Meet the London Design Festival medal winners

Every year London Design Festival recognises the contribution made by leading design figures and emerging talents to London and the industry with four London Design Medals awarded.

This year some of the biggest names in the industry are set to be honoured as Tom Dixon OBE (London Design Medal), Daniel Charny (Design Innovation Medal), Ross Atkin (Emerging Design Medal) and Dame Vivienne Westwood (Lifetime Achievement Medal) all receive recognition for their innovative and iconic work.

The Medals will be presented on Monday 16 September 2019 at the British Land Celebration of Design. For the fifth consecutive year, British Land is Headline Partner to the awards, which takes place at The House of Commons, Westminster. Ben Evans CBE, London Design Festival Director explains, “Each year the jury selects four eminent people who have made a major contribution to design in the UK. This year the winners are as interesting and deserving as ever.”

British Land neighbourhoods Broadgate and Paddington Central will also be playing host to some of the biggest moments at the London Design Festival. Click here to find out more…

The judging panel

A panel of established designers, industry commentators and previous winners meet to debate and judge the possible recipients of the four Medals. This year’s jury members are: Ozwald Boateng OBE, Ian Callum CBE, Sheridan Coakley, Njusja de Gier, Es Devlin OBE, Sarah Douglas, Ben Evans CBE, Dr Tristram Hunt, Domenic Lippa, Jay Osgerby OBE, Raoul Shah, Joff Sharpe, Justine Simons OBE, Sir John Sorrell CBE, Dr Paul Thompson and Jane Withers.

About the 2019 winners:

Tom Dixon OBE

The London Design Medal, supported by British Airways London City, is the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual who has distinguished themselves within the industry and demonstrated consistent design excellence. This year’s winner, Tom Dixon, rose to prominence in the mid 1980s as a self-taught British designer. He set up the creative think-tank Space, which acted as a shop front for himself and other young designers.

By the late 1980s, he was working for Cappellini, for which he designed the iconic S chair. In the late 1990s, Dixon became Creative Director at Habitat and was responsible for rejuvenating the brand while maintaining Terence Conran’s vision of enriching everyday life through simple, modern design. His works have been acquired by museums across the globe, including the V&A, MoMA and the Pompidou Centre.

In 2002 Dixon established his own eponymous brand with own stores in New York, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Milan and Tokyo. Over 600 products are created by the company, ranging from lighting to furniture, from tableware through to fragrance, and are distributed to over 90 countries. In 2007 Dixon launched Design Research Studio, an interior and architectural design studio. Highprofile projects include the Restaurant at the Royal Academy, Shoreditch House, le Drugstore in Paris and Alto in Hong Kong.

In 2018, Dixon opened the Coal Office, his new London Headquarters, in King’s Cross. Created by Design Research Studio, the Coal Office functions as a multidisplinary hub, including an office, restaurant, design studio and shop all under one roof. Tom Dixon says, “I’m still confused as to why I won’t be getting the ‘Emerging Design Medal’, as it still feels very much like I have only just started – I’ve so much left to design! But I’m very touched to be noticed by this super Jury, thank you very much.”

Daniel Charny

Design Innovation Medal, supported by SAP, celebrates entrepreneurship in all its forms, both locally and internationally. It honours an individual for whom design lies at the core of their development and success. Daniel Charny is a creative director, curator and educator with an inquiring mind and an entrepreneurial streak. He is co-founder of the creative consultancy From Now On, where clients include Dartington Hall, the Design Museum, Google, Heatherwick Studio, Nesta and U+I.


His most recent initiative is the creative education think-and-do-tank FixEd. Charny is best known as curator of the influential exhibition Power of Making at the V&A, which drove him to found the award-winning learning programme Fixperts, now taught in universities and schools worldwide. Other projects include the Aram Gallery, the British Council’s Maker Library Network and the Central Research Laboratory accelerator.

As Professor of Design at Kingston University he is interested in the roles of design and making for social benefit. Charny is active internationally as a speaker and expert advisor, advocating his vision of design, creativity and making as essential tools to unlock a better future. Daniel Charny says, “Engagement, education and access to design are all critical to assuring the creative responses to a changing world that we all need. I’m proud to represent this idea and delighted to be recognised for it in London, a city of unparalleled creativity.”

Ross Atkin

Emerging Design Medal supported by Storey, recognises an impact made on the design scene within five or so years of graduation. Ross Atkin is a designer and engineer based in east London. His work focuses on two areas: helping disabled people to live more independently, and introducing design and engineering to children.

He maintains his own design and development practice, creating assistive technology and accessibility-focused products that span the digital-physical divide. These include: Sight Line, a system for improving the accessibility of roadworks developed in partnership with The Royal Society for Blind Children and Transport for London; MSE Genie, an app and connected hardware that allows a sensory room to be tailored around the needs and capabilities of the person using it; Responsive Street Furniture, a system created in partnership with Marshalls that enables pieces of urban infrastructure to provide assistance automatically, such as by making street lighting brighter, or by lengthening the duration of road-crossing signals; Smartibot, the world’s first A.I. enabled carboard robot; and LiftCheck, a system that allows lift users to see if the lifts they need to complete their journey are operational before they set off.

Atkin’s design practice is heavily informed by observational research. He regularly conducts participatory shadowing of disabled people as they make journeys around cities. Ross Atkin says, “I never thought the kind of work that I do would be recognised, so I feel doubly honoured. It’s beyond my imagination to be in the company of true legends of design, and it also is an amazing privilege to be representing the world of inclusive design on such a prominent platform as London Design Festival. I look forward to more designers from that world being recognised in the future”.

