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Making The LDF Medals

LDF Medal sketches by Hannah Martin

London-based jewellery designer Hannah Martin was commissioned to create a unique award for the London Design Medals.

London Design Medals are a moment to recognise the contribution made by leading design figures and emerging talents to London and the global industry, with four Medals awarded: London Design Medal, Lifetime Achievement Medal, Emerging Design Medal and Design Innovation Medal. Across the years, our medal winners have been forces in the world of creativity: from architecture to graphic design, publishing to craft, fashion to hairdressing.

In 2021, our winners were Ilse Crawford, Mac Collins, Michael Wolff and Eyal Weizman. Each of these winners were presented a London Design Festival Medal, designed by jeweller Hannah Martin.

'A medal is a little world contained in the palm of your hand - and I wanted to make this world as fascinating as possible.' - Hannah Martin

Hannah Martin on the LDF Medal designs

How did you initially approach designing the medals?

I’ve always loved the concept of medals, as they sit somewhere between jewellery, sculpture and objet d’art. I wanted to create something that felt good in the hand, was sculptural and sensual to the touch, and that was surprising. A medal is a little world contained in the palm of your hand - and I wanted to make this world as fascinating as possible.

Why did you choose the Cockney Sparrow in particular for the design?

It seemed like the perfect emblem for London - it is both ubiquitous, a little bit cheeky and a part of all our lives. I liked the idea of highlighting something that is part of our every day lives and giving it beauty. It also is a bit of a nod to the sky being the limit.

What’s the most challenging aspect of the design?

Probably the creating of the initial form, once I had created the design in 2 dimensions. I hand carved it out of a hard wax, and it was one of the most complex pieces of carving I had done to date.