Dyson Appliances is the first British company to win the biennial European Design Prize and was one of the 11 winners announced in Paris last week.
The vacuum cleaner designer and manufacturer was the only UK finalist to make it on to the winners’ list of the competition.
The other winners were the German companies Authentics and Bulthaup; Italian outfit Artemide; Bates and Oticon from Denmark; Fiskars from Finland; Hrnell from Sweden; French company Lafuma; Oken from Spain; and Dutch company Mediamatic.
Dyson also picked up an award as a young technology intensive company. Joint winners of the lifetime achievement award went to lighting company Artemide and kitchen manufacturer Bulthaup. And Hrnell, Swedish manufacturer of welding helmets, won a prize for using design in a sector not normally known for its design innovation.
“Design is not simply about how a product looks. Designers should be building, testing and using the product, not just making it look pretty,” says Dyson.
The competition, organised on behalf of the European Commission and supported by the Design Council, aims to promote design within the European economic area among small and medium-sized companies. The ceremony coincided with the European Design Industry Summit.
See Feature, page 17.