This is the twentieth anniversary of the Henry van de Velde Awards & Labels. A special year.
The cooperation of the Flemish Parliament (FP) has underlined the prestigious character of the Awards. There has always been the very official award ceremony in the De Schelp chamber (the plenary room of the FP), attended by many people, and the exhibition in De Loketten, which placed the merits of the winners firmly in the limelight. The winners of the Lifetime Achievement, Young Talent and Company awards each received a cash prize of 2,500 euros, a silver trophy and a calligraphic certificate. The Awards have grown in significance over the years and gained a reputation far beyond our national borders. The cash prize was increased to 5,000 euros a few years ago. The winner of the Public award still receives 2,500 euros.
Every five years, we asked a well-known Flemish silversmith to design and make a trophy. The first was by Siegfried De Buck, a staff made from silver and precious wood. The next trophy, designed by Nedda El-Asmar, consisted of five silver beakers that nest inside each other. The third, a spherical calyx, was designed by David Huycke.
Helena Schepens, one of the younger silversmiths, was asked to create the fourth trophy. It was a vase constructed from silver slats linked together. The certificate had to be calligraphic to illustrate, as does the trophy, the importance of the craft aspect. It was done by Bert Binneweg at first, then by Brody Neuenschwander after 1996.
Johan Valcke was appointed director of Design Flanders in 1992. In that function he founded the Henry van de Velde Awards. He also founded the Design Flanders Gallery, the Triennials for Design and established the design magazine Kwintessens. He was elected to the Board of WCC-Europe and the Board of BEDA. Today, he remains active in the sounding board group for Design Museum Gent, the general assembly of HISK Gent and the purchasing committee of DIVA Antwerp. In 2018 he opened his gallery VALCKE Art Gallery.
Heleen Van Loon works as a project manager at Z33 in Hasselt. Among other things, she coordinates FORMAT, a path for promising designers and architects. In addition, she helps product design students at LUCA School of Arts Genk formulate their identity as designers.