Engineer Max Fordham has won the 2008 Prince Philip Designers Prize.
Fordham, a pioneer of the Green building movement who has worked on low-carbon projects such as Tate St Ives, Poole Arts Centre and Lord’s Cricket Ground indoor school, was presented with the prize at the Design Council, London WC2, last night.
The awards ceremony, which recognises outstanding lifetime achievement in design, was attended by the Duke of Edinburgh, who instigated the prize in 1959 and chaired this year’s selection panel.
Fordham saw off competition from a shortlist comprising automotive designer Ian Callum, architects Jeremy Dixon and Edward Jones, architect and designer Amanda Levete, product designer Sam Hecht, fashion designer Betty Jackson, and Lewis Moberly founder Mary Lewis.
Richard Seymour and Dick Powell, of Seymour Powell, and Sir John and Lady Frances Sorrell received special commendations.
Speaking at the ceremony, Fordham said it was an honour for him to be nominated, adding that he hoped his victory would demonstrate that ‘engineers are designers in the widest sense’.
Prince Philip gave his congratulations to Fordham, and said of the shortlist, ‘I don’t envy the judges with this lot.’
David Kester, chief executive of the Design Council, said, ‘Max Fordham is a true pioneer of sustainable design.
‘Building services are responsible for almost half of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions, so it’s timely that the Prince Philip Prize – which rewards a lasting design contribution to society – should this year be awarded to an engineer whose legacy to the planet is genuinely environmental and sustainable design.’