Montreal (Canada) – The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) prepares to announce the shortlist of projects for the inaugural World Design Impact Prize at the Icsid General Assembly in Taipei (Chinese Taiwan) on 27 October 2011. The winning project will be showcased during the WDC Design Gala in Helsinki (Finland) in 2 February 2012.

The WDC Design Gala is a celebration in recognition of the contributions made by local and international design industries and design professionals (including industrial designers, graphic designers, interior architects, architects and all other design-related professions). A prominent event in the WDC Helsinki 2012 programme, the WDC Design Gala will inaugurate the Word Design Impact Prize as the cornerstone of future WDC Design Gala events. Local prizes bearing a global relevance will also be awarded as part of the evening including the Alvar Aalto Medal and the Estlander Prize.

Founded by Icsid, the World Design Impact Prize aims to empower and stimulate socially responsible design initiatives by honouring industrial design driven projects from around the world that use design and/or design thinking to make a positive impact on social, economic, cultural and/or environmental quality of life. Specifically, nominated projects and initiatives support Icsid’s vision to create a better world through design, highlight the expanded field of industrial design in the 21st century, exhibit potential to help promote the advancement of design on a world stage and are able to provide evidence of causing a significant positive impact on the community of interest.

The Alvar Aalto Medal is awarded approximately every five years to individuals with significant achievements in creative architecture. Designed by Alvar Aalto, the medal is awarded by the Ministry of Education, the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA, the Museum of Finnish Architecture, the Finnish Society of Architecture and the Alvar Aalto Foundation. Past recipients of this award include Tadao Ando (Japan, 1985), Steven Hall (USA, 1998) and Tegnestuen Vandkunsten (Denmark, 2009).

The Estlander Prize was established by the Finnish Society of Craft and Design in 2000, in honour of its 125th anniversary. The prize is named after Professor Carl Gustaf Estlander, a charter member of the society, in honour of his life work, and is awarded in recognition of significant achievements in promoting crafts, applied arts and industrial design. The intention of the Estlander Prize is to recognise bodies and organisations that have helped promote Finnish design and it has only been awarded twice before 2012.

The WDC Design Gala will take place on 2 February 2012 at the Sibelius Hall in Lahti, home to the Lahti Symphony Orchestra.

For more information, please contact:

Claudia Sighomnou
WDC Programme Coordinator
t: + 1 514 448 4949 ext. 228