Comic-book artist Thomas Ott, graphic designer and art director Jean Widmer, and jewellery designer and artist David Bielander have been awarded the Swiss Grand Award for Design. Selected by the Federal Office of Culture, the award recognises three outstanding designers who have played “a defining role in cultural creativity in Switzerland”.
Swiss, Paris-based graphic designer Jean Widmer is known for creating the visual identity for cultural institutions such as the Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay and Institut du Monde Arabe. Thomas Ott is “a master of storytelling” according to the award curators, creating dark, wordless comics that are “universally comprehensible and visually unmistakeable”. Jewellery designer David Bielander, meanwhile, is known for translating simple everyday objects into “exceptional pieces of artist jewellery”.
The prize is 40,000 Swiss Francs each and a group exhibition, which runs alongside Art Basel and DesignMiami in Basel in June. It is awarded to three creatives the jury considers to be widely-known and impactful on the country’s design industry, exemplifying “the quality and relevance of Swiss design practice nationally and internationally”. It was launched in 2007.
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