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Sir Misha Black Award Introduction

Sir Misha Black Award Introduction image
The Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education was instituted in 1978 as a memorial to Sir Misha Black, designer and teacher, following his death in 1977. The first Medal was presented to Sir William Coldsteam in Buckingham Palace by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Four bodies with whom Sir Misha Black was closely associated set it up – the Royal College of Art, the Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry of the RSA, The Design and Industries Association and The Chartered Society of Designers.  In 1996 The Royal Academy of Engineering joined, in recognition of the growth of design studies in engineering universities.

Previous winners have come from Europe, Asia and North America but this is the first time the Medal has been presented to an educator in Latin America.

The Misha Black Award has previous winners as follows:

Sir William Coldstream, UK
Serge Chermayeff, USA
Max Bill, Switzerland
Ashoke Chatterjee, India
Frank Height, UK
Reyner Banham, UK
1991 David Pye, UK
1993 Arthur Pulos, USA
1993 Marianne Straub, Switzerland
1995 Kenji Ekuan, Japan
1997 Dr Alexander Moulton, UK
1998 William Walsh, Ireland
1999 Ettore Sottsass, Italy
2000 Robert Goodden, Richard Guyatt, UK
2001 Yuri Soloviev, Russia
2002 Santiago Calatrava, Spain
2003 Sir Christopher Frayling, UK
2004 Elaine Ostroff, USA
2005 David Kelley, USA
2006 Geoff Kirk, UK
2007 Alison Chitty, UK
2008 Gonzalo Tassier, Mexico
2009 Judy Frater, India/ USA

Sir Misha Black

Sir Misha Black was an industrial designer who with his partner Milner Gray, founded DRU (Design Research Unit) in the late 1940’s. It became one of the first international, interdisciplinary design practices with major clients in industrial design, architecture and graphics. In 1959 Misha Black was appointed the first Professor of Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art, a post he held until his retirement in 1975. He was the most influential design teacher of his time, involved in international design affairs as well as being a gifted speaker and writer on design matters.