Design duo Rosario Hurtado and Robert Feo of El Ultimo Grito have scooped the London Design Medal 2012 for their exceptional contribution to design. The medal itself - a sculptural piece based on a bird in flight - has been fittingly designed by another stellar creative partnership: London-based jeweller Hannah Martin and Pentagram design firm.
El Ultimo Grito fill the shoes of past recipients such as Thomas Heatherwick, Zaha Hadid and Marc Newson, taking home the prize (awarded by the London Design Festival) for their design offerings over a multitude of platforms, from interiors to graphics. Meanwhile, Sir Terence Conran picked up the Lifetime Achievement award, and the festival handed out two new prizes for 2012: Design Entrepreneur and Emerging Talent medals to Irish-born Jane ni Dhulchaointigh and artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, respectively.
Briefed by Pentagram to take a 'bird in flight' as her starting point, Martin’s medal designs feature a 'cockney sparrow'. They span 13cm in diameter, mixing a graphic feel with her signature facet edges. ‘The exploration of the 3D form is always crucial for me,' says Martin. 'I wanted to offer something that has tactility and sensuality in form, that of course combines sharper, bolder lines.’
And if being commissioned to design this accolade isn’t enough, a compliment from Sir Terence Conran can do no harm. ‘This medal stands for something I’m absolutely passionate about – intelligent design,’ says Conran. ‘But that it is designed and made in London by a young British jewellery designer, Hannah Martin, makes it doubly special to me.’