The London Design Festival has just announced its four winners of the 2023 London Design Medals in advance of the event's opening later this weekend.
Architect and engineer Hanif Kara was joined by architect and planner Pooja Agrawal, four-year-old London-based social enterprise POoR Collective, and renowned ceramic artist and journalist Magdalene Odundo as the honorees who will be included as part of this year’s festival, which takes place from September 16th to the 24th in the British capital.
The Medals have been presented since 2003 as part of the weeklong Festival. Ben Evans, the event's Director, said: “Each year, London Design Festival celebrates the creativity and innovation that shapes our world. The 2023 London Design Medal winners are exemplary individuals and collectives, embodying the spirit of design excellence and its transformative power. Their work, from pushing the boundaries of architecture to fostering social change, inspires us all.”
London Design Medal: Hanif Kara OBE, Design Director and Co-Founder of AKT II
Kara said: “The goal was to do well by designing a non-combustible model of practice, one that doesn’t simply light up bright like a star and burn out but goes on to make a wider impact on the field beyond the narrow gaze of our own profession. This is why wider peer recognition and awards like this one, specifically, matter. I am so grateful to the jury.”
Design Innovation Medal: Pooja Agrawal, Co-Founder and CEO of the non-profit Public Practice
Agrawal said: “Cities are organisms, they're always evolving and changing. You don't want to pause a city, change is a positive thing. The worry is when change is causing consequences of extreme inequality. I hope London continues to be a very vibrant, diverse place where everyone has the right to own parts of the city. I am delighted to have won the award for design innovation. This is a great example of public sector innovation, and it is fantastic to see Public Practice being recognised as a design that has positively impacted London. As a framework, it enables passionate and socially led designers and architects to make meaningful changes within local authorities. We emerged out of London but continue to design and scale the organisation to ensure we can spread its impact across the country."
Emerging Design Medal: POoR Collective (Power out of Restriction)
The Collective's Larry Botchway said: “Our design approach allows us to act as a conduit for young people. Therefore, winning the Emerging Talent Medal isn't just a win for us but a win for the numerous communities we have connected with. This award reinforces that there is value in championing young voices and providing opportunities for others.”Lifetime Achievement Medal: Magdalene Odundo DBE
Odundo said: “I have always been curious to discover why human beings make and surround themselves with objects that are not just utilitarian but also give pleasure, have spiritual significance, and tell the stories of the people who made the objects.”
Additional information about this year's London Design Festival can be found here.
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