Icon 127: The Icon Awards 2013
In this issue we celebrate the second Icon Awards, our prize for the best international architecture, design, technology and culture of the past year.
Many thanks are due to our distinguished judging panel – Kate Goodwin, Tom Dyckhoff, Daniel Charny, Rowan Moore and Sam Jacob – who met for a day of vigorous debate, whittling down the shortlists and selecting a winner for each of our ten categories; and to our headline sponsor, Mercedes-Benz Style.
Here we present interviews with each of the ten winners and with our Icon of the Year, Margaret Calvert, who receives a lifetime achievement award. Her legendary 1950s motorway signage, designed with the late Jock Kinneir, has been given a new lease of life in the digital font she adapted for use by the UK’s Cabinet Office to lend coherence to the myriad government websites.
The Royal Academy generously allowed us to host our judging session in the Keeper’s House, which has recently been restored by architect Long & Kentish, with interiors by David Chipperfield. We gathered in the Academicians’ Room, a vaulted, creative space whose freshly exposed wood walls are pockmarked with a century and a half of picture-nail holes.
The Polish designer Oskar Zieta created this year’s striking trophy by inflating a pocket of thin metal sheets at high pressure to create a three-dimensional form. In this he was inspired by Icon’s hourglass logo, which he imagined our indomitable winners crushing like comic-book superheroes.