Caregiving lamps and social distancing monitor among design prizes


The Henry van de Velde awards for design have been handed out, and there are some incredibly innovative products in the mix

Smart solutions

The winners of Belgium’s biggest design awards have been announced. The Henry van de Velde laureates for 2021 include a sustainable clothing line, smart lamp, proximity monitors and children’s books.

From almost 200 entries, judges chose 17 products in seven categories. The overall winner in each category will be announced at a ceremony in February, and the public can vote for their favourite in the Public Choice Award until 18 December.

The Business Innovation Award spotlights devices, installations and systems in a professional context. The winners are Smappee electric vehicle charging system, Aloxy Pulse, a wireless sensor that monitors valves in petrochemical installations, and Nobi, a smart lamp that detects falls among the elderly (pictured above).

“Our smart and subtly designed lamps provide peace of mind for seniors and their families, while improving care and communication,” a Nobi spokesperson said. The company also won in the Consumer category.

The SafeDistance sensor lets workers know when they are too close to each other

The Climate Challenge winners are fashion brand Studio AMA, clay manufacturer BC Materials and the Circle Sector resource map by researcher Ben Hagenaars of the Luca school of arts in Genk.

Hagenaars told Knack Weekend: “We need room for experiments in which we can make the circular economy tangible. That is the mission of Circle Sector … it connects locally available materials, expertise and infrastructure by designing circular products, services and systems.”

The Consumer prize was awarded to Nobi, the Ellio Elite electric bike and the SafeDistance monitor by Lopos, based in Ghent. “The SafeDistance wearable is an intuitive solution that follows the guidelines for social distancing in a professional environment,” Lopos CEO Jen Rossey said. “Employees can easily wear the sensor on a keyring, belt clip or lanyard and are assured that they are working at a safe distance from their colleagues. ”

The Crafts by Bokrijk Award is given in partnership with the Bokrijk open-air museum in Genk. This year the jury awarded it to a porcelain jug by Margot Thyssen, stringed instruments made from flax by Tim Duerinck, and a rug by designers Les Monseigneurs for Kortrijk flax and linen specialist Verilin.

The Digital Product Award went to a single entry: Slim naar Antwerpen, a smart urban mobility platform. In the Graphic & Communication Award, the winners were the Wijze Weetjes series of children’s books that provide simple explanations for scientific concepts (pictured above), the communications campaign for the Horst Arts Festival, and the graphic branding for the Pilar culture centre at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

The Habitat Award for domestic products, services and systems went to the Verilin rug, a carpet by designer Anita Kars for textile company Casalis, and Bram Kerkhofs’ multifunctional construction system ME&ER.

The Henry van de Velde Awards were launched in 1994, in honour of the Antwerp-born painter, architect, interior designer and art theorist, a pioneer of the Art Nouveau movement. They recognise good design in various forms and showcase locally designed and made products, services and projects.

The ceremony at Bozar in Brussels next year will also see the presentation of the Ecodesign by Ovam, Young Talent, Company and Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Photos, from top: Courtesy Nobi, ©Kartrijn Van Giel, courtesy Van de Velde Awards