The British Council has this morning named female Venezuelan multimedia designer Sigal Cohen as its Young Design Entrepreneur of the Year.
Cohen beat competition from nine other finalists to win the award, which was presented at a ceremony at 100% Design this morning. The award consists of a £7500 prize to be spent on a project with the British Council, plus a stand at next year’s 100% Design. The award is intended to champion design entrepreneurialism in emerging markets.
The judges said, ‘Sigal has a distinct talent in a boundary-pushing design form. She has already founded a very successful design and communication consultancy, and we have no doubt she will be a big player in the international design industry in the future.’
After graduating in 2002, Sigal set up digital, animation and graphics consultancy Oruga Films, whose client list includes several Latin American cable TV channels.
All ten finalists have just spent two weeks in the UK, participating in the London Design Festival. During their stay here, they also met up with designers in London and Glasgow – to introduce them to fellow design entrepreneurs and exemplary initiatives, according to the British Council.
Aged between 25- and 35-years-old, the other finalists were product designer Manuel Rapoport from Argentina, interior and furniture designer Xu Ming from China, graphic designer Markko Karu from Estonia, furniture designer Gunjan Gupta from India, design promotor Gustaff Harriman Iskandar from Indonesia, graphic and web designer Oluseyi Olubunmi Taylor from Nigeria, product and furniture designer Tomek Rygalik from Poland, graphic designer Martin Bricelj from Slovenia and toy designer Ruttikorn Vuttikorn from Thailand.
The jury this year included head of design and architecture at the British Council Emily Campbell, director of the Lighthouse Nick Barley, furniture and accessories designer Thorsten van Elten, head of sales at 100% Design Alice Brown and last year’s YDEY winner Paula Dib.