The Tokyo Design Association, made up of of 264 international jury members and 30 corporations and organizations, selected Thomas Heatherwick to receive the first Designer of the Year award for his work in architecture, product design, installations and sculpture. Artist of the Year award went to Tokujin Yoshioka for his art installations, product design, packaging, interiors, displays, architecture and exhibitions.
Heatherwick Studio operates from a studio and workshop in London, where a team of architects, designers and makers work on projects ranging from bridges and buildings to products and large scale works of public art. This is an environment where project management and implementation takes place in parallel with model-making, prototyping and experimentation with ideas, materials and manufacturing processes.
Yoshioka has collaborated with international companies around the world. Many of his works are in the permanent collections in the major museums including MoMA. He was chosen as the “Designer of the Year 2007” at Design Miami. He was also selected by the Japanese edition of Newsweek as one of the “100 most respected Japanese by the world.”
The DA organization focuses on advancement of lifestyle through good design to achieve development of the design business and education of next generation designers. The Awards ceremony will take place during Tokyo Design Week.