London Design Festival 2013 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: Peter Saville

Supported by Panerai

Peter Saville works
Peter Saville works

Peter Saville is an artist and designer whose contribution to culture has been unique. As a founder and art director of the legendary independent UK label Factory Records, he accessed a mass audience through pop music, best exemplified in the series of record sleeves he created for Joy Division and New Order between 1979 and 1993. 

His radical designs seemed to break all the rules, omitting information about artists or titles, fundamentally questioning modes of consumption and communication. Over the past decade he served as consultant creative director to the City of Manchester. 

His achievements were celebrated in The Peter Saville Show at the Design Museum in London in 2003. His first major show in a contemporary art museum was at the Migros Museum in Zurich in 2005 and he continues to exhibit internationally. His first monograph was published by Frieze, 2003.

Emerging Design Medal: Daniel Rybakken

Born in 1984, Daniel Rybakken grew up in Oslo, Norway. He studied design at the Oslo School of Architecture and the School of Arts & Crafts in Gothenburg, Sweden. On graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in 2008 from HDK Gothenburg, he opened his own design studio in both Oslo and Gothenburg.

Rybakken explores natural and artificial light in his conceptual art before shifting into lighting design. Rybakken's work occupies the area between art and design, forming limited editions, art installations and prototypes for serial production. His main focus has been to work with daylight and how to artificially recreate its appearance and subconscious effect. His aim is to trick viewers into thinking it's sunny outside when it's not, so he creates artificial windows and false patches of sunlight. Rybakken’s clients include Luceplan, Linge Roset, Galerie Kreo, Spazio Rossana Orlandi and the Norwegian Embassy.

Design Entrepreneur Medal: David Constantine

Supported by Veuve Clicquot

David Constantine MBE is co-founder of Motivation, a charity which sets up self-sustaining projects to improve the quality of life of people with mobility disabilities in developing countries. In 1989, Royal College of Art students David Constantine and Simon Gue were tasked with designing a wheelchair suitable for use in developing countries. The duo created a wheelchair design robust enough to cope with potholes and uneven ground and made from affordable, locally available materials which was very well received, ultimately winning them the Frye Memorial Prize.

The pair teamed up with their friend Richard Frost and used their prize money to travel to Bangladesh, where they built their wheelchair for a disability organisation in Dhaka. After a successful introduction, the organisation asked the team to help them start producing the wheelchairs on a larger scale. Recognising that people with disabilities were economically disadvantaged, and that an appropriate wheelchair was the fastest route out of poverty, the team needed little convincing.

In 1991, David, Simon and Richard established Motivation, raising funds in the UK and returning to Dhaka to start their first wheelchair workshop. From there, they set up wheelchair workshops in Poland, Indonesia and Russia. Motivation is internationally recognised as a leader in designing, producing and distributing high-quality, low-cost wheelchairs for developing countries. The products and training programmes have reached over 135,000 people in 90 countries around the world.

Lifetime Achievement Medal: Dieter Rams

Supported by Coutts

Works by Dieter Rams
Dieter Rams works

Dieter Rams was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1932. He was strongly influenced by the presence of his grandfather who was a carpenter. Rams’ early awards for carpentry led to him training as an architect as Germany was rebuilt in the early 1950s. Prompted by a friend, Rams applied for a job at the German electrical products company, Braun, in 1955. He was recruited by Erwin and Artur Braun following the death of their father and his job was to modernise the interiors of the company that was launching revolutionary electrical products. Rams became a protégé of the Ulm School of Design luminaries Hans Gugelot, Fritz Eichler and Otl Aicher.

He quickly became involved in product design – famously adding the clear perspex lid to the SK4 radiogram in 1956 – and was appointed head of design at Braun from 1961 to 1995. Together with his design team, he was responsible for many of the seminal domestic electrical products – and some furniture – of the 20th century. From 1959, Rams also worked designing furniture for Vitsœ, creating the world-famous wall-mounted 606 Universal Shelving System.

The dual career of Dieter Rams continued until his retirement from Braun in 1997. He remains convinced that the very best design can only be achieved by design teams within companies. In 1976, Rams famously drew attention to an “increasing and irreversible shortage of natural resources” asking designers to take more responsibility for the state of the world around them, calling for “an end to the era of wastefulness”.