Hats off to Limburg during prestigious Henry Van de Velde Awards

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    Renaat Nijs

Just now during the Henry van de Velde Awards in the BOZAR in Brussels, ten designers have been awarded. No less than four of these prestigious design prizes go to Limburg designers. With this, delivers the goods, again.

Just like every year, the Belgian design world is gathering at the end of January in Brussels. In the Museum of Fine Arts (Bozar)  the top designers are being acknowledge during the presentation of the Henry Van de Velde Awards. These awards have been the crown on their works since 1994. Flanders DC – former Design Flanders – always links the prominent role of the winners in ten different categories to an exhibition.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Bart Lens, the renowned architect and designer, received the Lifetime Achievement Award; a prize that is only destined for a designer or design studio that has been active for at least 30 years and has had both national and international impact on an economic, social and cultural level. The international jury praised Bart Lens for his career, vision, consistent approach and balanced oeuvre. Even though the HVDV Lifetime Achievement Award is the most important career prize you can get in our country, it certainly does not mean that Bart Lens is planning an early retirement. The jury referred, among other things, to the role of Bart Lens in the vast innovation around Bokrijk and BKRK in where Lens wants to further develop the story of present, past and future of craftsmanship.

Efficiency Award

The Efficiency Award went to the Dubio brick of Roel – it’s a Roel – Vandebeek. This ‘classic’ brick was provided with shadow lines that create the illusion of two or three thin stacked stones. An aesthetic and cost-reducing idea that benefits both bricklayers and architects. Roel Vandebeek designed this brick for Nelissen Steenfabrieken.

Design-Led Crafts Award

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the award for Lore Langendries who was handed over the Design-Led Crafts Award for her Tableskin. A tactile tablecloth that she developed for the West Flemish textile company Verilin (which was also awarded with the Company Award). Tableskin – which includes napkins in addition to a tablecloth – displays a drawing reminiscent of a hairy animal skin, a recurring theme in Lore Langendries’ oeuvre. The Design-Led Crafts Award is undeniably an incentive for the jewelery designer to further explore the possibilities in her field of work.

Public Award

Frederik Boonen can add another award to the long list of designs by Studio Boonen, their third in a row. The Public Award went to the Theomatik, a table aid to let people eat independently with one functional arm. This means that of all 18 selected design solutions that competed for the HVDV Awards, the Theomatik received the most public votes.

Other Limburg nominees like Vollebak Vennestraat, the total concept by vzw LABO (Linde Hermans, Noortje De la haye, Patrick Reuvis, Jo Klaps, Huub Berger, Peter Firman, Annick de Waal, Nienke Van der Reijden, Hanne Keirse, Gaëtan Coolen, Martine Geladi Jeff Rutten, Jochen Cypers & Simon Jones) for Stad Genk had to yield for the Antwerp office Kastaar in the Communication Award category and their role in the reopening of the Plantin-Moretus Museum. Studio Segers that with H-bench for ECO-oh! opportunity for the OVAM Ecodesign Award, had to acknowledge The Post-Couture Collective as their superior in the category. This Antwerp fashion collective offers a new method for the production of sustainable, affordable and personalized clothing.

In the Everyday Life category, the colorful and stackable Stubs stools by Frank Ternier for Labt won and the Healthcare Award went to Coll-Pee, a smart device designed by Voxdale for the collection of the first fraction of urine. That is the first 20ml of the puddle and extremely indicative for the detection of infectious diseases and cancer. The incentive prize for young talent went to Industrial designer Sep Verboom (1990). The jury called him a textbook example of what the designer should be today: not just maker and inventor, but also inspirator and connector, and world improver.

Typographic catalog

The balance for Limburg’s design is once again very positive. With four out of the ten Awards, it is proven that is more than just a quality mark for good design. And along with this let us not forget that the catalog that accompanies the Henry van de Velde Awards every year is produced by fellow Limburger, Geoffrey Brusatto. For the time being, the only #wwwwanderful that we can take home – for just 14 euros – from the expo which can be visited until 15 April in the foyers of the Center for Fine Arts, Bozar.

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