Every year the Henry van de Velde Awards showcases Belgian projects, products and services that demonstrate the added value of design in its most varied aspects. Who will scoop the Lifetime Achievement Award? Who is this year’s Young Talent? Who will pick up the Company Award, which project will secure the Ecodesign by OVAM Award and who did the public vote the Public Award winner? These and the seven other Gold Award winners in each category will be announced on 5 February at 4 p.m. during the online ceremony for the Henry van de Velde Awards 2021. Below we provide an overview.
For over a quarter of a century, the Henry van de Velde Awards have emphasised the important role that designers and the parties commissioning their work play in society. The Awards demonstrate that today, design is woven into every fibre of daily life and they recognise the work of creative entrepreneurs that have a positive impact on our society and economy through design.
The Henry van de Velde Awards have a lot of winners. In November, Flanders DC announced the 17 winners the jury had retained from the 198 entries. The jury has now selected one Gold Award winner per category along with the Lifetime Achievement, the Company, Young Talent and the Ecodesign by OVAM Awards. The public also participates in the selection and was able to vote for one of the 17 winners to decide the Public Award winner. Below is a list of all 12 Gold Award winners.
These are the 12 Gold Award winners
1. Lifetime Achievement Gold Award: Ann Demeulemeester
The Lifetime Achievement Award is the ultimate recognition for a designer who has made an economic, social and/or cultural impact and thus contributed to the international reputation of Flemish design. This year the jury rewarded Ann Demeulemeester, a designer who, regardless of the form, material or function of an object, invariably succeeds in stripping it back to its essence and in pushing the boundaries of design time and time again.
“Creating is our raison d'être. Whether it concerns clothing, furniture or plates – there is always a tendency to design what we need ourselves. All our work originates from this. I like the feeling of being able to create something in silence with nothing but my hands. The loneliness that comes with it is liberating” - Ann Demeulemeester
Since the 1980s, Ann Demeulemeester and her partner Patrick Robyn have built up her fashion label to a worldwide market leader. In a fashion industry where narrow market thinking was key, their approach was at odds and elevated fashion to a walking art form. After having purposefully relinquished creative control of the brand in 2014, Ann and Patrick, based on this same disruptive philosophy, resolutely threw themselves into the challenge of completely new materials and techniques such as porcelain and crystal. With her own sense of perfection this recently led to a few first collections of tableware by the Belgian manufacturer Serax, one pictorial and another sculptural. In addition to ceramics, they also include glasses and cutlery and a collection of lighting. As with their fashion collections, they are the result of a seamless synergy between industry and handicraft.
2. Company Gold Award: Novy
"As a niche player among our global competitors, we are destined to continuous innovation. Novy refuses to compromise on that level: we strive for quality, sustainable growth with respect for our values." - Carlos Wanzeele, CEO Novy
Novy, Belgian market leader in cooker hoods and hobs, celebrated the centenary of its brand name in 2019. The firm’s success story is largely due to the way in which innovation, quality, sustainability and design are strategically interwoven in the business. Production still takes place in Belgium, despite its international growth, and all the other aspects - from product development to after-sales service - are handled in-house. The company never rests, even during the COVID-19 crisis. This year, Novy is introducing no fewer than five new products to market, including one pioneering concept for modern living.
3. Young Talent Gold Award: Bureau BoschBerg
"Some designers have their style and apply it in different contexts. We examine what works for each assignment. Our strength is that we develop a long-term relationship with the client, and not just produce a logo and then disappear." - Laura Bergans, Bureau BoschBerg
The young, graphic design agency Bureau BoschBerg works on a great deal of projects for the cultural sector. The impressive list of clients such as STAM Ghent, the Theaterfestival, MA Festival, deSingel, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and Z33 demonstrates a remarkable, long-term collaboration with their clients. The permanent dialogue that lies at the heart of it all does not rule out any differences: with Sang Woo K. Vandenbosch, who meticulously swears by the grid, while Laura Bergans prefers to work off-grid. Their extremely diverse oeuvre is fresh, simple, open, striking, and direct.