Dame Vivienne Westwood

Lifetime Achievement Medal Winner supported by Fortnum & Mason, honours a significant and fundamental contribution to the design industry over the course of a career. Vivienne Westwood was born in 1941 and moved to London 17 years later. She began designing in 1971 along with her then partner, Malcolm McLaren. In 1984, she launched her own fashion line and in 2004 the V&A hosted a Vivienne Westwood retrospective to celebrate her 34 years in fashion – the largest exhibition ever devoted to a living British fashion designer.

Westwood has always used her collections and catwalk shows as a platform for activism. She has personally spent many years speaking out about the effects of climate change and overconsumption – and inaugurated the ‘Climate Revolution’ at the 2012 London Paralympics closing ceremony. Along with husband and design partner Andreas Kronthaler, Westwood actively supports the charity Cool Earth in its efforts to halt rainforest destruction.

She has also campaigned for a number of NGOs and charities including the Environmental Justice Foundation and Friends of the Earth, and is an ambassador for Greenpeace: in 2013 she designed their official ‘Save the Arctic’ logo. Since 2011 Westwood has worked with the International Trade Centre – a joint body of the UN – to produce accessories through their Ethical Fashion Initiative. The programme currently supports the work of thousands of women from marginalised African communities. Westwood has written her ideas in a manifesto called ‘Active Resistance to Propaganda’, rooted in culture as a stimulus to save the planet, and more recently designed a set of playing cards to set out a global economic strategy to stop climate change.

About London Design Festival

Established in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell CBE and Ben Evans CBE, London Design Festival celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world. London Design Festival has since earned the reputation as a key calendar moment of London’s autumn creative season, alongside London Fashion Week, Frieze Art Fair and the London Film Festival, attracting the greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to the capital, in a citywide celebration.

About British Land

British Land plc owns a portfolio of office-led London campuses and retail destinations, located around the UK. These include Broadgate, London; Meadowhall, Sheffield and Canada Water, London. Our approach towards creating high-quality places for our customers and the community involves bringing together our skills in placemaking, sustainability and technology and responding towards the changing way people use our space.

Our places serve local communities, provide opportunities for skills development and employment and promote wellbeing. 2019 was our third year holding the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s highest business accolade, recognising our economic, social and environmental achievements across our portfolio. Our strategy is to build an increasingly mixed use business, which will comprise of three core elements – our London campuses, a smaller, more focussed Retail portfolio and residential. By creating vibrant mixed use neighbourhoods we can drive enduring demand for our space, support rental growth and create long-term value for all our stakeholders. Our portfolio is valued at £16.2bn (British Land share: £12.3bn) as at 31 March 2019 making us one of Europe’s largest real estate investment companies. Further details can be found on the British Land website at or follow us @BritishLandPLC

About Storey

Storey is a small business within a big business. The product has a clear vision: to create a new type of office space with a focus on adapting to different customers business needs. Working with award winning architects and designers, Storey has created a nimble and innovative alternative to the traditional leases for businesses that need their own private space with built-in flexibility. Storey offers open plan and fully customised and personalised offices, as well as shared meeting and collaboration space and facilities including showers, bike racks and shared kitchen areas.

Supported by British Land’s property and facilities management team, Storey provides a seamless and reliable service. Leases are flexible, simple, jargon-free and all-inclusive, covering rent, business rates and service charges, secure, fully backed-up WiFi, reception service, cleaning and maintenance and office furniture. Catering for both scale-up businesses requiring their own personalised space and larger organisations requiring a separate hub, Storey creates office spaces designed, branded and laid out exactly how you want, accommodating businesses with a requirement of 20 desks or more. Newly opened Storey Club is an inspirational space exclusively available to Storey customers and others based at Paddington Central. With everything from additional meeting rooms, private dining venues and impressive event and workshops spaces with a distraction-free shared work lounge for when your team need an away-from-your-desk place., Instagram: @thisisstorey

About British Airways London City

Travel in style from the heart of London with British Airways. British Airways fly from London City Airport (LCY) from multiple destinations in Europe and the UK. Book with British Airways to benefit from the award-winning service and no-hidden-charges promise. Let British Airways take care of everything – from flights to accommodation and airport transfers. All flights include a generous free hand baggage allowance and the ability to check-in online, on your mobile or at the airport. London City Airport is the only airport located in central London and can be reached from the city centre in as little as 21 minutes. With just one terminal, you can move through the airport with ease and check in up to 20 minutes before your flight departs, allowing you to make the most of your time before your travel. Experience the speed and convenience of British Airways at London City Airport and get your trip off to the perfect start. Book now:

About Fortnum & Mason

A fixture in Piccadilly since 1707, Fortnum & Mason remains an essential London destination for anyone in search of extraordinary food, glorious gifts and unforgettable experiences. From the food halls and confectionery counters at street level, to the beautiful fragrance, beauty and fashion floor, expertly-curated gentlemen’s department, and refined Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon above, Fortnum’s is committed to making the everyday special for each customer, whether they’re shopping in-store or from around the world at the award-winning Renowned for its famous teas, scotch eggs, handmade chocolates and iconic wicker hampers – each of which play a large part in Fortnum’s centuries of history – the iconic brand remains committed to imagination and discovery too. From new stores at home and abroad, to delicious innovations like Fortnum's Ruby Chocolate and adventure-ready Hamperlings, Fortnum’s mission – as it has been since 1707 – remains to deliver a sense of pleasure to every customer.

About SAP

As the Experience Company powered by the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables more than 437,000 business and public customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit Twitter: @SAPUKIreland 

14 September 2019 - 22 September 2019
Add to CalendarEurope/London Meet the London Design Festival medal winners Supported by British Land 60 true MM/DD/YYYY Broadgate 09/14/2019 12:00 AM 09/22/2019 12:00 AM

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