London Design Festival 2017 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.

Panerai London Design Medal: Es Devlin

Es Devlin is widely considered to be one of the world's foremost set designers. Her first works were for fringe in London, but her canvas was expanded to the National Theatre, Sadler's Wells, Royal Opera House, La Scala, and Wembley Stadium. She has created stage sets in collaboration with Beyonce, U2, Jay Z, Adele, as well as designing the London Olympic closing ceremony and the Rio Olympic opening ceremony.

Devlin studied music at the Royal Academy of Music from age 12 as a Junior Exhibitioner while attending Cranbrook School in Kent. She went on to gain a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature at Bristol University, writing her dissertation on the American poet Adrienne Rich. A Fine Art foundation course followed at Central St Martins College of Art and Design before she studied Set Design on the Motley Theatre Design Course in London under Percy Harris, Alison Chitty and Kandis Cook. While studying, Devlin worked as a stagehand for Le Cirque Invisible – the circus created by Victoria Chaplin and Jean-Baptiste Thierrée. She also assisted the artist Damien Hirst on Agongo, an installation at the Richard de Marco Gallery in Edinburgh in 1992.

Devlin has created kinetic stage sculptures in collaboration with artists including Beyonce, as well as installations at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Art Basel and the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.

Her work has been awarded three Olivier Awards, she is a fellow of University of the Arts London, and was awarded the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's 2015 New Year Honours.

Emerging Design Medal: Julian Melchiorri

Supported by Storey

Julian Melchiorri is an innovator, design-engineer, and entrepreneur. Internationally known for his 'artificial leaf' projects, he exploits biological microorganisms and materials to convert waste and pollution into valuable resources.

Earlier in his career, Melchiorri designed and engineered both products and manufacturing processes for a major Italian lighting company and for the London high-tech collective Random International, making technology-driven interactive experiments and massive scale installations, utilising a multitude of technologies such as robotic, sensing and hydraulic technologies. He subsequently enrolled in a Master of Science from Imperial College of London and a Master of Arts from Royal College of Arts called Innovation Design Engineering program.

Over this period, Melchiorri cultivated his interest and skills in biotechnology, biomimicry and biomaterials through intensive laboratory experimentation aiming to harness nature’s efficient technologies to solve major environmental and social issues. Melchiorri is now the founder and CEO of Arborea, a biochemical technology company based at Imperial Innovations and part of the European Institute of Technology Climate-KIC Accelerator. He was the V&A Exhibition Road Engineering resident from April 2016 to July 2017, a TEDx speaker, and Forbes 30 under 30 best social entrepreneurs 2017. Earlier in 2017, he won the Arts Foundation award for Materials Innovation supported by the Clothworkers' Founders.

Design Innovation Medal: Paul Priestman

Supported by Tanqueray

Paul Priestman is the Founding Director and Chairman of industrial design and transportation consultancy, PriestmanGoode. From the new tube for London to aeroplanes and hotels; his visionary thinking has shaped daily life for millions of people around the world. 

Paul studied Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins and at the Royal College of Art in London. He leads a wide range of projects, from product design to transport including for Transport for London, Iconic Radiators and Embraer.

He has built a reputation for his award-winning future concepts – visionary ideas to improve our everyday lifestyles and to encourage sustainable, long-term thinking. He is an inspirational speaker on the subject of design and creative future thinking and flies the flag for British design around the world.

In 2015, Paul was voted one of London’s 1000 most influential people by the Evening Standard for the third consecutive year. In January 2016, he was announced as one of Britain’s 500 Most Influential individuals by The Sunday Times.

Lifetime Achievement Medal: Margaret Calvert OBE

Margaret Calvert is most renowned for her work with Jock Kinneir on the design of the UK’s road signing system (including the design of the lettering ‘Transport’) which came into effect on the 1st of January 1965 and still remains in place today, despite minor modifications.

Much of her early work is in the public domain, in collaboration with Kinneir, for clients including British Rail, The British Airports Authority and Newcastle’s Tyne and Weir Metro, opened in 1980, where she used her own lettering — since digitised by Monotype and marketed under the name ‘Calvert’. Now used, together with the typeface ‘Calvert Brody’, for the identity of the Royal College of Art and the Craft Council.

She was elected a Royal Designer for Industry in 2011 and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art in 2016, as well as an OBE for ‘Services to Typography and Road Safety’, and the Sir Misha Black Medal for’ Distinguished Services to Design Education’. She has also received an Honorary Degree from the University of Brighton and Honorary Fellowships from both the University of the Arts London and, most recently, Arts University Bournemouth.