Bonnie Hvillum

Bonnie Hvillum wins inaugural Bentley Lighthouse Award 2023

Natural Material Studio founder Bonnie Hvillum has been named the first winner of the prestigious Bentley Lighthouse Award at this evening's Dezeen Awards 2023 ceremony.

The Bentley Lighthouse Award recognises designers who are curious and courageous in their approach and whose work has had a beneficial impact on social and environmental sustainability, inclusivity or community empowerment.

Reset Materials, Bonnie Hvillum, Natural Material Studio
Bonnie Hvillum has won the Bentley Lighthouse Award

The 2023 jury hailed Hvillum for her studio's "uncompromising" work and bio-based material development pioneering.

"The whole oeuvre is impressive and beautiful and demonstrates the path that our industry needs to take towards bio-based research, creating greater material diversity whether by repurposing waste or growing new materials," said the master jury.

Bonnie Hvillum, Natural Material Studio
Her work explores how humans and nature interact with materials

In an interview earlier this year, Hvillum spoke to Dezeen about materials and their ability to transform our lives if we are willing to change.

"I want materials to play an active role in our way of understanding the world," said Hvillum. "I feel like we have become too familiar and comfortable."

Natural Material Studio brick textiles Milan design week Alcova
Natural Material Studio created textiles from repurposed bricks with Polish designer Zuzanna Skurka

During 3 Days of Design in Denmark the studio unveiled its Human Nature exhibition, which showcased compostable biofoam seating and biomaterial fabric installations at art gallery Copenhagen Contemporary.

At this year's Milan design week the Copenhagen-based studio also collaborated with designer Zuzanna Skurka to create Brick Textiles, a travelling installation of soft biotextiles made from surplus bricks.

Natural Material Studio shellfish crockery
Natural Material studio developed Shellware ceramics for London restaurant Noma

Since its establishment in 2018, Natural Material Studio has innovatively produced a variety of repurposed materials for a range of projects.

The Danish studio has crafted seafood restaurant crockery from leftover scallop shells and even designed apparel using algae, clay and foam.

Dezeen Awards 2023 Bentley Lighthouse Award trophy
Bonnie Hvillum received a unique black Dezeen Awards paper marble trophy

The Bentley Lighthouse Award nominees who were contending Hvillium are behind British materials company Ananas Anam, material innovation firm Radiant Matter, French circular-design lab Atelier Luma and London-based studio The Tyre Collective.

This year's Dezeen Awards certificates were printed on seaweed by-product paper by sustainable packaging start-up Notpla, which was also nominated for the Bentley Lighthouse Award.

Dezeen Awards 2023

Dezeen Awards celebrates the world's best architecture, interiors and design. Now in its sixth year, it has become the ultimate accolade for architects and designers across the globe. The annual awards are in partnership with Bentley Motors, as part of a wider collaboration that will see the brand work with Dezeen to support and inspire the next generation of design talent.