EESC Vice President Anna Maria Darmanin and the prize winners

Meanwhile, this evening, back at the Committee’s headquarters Jacques Delors building, Vice-President Anna Maria Darmanin presided over the Committee’s 2011 design prize-giving ceremony, in the presence of the prizewinners, and opened an exhibition showcasing the winning designs and a shortlist of 20 design prototypes chosen from over 100 entries. As part of the competition, design students and designers from across the EU’s 27 Member States were asked to focus on the following key issue: Intergenerational solidarity in times of an ageing population. The aim was to create an innovative “ageless design”, using a process of participative design, where final users take part in the design process, and/or through the process of co-design, involving the creation of a cross-generational design team, made up of both young and older designers. The winning project, KEEP Cool, by Vincent Gerkens, is an alternative fridge made using environmentally friendly and recyclable materials. It is not dependent on technology which will become obsolete in a few years’ time. The terracotta pot is an innovative redesign of a cooling system that can be used by all generations. It is ageless in terms of both its materials and its design.