25 did-you-knows about 30 years Henry van de Velde Awards

Did you know that 2024 marks the 30th edition of the Henry van de Velde Awards? That calls not only for a look ahead — in the latest publication we zoom in on the future of design with various experts — but also for a look back. In this overview, you'll discover some a lot of did-you-knows about 30 years Henry van de Velde Awards.

By Mies Van Roy
Johan Valcke, founder of the Henry van de Velde Awards, 1995

1. The trophies over the years:

2. The path travelled by the award presentations:

  • 1994 > 1998: Design Museum Gent (befoe Museum voor Sierkunst), Jan Breydelstraat 5, 9000 Ghent
  • 1999 > 2003: Galerie van het VIZO, Kanselarijstraat 19, 1000 Brussels
  • 2004 > 2005: Vlaamse Huisvestingsmaatschappij, Kanselarijstraat 1, 1000 Brussels
  • 2006: EHSAL, Warmoesberg 26, 1000 Brussels
  • 2007 > 2014: Vlaams Parlement, De Lokettenzaal, Ijzerenkruisstraat 99, 1000 Brussels
  • 2015 > …: Bozar, Ravensteinstraat 23, 1000 Brussels

3. Unfortunately, a number of winners have sadly left us in the meantime...

  • Ola-Dele Kuku (+ 2021)
  • André Verroken (+ 2020)
  • Paul ibens (+ 2020)
  • Philippe Neerman (+ 2011)
  • Armand Blondeel (+ 2002)
  • Michel Martens (+ 2006)
  • Fernand Baudin (+ 2005)
  • Maarten Van Severen (+ 2005)
  • Idir Mecibah (+ 2003)
  • Emiel Veranneman (+ 2003)

4. The liters of cava, sparkling wine, prosecco, and champagne we've collectively consumed over the past years is 11,943 liters.

5. The number of awards presented throughout the years is 456.

6. The covers of the publications of the Henry van de Velde Awards throughout the years:

7. The Henry van de Velde Awards catalogs add up to 1,756 pages of design inspiration.

8. Did you think we skipped a year in 2019?

Nothing could be further from the truth... in 2018, we decided to use the year in which the ceremony takes place for communication purposes!

9. Many of the designs that won the awards became world famous. Do you recognise these?

  1. Maggie Shelter, DMOA architecten
  2. Gargantua, Extremis
  3. Cosmolite, Erik Sijmons for Samsonite
  4. Double Crossed Seat, Muller Van Severen
  5. Easy Rider, Danny Venlet for Bulo
  6. Appetize, Nedda El-Asmar for Eternum
  7. Jerusalem, Enthoven for Alstom
  8. Neo, Pilipili for Eliet Europe

10. To mark the 20th anniversary of the awards, we had Bernard De Potter, Henny De Baets, Joke Schauvliege, Jan Peumans and Johan Valcke blow out the candles on our cake.

11. Did you know that the current logo of the awards is a reference to the trophy?

12. Did you know that the Henry van de Velde Awards bring together the two best-known Brussels architects — Henry van de Velde and Victor Horta — in Bozar (despite not being able to stand each other)?

13. Did you know that in the 29 exhibitions that have taken place, something was only stolen once? That was in the exhibition in 2009: an original Ferrari key on a walking stick by Siegfried De Buck.

14. Did you know that the construction of the exhibition had to be stopped in 2021 because of a fire at Bozar?

15. Did you know that, in 2022, two different Van de Velde exhibitions ran simultaneously at Bozar? That of Rinus Van de Velde and that of our Henry van de Velde Awards.

16. Did you know that the trophy of Namahn, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017, perished even before the reception had begun?

17. Did you know that the Dyson Award was part of the Henry van de Velde Awards for several editions?

18. Did you know that the Henry van de Velde Awards are sometimes called the ‘Henry’s’?

19. On this website of the awards you'll find all winners ever. Dive into the archive!

20. Did you know that Jaune Toujours once provided the musical accompaniment for the awards ceremony? That same vernissage, by the way, was so much fun that a slightly inebriated youngster mistook a winning shower product for a pissoir.

21. Did you know that we presented the Henry van de Velde Awards in 2015 on the day of the attack on Charlie Hebdo? The VRT journalists were unable to stop by to make a report, which meant that we did not make the news that year.

22. Did you know that we once had an old Citroën as a backdrop at the reception at Bozar? And a plant jungle? And that Patrick Reuvis once spun records to get the place swinging?

23. Did you know that the creator of the very first testimonials of the Henry van de Velde Awards, Brody Neuenschwander, was asked by Peter Greenaway in 1996 to write the calligraphic texts for the erotic cult film The Pillow Book?

24. Did you know that, in 2009, on the occasion of the exhibition in the Flemish Parliament, Minister Kris Peeters had to answer a parliamentary question? People wondered why the award-winning products had not received Dutch-language titles.

25. Did you know that, due to corona, we could not organise an awards ceremony with an audience in 2021? By the way, you can still watch this pre-recorded award ceremony on Youtube.

Do you want to dive into the history of the awards and get to know more about the future of design according to diffierent experts? Then order a copy of your publication!

In addition to an overview of all winners and their work, the publication includes an annex about 30 years of the Henry van de Velde Awards with visuals, facts and interviews. The richly illustrated publication (224 pages) is bilingual (NL-EN) and was designed by Geoffrey Brusatto. You can order it online for 10 euros (excluding shipping costs).