Luxury goods brand Hermès is launching an award for product designers, to recognise newer designers rather than established design ‘superstars’.
The triennial Prix Émile Hermès launches in June 2008, with cash prizes of €50 000 (£34 000), €35 000 (£24 000) and €15 000 (£10 000) to three designers for work on travel and homeware products.
The theme of the inaugural awards – judged by a panel including Ron Arad and Massimo Morozzi, and chaired by Enzo Mari – is ‘everyday lightness as applied to objects for travel and the home’.
‘We are looking for products that people use every day, designed with a lightness of touch – we don’t just mean that the object should be physically light,’ says a Hermès spokeswoman. Products entered must be designed specifically for the competition.
Entrance is limited to designers under 40. Hermès hopes to make the competition global, but the first awards limit applications to designers from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK.
Registration opens in September and closes in November. In December and January 2008, candidates must submit dossiers to inform the judges’ choices for a shortlist, drawn up in March. In June, shortlisted designers send in prototypes and the winners are selected.
The awards website, www.prixemilehermes.com, will go live on 15 September.