Tears, smiles, hugs and kisses broke out at Kinneir Dufort’s table at last Wednesday’s Design Week awards when the Bristol consultancy’s inhaler for asthma sufferers, the HandiHaler, won the Best of Show accolade.
The entire body of designers then insisted on trooping on to the stage together, instead of nominating one person. Much vigorous handshaking followed and the video is in great demand.
Other award recipients chose to waft up to the stage in slow motion, no doubt to prolong their moment of glory.
The job of the cleaners, however, was anything but glamorous. For Thames Water had neglected to turn the water on at the gracious warehouse venue.
You couldn’t flush the loo. You couldn’t wash your hands. The consequences of alcohol excess were simply too ghastly.
Designers’ appetite for a good time was whetted rather than doused by this watershed. Drinking and dancing continued despite the screeches resounding in the toilets at the lack of hygiene.
CompÃ¨re Kirsty Wark was on top form, except when announcing awards for calendar design. In booming tones she revealed the fortunate lack of “fluffy kitchens” instead of kittens, causing Body Shop head of global design Jon Turner to collapse in giggles.
And the triumph of CD Partnership’s Mezzo design in the Restaurants section caused a wave of boos and hisses.
Awards-goers can rest assured that Thames will be ferociously castigated for this Watergate.
Fortunately, designers are a laid-back bunch. “Imagine if it was a taxidermists’ convention or something? They’d have walked out,” said one attendee.