Sri Lankan born Cecil Balmond has been shortlisted for the Prince Philip Designers Prize 2011, the winner of which will be announced on Tuesday 29 November.
The prize is Britain’s longest running design award, celebrating design careers which have made an outstanding contribution to British business and society. Previous winners include inventor Sir James Dyson (1997) and designer Thomas Heatherwick (2006).
The prize was first awarded in 1959 and has since recognised contenders working in fields ranging from graphics and household products to architecture and engineering. The judging panel is chaired by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.
Cecil Balmond grew up and Sri Lanka and studied at Trinity College Kandy and the University of Colombo and is one of the most influential designers of his generation. Pushing the limits of what is possible, his “genius has been crucial to the emergence of a new aesthetic” (Nicolai Ouroussoff, New York Times).
Interrogating and applying advanced geometric thinking to how space can be organised and experienced, Balmond creates new horizons in design, engineering and art. His dynamic approach is informed by the sciences of complexity, non-linear organisation and emergence of form.
The former Deputy Chairman of Arup, Balmond set up his own research-focused practice, Balmond Studio, in 2010. The studio undertakes a variety of design, art and architecture projects and is currently working on a £ 3m national monument, The Star of Caledonia, for the border between England and Scotland and a $ 400m mixed-use development in Asia. His previous awards include the RIBA Charles Jencks Award for Theory in Practice in 2003 and the Sir Banister Fletcher Prize for his book Informal (2002) in 2005.
Balmond currently holds the Paul Philippe Cret Chair at Penn Design as Professor of Architecture, a position once held by Louis Khan. He is the founder of the NSO (Non-Linear Systems Organization), a material and structural research unit at Penn.
He lectures and teaches extensively and has been Kenzo Tange Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Architecture, Saarinen Professor at Yale University School of Architecture and Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics. Balmond is this year’s winner of the IED Gerald Frewer Memorial Trophy for outstanding contribution in the field of engineering and design.