2012 Sir Misha Black Medal and Award winners announced

19 January 2012
London (United Kingdom) - The 2012 Sir Misha Black Medal and Award will be conferred during a public ceremony to be held at the Royal College of Art on 8 March 2012. Professor Ezio Manzini of Italy, who has been working for more than two decades in the field of design for sustainability, will be awarded the 2012 Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education.

London (United Kingdom) - The 2012 Sir Misha Black Medal and Award will be conferred during a public ceremony to be held at the Royal College of Art on 8 March 2012. Professor Ezio Manzini of Italy, who has been working for more than two decades in the field of design for sustainability, will be awarded the 2012 Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education.

Manchester School of Art will receive the 2012 Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education. It will be presented to Professor David Crow, Dean and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University, under whose leadership a radical repositioning of the school has taken place.

The Sir Misha Black Awards Committee comprises representatives from key design institutions - the Royal College of Art, The Design & Industries Association, The Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry RSA, The Royal Academy of Engineering and the College of Sir Misha Black Award Medallists.
mishablackawards.org.uk

Sir Misha Black Medal recipient: Ezio Manzini

[Image: Ezio Manzini]

Above: Ezio Manzini recipient of the 2012 Sir Misha Black Medal. Courtesy of Sir Misha Black Awards.

Most recently, Ezio Manzini's interests have focussed on social innovation, considered as a major driver of sustainable changes, and on what design can do to support it. He started and currently coordinates DESIS, an international network of schools of design and other design-related organisations specifically active in the field of design for social innovation and sustainability.

In addition to his continuous involvement in the design for sustainability arena, he has explored and promoted design in different fields, including, Design of Materials in the 80s; Strategic Design in the 90s (creating a Masters Degree Course in Strategic Design in the Politecnico in Milan); and since 2000 starting specific courses in Service Design in the same institution.

Throughout his professional life he has taught and carried out research at the Politecnico di Milano where he directed several national and international research projects and where he coordinated the Unit of Research DIS-Design and Innovation for Sustainability, the Doctorate in Design and, recently, DES: (Design dei Servizi) the Centre for Service Design in the Indaco (Industrial Design, Arts, Communication Department).

Parallel to this, he has also been director and vice-president of Domus Academy, Italy and Chair Professor of Design under the Distinguished Scholars Scheme at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (in 2000). He remains as Visiting Professor at the Politecnico di Milano, Honorary Guest Professor at the Tongji University, in Shanghai, at the Jiangnan University, in Wuxi, China, and at the UFRJ, (Rio de Janeiro Federal University) in Brazil and Distinguished Visiting Professor, at Parsons, the New School for Design, in New York.

He has received important prizes in Italy including two Compasso d'Oro Design Prizes, given by ADI-Associazione per il Design Industriale, and, recently, the Premio per l'innovazione (Prize for Innovation), given by the Ministero dell'Innovazione Italiano (the Italian Innovation Ministry). He has received honorary titles in several countries including Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at The New School of New York and at Goldsmiths College, University of London; Honorary Professor at the Glasgow School of Art; Fellow at the Australian Centre for Science, Innovation and Society at the University of Melbourne.

He is a member of the Advisory Board of Schools including the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands and of associations including the Città Slow Association, Italy. He has also served on the advisory boards of several design journals including The Journal of Design Research (Netherlands); The Design Journal (UK) and the International Journal of Design (Taiwan).

Professor Manzini has been widely published in distinguished journals and several papers can be found on sustainable-everyday.net and desis-network.org.

Professor Sir Christopher Frayling who represents the College of Medallists on the Sir Misha Black Awards Committee has commented:

Ezio Manzini has, for as long as many of us can remember, been at the forefront of innovative thinking and practice in design. In the expansive 1980s, from his base at Domus in Milan, he provided much-needed frames of reference for industrial and product designers - when they needed them most. Since then, he has led international research into and through design for sustainability, making this important theme accessible, inspirational - and urgent. Ezio Manzini is a very gifted educator, with the unusual ability to put ideas over to design practitioners and students alike. He is a very worthy recipient of this year's Misha Black Medal, with just the right mix of talents. He has made 'design and sustainability' very visible on the international scene, and for that alone he deserves the Award.

Sir Misha Black Award recipient: Manchester School of Art

[Image: David Crow]

Above: David Crow, who will accept the 2012 Sir Misha Black Award on behalf of the Manchester School of Art. Courtesy of Sir Misha Black Awards.

Under Professor David Crow's leadership a radical repositioning of the old school has taken place. It has reverted to its original name 'Manchester School of Art’ and its original ethos of 'supporting the creative economy of the region.' This fundamental rethink has been translated into a £34M programme to create an entirely new building and refurbish others. These carefully thought out facilities will reinforce the school's plans to reinforce multidisciplinary and collaborative working through curriculum innovation.

As part of this process the Manchester DESIGN LAB has been established. It is a multi-tiered project linked to professionals working in the region, design studios, city galleries, regional councillors and researchers. It now includes Contemporary Crafts Practice and has been augmented with a Media Lab. In turn these Labs are now linked across the University with colleagues in Science, Engineering and Humanities.

Professor Crow and his colleagues are now introducing an experimental and innovative new 'Unit X' across the entire undergraduate curriculum ensuring every art student takes part in an external facing, multidisciplinary team project in each year of their study.

Staff teams have been created to support this collaborative work both inside and outside the School of Art. Plans are afoot to link the staff and students at Manchester School of Art with other major institutions along what is now known as The Corridor and destined to become the cultural heart of Manchester.


For more information, please contact:

Áine Duffy
Head of Media Relations & Marketing
Royal College of Art
T +44 20 7590 4127
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Wilhelmina Bunn
Administrator to the Sir Misha Black Awards Committee
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About the Sir Misha Black Medal

The Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education was instituted in 1978 as a memorial to Sir Misha Black, designer and teacher, following his death in 1977. The first Medal was presented to Sir William Coldstream in Buckingham Palace by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Four bodies with whom Sir Misha Black was closely associated set it up - the Royal College of Art, the Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry of the RSA, The Design and Industries Association and The Chartered Society of Designers. In 1996 The Royal Academy of Engineering joined, in recognition of the growth of design studies in engineering universities.

About the Sir Misha Black Award

The Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education was instituted in 1998 alongside the Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education. The decision to create an additional award was in response to changes in Design Education since 1978. The Award is presented to: “Design educators in the UK who contribute to the development of design education through innovative teaching, course design or the relationship between education and professional practice: and to recognise innovation and achievement in the developing culture of design education.”

About Sir Misha Black

Sir Misha Black was an industrial designer who with his partner Milner Gray, founded DRU (Design Research Unit) in the late 1940’s. It became one of the first international, interdisciplinary design practices with major clients in industrial design, architecture and graphics. In 1959 Misha Black was appointed the first Professor of Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art, a post he held until his retirement in 1975. He was the most influential design teacher of his time, involved in international design affairs as well as being a gifted speaker and writer on design matters.