The finalists have been announced for this year’s DesignEuropa Awards, which celebrate forward-looking pioneers within the design industry across a range of sectors and recognise the significant impact of their innovative products.
The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award was also announced, according to a press release. It will honour André Ricard, most famous for his torch design featured in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
“The DesignEuropa Awards are an important opportunity for us to recognise not only the economic and practical impacts of innovative designs, but also their cultural impact,” said Christian Archambeau, Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Archambeau added that it was a privilege to recognise André Ricard with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“His iconic designs have appeared in both the background and foreground of our lives since the 1960s, from perfume bottles to the Olympic torch,” said Archambeau.
“This illustrates just how design shapes every part of our lives and serves to inspire new creations from generation to generation.”
Ricard remains a highly influential figure for Spanish and European design.
“His Copenhagen ashtray is considered a symbol of the 1960s. A perfume bottle he created in 1968 is still in production and sold all over the world. The Tatu lamp, designed in 1972, looks as modern now as it did back then,” EUIPO said.
“His majestic hanging lamps have graced the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid for decades now. In 1992, his Olympic torch design shone a light on his home city of Barcelona and introduced him to an even wider audience.”
The eight finalists come from seven countries: Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United States.
Their designs are visible in a variety of sectors, including healthcare, advanced engineering, automation and access solutions, furniture, professional lighting, outdoor appliances and security.
They include a smart doorknob (Sweden), a portable patient monitor (Netherlands) and a digital stethoscope (Poland).
“All of them are setting new standards in the design industry,” said EUIPO.
“The EU has a rich design tradition and is a world leader in industrial design. Design-intensive industries account for 30.7 million direct jobs and make up 16.2 percent of the EU’s total GDP.”
The United States is currently the third biggest filer of registered Community designs, with China and Germany topping the list.
The jury for the awards is headed by renowned Finnish designer and President of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) Päivi Tahkokallio.
Its other 11 members come from the fields of design, business and intellectual property.
Now in its third edition, the DesignEuropa Awards are organised by EUIPO in order to recognise both products and their designers in the field of industrial design.
The EUIPO receives around 100,000 design applications each year, resulting in 1.5 million currently registered today since it began administering this intellectual property right in 2003.
The awards ceremony will take place in the Netherlands on 19 October.