London Design Festival 2012 Medal Winners

Each year, London Design Festival recognises the contribution made by leading design figures and emerging talents to London and the industry with four London Design Medal awarded:

The London Design Medal: the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual who has distinguished themselves within the industry and demonstrated consistent design excellence.

Design Innovation Medal: celebrates entrepreneurship in all its forms, both locally and internationally. It honours an individual for whom design lies at the core of their development and success.

Emerging Design Medal: recognises an impact made on the design scene within five or so years of graduation.

Lifetime Achievement Medal: honours a significant and fundamental contribution to the design industry over the course of a career.

London Design Medal: Rosario Hurtado and Robert Feo

Rosario Hurtado and Roberto Feo are a creative duo who founded their design studio El Ultimo Grito in 1997. The pair has produced work that responds to an ongoing investigation into the nature and representation of systems. The results of their work are presented in various contexts and take different forms that have ranged from installations, objects, films, performances, publications, curatorial, editorial and academic projects.

Hurtado graduated from Furniture and Industrial Design at Kingston University and Feo graduated from the RCA after studying Furniture Design. “For us, design is the process of materialising ideas,” says Feo. “And when you view it in that context, design is absolutely everything. We are surrounded by design; we are mediated by design.”

Emerging Design Medal: Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg

Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is an artist, designer and writer. She uses design experimentally to examine why we make things, what those things are, and their relationship with us and the world.

By making objects and fictions, and through writing and curatorial projects, Ginsberg explores the values that shape material culture, science, technology, and nature. She has spent ten years researching synthetic biology and the design of living matter, pushing the boundaries of design and science with engineers, artists, designers, scientists, historians, social scientists, and museums around the world.

Ginsberg is lead author of Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature (MIT Press, 2014), and in 2017 completed Better, her PhD by practice at London's Royal College of Art, interrogating how powerful dreams of “better” futures shape the things that get designed (supervised by Professors Sarah Teasley and Anthony Dunne). Her work has twice been nominated for Designs of the Year (2011, 2015), with Designing for the Sixth Extinction described as “romantic, dangerous… and everything else that inspires us to change and question the world”.

Daisy exhibits internationally, including at MoMA New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, the National Museum of China, and her work is in both museum and private collections. Talks include TEDGlobal, PopTech, Design Indaba, and the New Yorker Tech Fest. Post-PhD, Daisy is back to practice with a residency at Somerset House Studios, London, developing new projects including wilding the planet Mars, and resurrecting the smell of flowers made extinct by humans, in search of the sublime.

Design Entrepreneur Medal: Jane ní Dhulchaointigh

Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh is an Irish entrepreneur who invented Sugru during her postgraduate degree. Ní Dhulchaointigh studied an MA in product design at the Royal College of Art, where she conceived the idea for the substance in 2003 while using mixtures of standard silicone sealants and sawdust in her work. She stated at the time, “I don’t want to buy new stuff all the time. I want to hack the stuff I already have so it works better for me.”

She then spent the next five years developing Sugru: a Play-Doh-like substance with waterproof, adhesive and heat-resistant qualities, which sets at room temperature. Launched in December 2009, all 3,000 packets rapidly sold out, multiplying production to twenty times that scale.

Sugru was listed at number 22 in TIME Magazine's top 50 inventions of 2010, above the iPad, and today there are 175 countries around the world using Sugru to expand the life of items and fix everyday objects.

Lifetime Achievement Medal:Sir Terence Conran

Works by Sir Terence Conran
Sir Terence Conran works
Sir Terence Conran works

Sir Terence Conran was one of the world’s best known designers, restaurateurs and retailers. Born in 1931, he founded the Conran Design Studio in 1956 and later the Habitat chain of home furnishings stores that revolutionised the UK High Street in the 1960s and 1970s by bringing intelligent, modern design within reach of the general population. He has been widely recognised for this and was honoured with a knighthood as far back as 1983.

Conran designed furniture for Content by Conran and Benchmark and has written over 30 informative books that broadly reflect his design philosophy, selling over 20 million copies of his publications worldwide. He was always been a great supporter of education in design and founded the Design Museum in London.