2016 Vincent Van Duysen

It’s quite a task each year to decide on the name of the Designer of the Year. Which designer surprised us with the most interesting objects? Who attracted the international spotlight? Whose creative career deserves to be crowned Designer of the Year? This year, however, it was a straightforward choice: architect and designer Vincent Van Duysen’s name was the top of the list for the members of the jury.

Vincent Van Duysen (°1962) may be best known as an architect, but his work as a designer is just as impressive. During the course of his career, he has developed his own style in his architectural projects as well as his product design, often described as minimalist. He prefers the term ‘art of living’ himself. Be it an industrial product, outdoor furniture, earthenware containers or a clever lighting system, he always succeeds in paring down the design into a refined product.

Among his clients are major Italian brands including Fantini, B&B Italia, Flos, Poliform, When Objects Work, Pastoe, Tribu and Obumex. Cherry on the cake: he was appointed creative director of renowned manufacturer Molteni&C this year. This puts him alongside a list of major names from the field of architecture such as Aldo Rossi, Tobia Scarpa and Luca Meda. “This was an opportunity I could not resist,” enthuses Van Duysen. “Molteni&C is a company with a rich design history and with enormous experience and knowhow. You can only have the fullest respect for their professionalism, their knowledge of materials and their history.”

The Designer of the Year is an initiative of the Biennale Interieur and Knack Weekend / Le Vif Weekend magazines. The prize is supported by Bozar, the Design museum Ghent and the Centre d'innovation et de design in Grand-Hornu. Vincent Van Duysen is the eleventh Designer of the Year. In the past, the following have also received the prize: Alain Berteau, Nedda El-Asmar, Stefan Schöning, Sylvain Willenz, Bram Boo, Nathalie Dewez, Alain Gilles, Jean-François D’Or, Marina Bautier and Muller Van Severen.

With his title of Designer of the Year, Vincent Van Duysen is also entitled to a display of his work at INTERIEUR 2016, where he will be feted during the opening ceremony of the 25th Biennale Interieur, on Friday October 14th. The Flemish Cultural Prize for Design will be announced on the same evening.

On the same evening, the Flemish Cultural Prize for Design will be presented by Flemish Minister of Culture Sven Gatz.