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Hilary Cottam Wins Designer of the Year Prize

LONDON, ENGLAND.- The winner of the Design Museum’s £25,000 Designer of the Year award is Hilary Cottam, the design reformer, for her achievements in championing higher standards of design and the development of new design thinking in schools, prisons, the health service and other areas of the public sector. Cottam was named as the Designer of the Year at the Design Museum by the acclaimed German designer Dieter Rams, famed for his work at Braun. “Hilary Cottam is not a designer in the traditional sense, but she is a wonderfully worthy winner of Designer of the Year for the imaginative and innovative way she uses design as a strategic tool to modernise schools, prisons and other critically important areas of our lives,” says Alice Rawsthorn, director of the Design Museum and chair of the Designer of the Year jury.

Designer of the Year is the annual award for the UK designer whose work made the biggest contribution to design in the past year. Three designers were nominated for this year’s prize with Hilary Cottam: the product and furniture designer Jasper Morrison; the designers responsible for Penguin’s Great Ideas series of books; and the provocative textile design duo Timorous Beasties.

Born in London in 1965, Hilary Cottam worked for the World Bank in Africa and Latin America before founding School Works and the Do Tank to pioneer new approaches to the design of schools and prisons respectively. As director of the experimental RED team at the Design Council, Cottam is now working to redefine the role of design in daily life, starting with health and citizenship. Tens of thousands of members of the public voted for their favourite nominee to win the £25,000 prize at the Designer of the Year exhibition and online on the Design Museum website. The outcome of the public vote counted towards the choice of the winner together with the votes of the four jurors: multimedia designer and last year’s winner of Designer of the Year Daniel Brown; design strategist Ilse Crawford; novelist Hari Kunzru; and Hugo Manassei of the National Endowment of Science, Technology and the Arts. The Designer of the Year exhibition is to continue at the Design Museum until 19 June 2005.

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