Dezeen Magazine

Design Museum drops Designer of Year show

New Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic has stamped his mark on the London institution by dropping the controversial Designer of the Year show.

The museum's 2007 programme, published last month, does not include the event, which has been held each year since 2003 and which was one of the flagship projects of former director Alice Rawsthorn.

"There is no Designer of the Year in it's previous format," said a Design Museum spokesperson. "The format is being rethought and developed at the moment, and we will relaunch later in 2007, but there will be no accompanying exhibition."

Sudjic is understood to be considering relaunching the award as a prize for young designers or for international designers.

The £25,000 prize was set up to reward "the UK designer or design team whose work made the biggest contribution to design" in a given year. The inaugural award was won by Apple Computer designer Jonathan Ive, while interactive designer Daniel Brown won in 2004.

Controversy dogged the award in 2005, when it was won by "public sector design reformer" Hillary Cottam, who developed innovative procurement methods for schools and prisons but who, by her own admission, was not a designer. The ensuing row is thought to have contributed to Rawsthorn's departure from the museum in early 2006.

In 2006 the award went to Jamie Hewlett, the artist behind virtual pop group Gorillaz.

Highlights of the museum's programme for 2007 include shows dedicated to architect Zaha Hadid, fashion designer Matthew Williamson and graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook.


Dead end at the Design Museum (from the Evening Standard, 08.03.05)

Observer critic to take charge at the Design Museum (from the Guardian, 23.03.06)

Behind the scenes at the museum (Stephen Bayley writing in The Independent, 17.11.06 - NB you have to pay to view the full article)