Night of the #iphi2019 – Awards ceremony at the MAKK

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More than 150 guests came to the Cologne Museum of Applied Arts (MAKK) on 14th November to attend the #iphi2019 awards ceremony. City officials, renowned designers and academics, as well as students from several Cologne-based universities were thrilled about the diversity, depth and quality of the award-winning works. We were especially delighted about the fact that Anne Elisabeth Toft, a member of the Research Committee international (RCi), came all the way from Aarhus, Denmark. She and 26 other international experts had looked all over the world for potential #iphi2019 winners. The award winners were very happy that their gender-sensitive design initiatives and actions received such great recognition.

Dr. Petra Hesse, director of the MAKK, opened the awards ceremony with a very warm and welcoming speech, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between the MAKK and the iGDN, which is created through the iphi awards ceremony. She stated that the award and the public awareness it creates would complement the museum’s program with the very topical subject of ‘gender in design’.

Prof. Dr. Uta Brandes’ subsequent introduction provided enlightening insights into the fact that all aspects of our everyday world are designed. It became very clear how powerfully design shapes our everyday life and why it is so important to consider gender awareness and gender equality in design.

In her keynote speech on gender and artificial intelligence, Prof. Dr. Michelle Christensen illustrated the above points with examples. It became very clear that there is still a lot to do and that a radical rethinking in society is needed. Design can help to achieve this. A big thank you goes to Michelle, because she stood in at short notice for Dr. Barbara Vinken who was unable to attend due to illness.

Unfortunately, the fashion show had to be cancelled because the political unrest in Lebanon made it difficult for the designer and the models to leave the country. All of them are involved in the current revolution and they feared that they would not be allowed back into the country.

Tanja Godlewski and Claudia Herling excelled as bi-lingual hosts. The laudatory speeches were held by the #iphi2019 jury and board members. For the first time this year, the winners had the opportunity to introduce themselves and their work, and so, altogether, the ceremony was marked by strong contributions, which were received very positively by the audience.

After the official part was over, there was time for discussions and exchange. Enjoying 100% gender-neutral Gin (GinB), selected wines (Weinhaus Süd) and snacks, the winners and the jury had the opportunity to talk to the RCi members and to many other guests.

There was also a photo-shoot opportunity for the proud winners and the happy #iphi2019 organizers. Friends and guests celebrated the 3rd iphi awards together with the winners and organizers. The evening ended late and with the positive feeling of driving forward a good cause.

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