Five UK designers were recognized for their outstanding contribution to design and society by The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce at the Royal Designers for Industry (RDI) awards last week: Patrick Bellew, Peter Clegg, Sir Terence Conran, Edward Cullinan, and David Watkins.
Patrick Bellew (Environmental engineer), recognized for his leadership in the field of eco-generation and his contribution to the environmental performance of buildings, said, "In many ways the work of the environmental engineer is invisible; it is through collaboration and communication with architects and other designers that we deal in the media of air, light and water to deliver more efficient buildings. It is particularly pleasing that the contribution of the engineer to this collaborative process is recognised through this award".
Peter Clegg (Architect), recognized for social and environmental design in the UK and Africa, said, "I am honoured to be awarded the title of RDI, and in particular that this should be in recognition of the work of my practice in the area of sustainability."
Sir Terence Conran, recognized for using good design to improve the quality of life of many people, said, "I have spent over fifty years in design, business and retail working to demonstrate the importance of intelligent design not just to the economy but also to the quality of people's lives, which is why I am especially delighted to accept this award recognizing innovation and industry."
Edward Cullinan (Architect), recognized for his leadership in the design of buildings as a social force, said, "My work has always tried to show evidence of experimentation, playfulness, and above all, architectural eloquence, coupled with a deep sense of both social and environmental responsibility. My commitment to sustainability is not a recently acquired reaction to global warming fears; it is part of a broad humanist grounding that lies behind all of my work and that of Edward Cullinan Architects. I extend my thanks to the RSA for inviting me into its prestigious Faculty of Royal Designers".
David Watkins (Jeweller), recognized for his education work, his link with manufacturing and his innovative use of design and materials to make jewellery more accessible.
"The work of these five is varied but they have the common link of having made a significant benefit to society as well as demonstrating design excellence," said Andrew Summers, Chairman of the selection panel.
Since it was introduced, recipients of the honour have included Eric Gill, Gordon Russell, Barnes Wallis, Jonathan Ive, Vivienne Westwood, and Marc Newson. Royal Designers are responsible for designing the Millennium Bridge, the iPod, the Rolls-Royce jet engine, the Harry Potter film sets and the miniskirt among other things.