The Royal Society of Arts has announced the six designers named as the 2019 Royal Designers for Industry. This year’s list includes illustrator Tom Gauld, Alexander McQueen fabric designer Kim Avella, War Horse lighting designer Paulo Constable, landscape architect Johanna Gibbons, structural engineer Adam Lowe and furniture designer Michael Marriott.
Regarded as one of the top honours for UK designers, the annual prize celebrates creatives that have made a difference through their work, by inspiring or driving positive social, economic or environmental change. Previous recipients of the prize include Vivienne Westwood, Jony Ive and musician Brian Eno.
Matthew Taylor, CEO of the Royal Society of Arts, said in statement: “This year’s cohort demonstrates the breadth of talent in the contemporary design world, drawn from a wide range of disciplines. How we approach art and design has changed profoundly over the last few decades, and this cohort reflects that: this award is for environmental and social impact as much as it is for excellence in design.”
While Gauld was recognised for his cartoons for the likes of The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian and The New Scientist, Avella was commended for her research into fabric production and new materials. Furniture designer Mariott often works with recycled materials and collaborated with students from King Alfred School in north London to create furniture for their common room, teaching design and woodworking skills along the way.
Landscape architect Johanna Gibbons combines activism with education and design, building local communities’ needs into her ecological projects, while Adam Lowe has been involved in some incredible fabrication and conservation projects as part of his studio Factum Arte, including a replica of the burial chamber from Tutankhamun’s tomb. War Horse lighting designer Paule Constable has been a key proponent in the movement to make lighting design in theatre more sustainable.
RSA CEO Matthew Taylor continues: “The British design scene is as buzzing as ever, and we’ve been impressed by the success our winners have had internationally.”
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