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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
23-09-2002 10:00 pm Paris - An inflatable shelter for homeless people, a “quantum bowl” made of magnetic balls, a finger-ring that is also a vase, a mirror to examine one’s private parts, a folding chair made out of a single piece of material and a t-shirt you can write messages on.
These are some of the surprising and original items that have won prizes for six young designers in the fourth Design 21 competition organized by UNESCO and the Japanese group Felissimo.

They will receive their awards at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on October 9 (at 7 p.m.) in the presence of UNESCO Director-General Koďchiro Matsuura and Felissimo president Kazuhiko Yazaki. The ceremony will be part of the Continuous Connection exhibition at UNESCO from September 30 to October 25.

The laureates were chosen by an international jury, at the Felissimo Design House in New York on February 7. American Michael Rakowitz (28) won the Grand Prize of $10,000. Five First Prizes of $3,000 each went to Germany’s Kai von Ahlefeld (33) for fashion, France’s Isabelle Clark (35) for fashion accessories, American James Dieter (34) in the “House” category, Australia’s Guy Parmenter (32) for household accessories, and Brazil’s Rodrigo Leăo Araujo (27) for “indispensable things.”

Four other designers won awards - Sougrinouma Dabiligou (Burkina Faso), Tjasa Bavcon and Jasmina Fercek (both from Slovenia) and Jae Wook-Shim (South Korea).

The exhibition will present the works of the winners along with that of the 64 short-listed designers among the 736 entrants from 81 countries who took part in the competition. This fourth biennial competition was launched in February last year and its theme, Continuous Connection, was chosen to encourage young designers to come up with concepts that strengthen bonds between people at a time when technology is everywhere. They were asked to design objects that illustrated the relationship between peoples, between people and their environment, between home and work.

The Design 21 competition was set up in 1995 by UNESCO and Felissimo to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. It aims to discover and encourage young talent all over the world and promote communication and exchange between such creative people from different cultures.

Contact: Eva Palmiro
UNESCO Press Service
Tel: (+33) (0)1 4568-1747

Source Media Advisory No.2002-39


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