4. Ecodesign by OVAM Gold Award: Facadeclick
"We closely monitor whether each step our company takes is in line with the philosophy of the circular economy, and we also select our partners with this in mind." - Patrick Vandenbempt
With their innovative Facadeclick building system, father and son Vandenbempt solve two issues at the same time: they bypass the problem of finding bricklayers, which is becoming increasingly difficult, and they participate in the circular economy. With Facadeclick, Patrick and Jasper developed an intermediate piece with a sliding click connection that is used to click bricks together securely. Thanks to the innovative connecting pieces, Facadeclick enables construction that requires much less water and significantly reduces CO2 emissions. What’s more, at the end of the structure’s life, all the materials can be easily disassembled and reused.
5. Public Gold Award : Ellio Elite
The public was able to vote online and select their favourite for the Public Award. The Ellio Elite received the most votes. The Ellio Elite, designed by the IntuEdrive Design Team in association with Achilles Design for IntuEdrive BV, is a Belgian speed pedelec that stands out from the competition due to its intuitive riding experience, durable and maintenance-friendly construction and large battery capacity. The e-bike is also produced locally.
6. Business Innovation Gold Award: Aloxy Pulse
Aloxy Pulse, a revolutionary, wireless sensor that remotely monitors the status of valves and taps at petrochemical plants. Aloxy Pulse was designed by Studio Dott for Aloxy.
7. Climate Challenge Gold Award: BC materials
In recent years, BC materials has established a consistent and circular design practice in sustainable materials, including building materials. Waste from building sites is reused to produce the ecological range of clay applications.
8. Consumer Gold Award: Nobi
Nobi is a smart lamp that lightens the work of caregivers by taking over a number of tasks such as fall detection and pattern recognition. Nobi was designed by Studio Dos Santos for Nobi.
9. Crafts by Bokrijk Gold Award: Strijkinstrumenten uit Vlas
Strijkinstrumenten uit Vlas (String instruments made from Flax) are made by combining an ancient craft (violin building) with high-tech materials (flax fibre) and production techniques. They were designed by Tim Duerinck, in association with KASK & Conservatory of HOGENT and Howest, Ghent University and FWO (Research Foundation - Flanders).
10. Digital Product Gold Award: Slim naar Antwerpen
Slim naar Antwerpen (Smart ways to Antwerp) is a campaign launched by Leap Forward for the City of Antwerp and the corresponding app that aims to simplify the mobility puzzle faced by Antwerp citizens.
11. Graphic & Communication Gold Award: Graphic campaign for Horst Arts and Music Festival
The graphic campaign by Ronny & Johny for Horst Art and Music Festival receives the Gold Award in this category. The sustainability of the project is revealed not only in the production, but also in the service provision of the graphic design agency. The identity is used as a “social tool” to involve as many people as possible in the project.
12. Habitat Gold Award: Caméléon
The modular Caméléon tapestries designed by Les Monseigneurs in association with Verilin receive a Gold Award. Each rug is modular and can be used as a rug, screen or tapestry.
Online Exhibition and Catalogue
The Henry van de Velde Awards 2021 exhibition can be explored digitally from 5 February at 5 p.m. viawww.henryvandevelde.be. Visitors get an overview of all the winners and Gold Winners. Illustrator Lenah de Wit has created a unique illustration for each Gold Award winner specially for this online experience.
The exhibition catalogue can be purchased online and costs 10 euros (including shipping).
The physical exhibition will take place at a later date due to a recent fire in BOZAR. More info to follow.
About the Henry van de Velde Awards
The Henry van de Velde Awards are presented every year by Flanders DC and have represented an established value in the design landscape since 1994. This year, the awards were made possible thanks to the support of our partners: Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO), BOZAR, Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM), Flemish Environment Company (VMM), Bokrijk and Z33 - House for Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture.
Detailed information about the awards, winners and jury members is available via https://www.henryvandevelde.be/