technology; libby sellers, design historian and curator; architect alex mustonen (snarkitecture) ; architect kjetil thorsen (snøhetta) ; and ingeborg de roode, industrial design curator of stedelijk museum.
kazuyo sejima (SANAA)
all images © designboom
winner: india mahdavi
images: courtesy of luca nichetto | © designboom | © designboom
BEST DESIGN NEWCOMER
images: courtesy of gallery s. bensimon | © designboom | by emiliano granado
winner: scewo, a wheelchair that can climb stairs
images: courtesy of diller scofidio + renfro / rockwell group | by julius hatt | © nelson kon
winner: aesop stores worldwide
acne studios, the brand’s new flagship stores in san francisco and milan feature a ‘cleanroom atmosphere’
maison kitsuné, for their new york showroom by designer matthieu lehanneur
images: courtesy of acne | © paola pansini | courtesy of matthieu lehanneur
winner: alice rawsthorn, for ‘a brief history of design’ on instagram
PIN UP magazine, founded by felix burrichter
BASE DESIGN, communication agency
IN THE ARTISTIC REALM
winner: studio drift, for ‘franchise freedom’ flying sculpture in miami, in collaboration with BMW
ron gilad, as the new art director of the historical italian company danese milano
leandro ehrlich, for the pop-up exhibition ‘sous le ciel’ at le bon marchè in paris
images: courtesy of danese milano | courtesy of BMW group | © designboom
images: © studio KO | by casey kelbaugh | by roland halbe
winner: jane withers, for ‘water futures’ research program
mischler’traxler, for ‘countryside reloaded’ at BIO 25 – the biennial of design
neri oxman, for exploring the intimate relationship between design and biology
images: delfino sisto legnani & marco cappelletti – MAO 25 | courtesy of A/D/O | courtesy of neri oxman
DESIGN CURATOR/DESIGN CRITIC
winner: paola antonelli for ‘items: is fashion modern?’ at MoMA
URBANUS for its curation of UABB /URBANISM AND URBANIZATION
NGV TRIENNIAL, melbourne, featuring the work of over 100 artists and designers from 32 countries
images: © designboom | © designboom | courtesy of NGV
with THE DESIGN PRIZE 2019 just around the corner, we’ll be calling for nominations from the scientific committee soon. stay tuned to designboom, and the dedicated THE DESIGN PRIZE instagram, for news and updates as we lead up to the initiative’s exciting third edition.
*edison — committed to building a future in which energy is sustainable — is currently working on the design and development of innovative solutions for the sustainable management of energy, environmental and economic resources. in collaboration with architects, companies, the service sector and the public service, the company is also co-developing the smart cities of today and the future.
miuccia prada accepts the golden madonnina award for fondazione prada's exhibitions in venice and miami.
protagonists in the field of architecture, art and design came together to celebrate the second edition of THE DESIGN PRIZE.
in 2017, the international jury comprised: silvia botti (editor-in-chief of abitare); birgit lohmann (editor-in-chief of designboom); cristina tajani (councillor for employment policy, economic development, university and research at the municipality of milan), curators alexandra cunningham cameron, ingeborg de roode, and maria cristina didero; spanish land art/architecture studio ensamble; chinese architect ma yasong; and jeffrey schnapp (founder and director of metaLAB harvard).
in 2018, the esteemed panel of judges included: architect, stefano boeri; designer, jasper morrison; co-founder and chair experimentadesign guta moura guedes; director of senseable city lab at MIT massachusetts institute of technology, carlo ratti; design historian and curator, libby sellers; co-founder of snarkitecture, alex mustonen; architect of snøhetta, kjetil thorsen; and industrial design curator of stedelijk museum, ingeborg de roode.
THE DESIGN PRIZE is energised by edison
edison, one of the largest energy companies in italy, has been a partner and promoter of the initiative since its inception in 2017. this year, edison continues its collaboration with THE DESIGN PRIZE, the international award dedicated to project culture, which is also a virtuous expression of co-planning based on the efficient use of resources for the construction of a sustainable future. edison brings its unique experience, know-how, and 130-year-long history in the energy sector to the design prize, helping foster a horizontal approach to design. together with the leading professionals and architects, edison proposes intelligent solutions for cities and people in favor of a more evolved and sustainable lifestyle.
THE DESIGN PRIZE(26)
a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.