Sunday, 11:00am
31 December 2023

Women in the room

The fifth edition of the AIAP Women in Design Awards (AWDA) was celebrated last month in Milan’s Triennale Museum at a ceremony (on Friday 10 November) that brought together exemplary work from around the world. There were three broad categories: professional work, research projects and student submissions. Founded in 2012, the international awards were devised by Cinzia Ferrara, Laura Moretti, Carla Palladino and Daniela Piscitelli.

Three juries – one for research, a ‘scientific’ panel and an international jury for student and professional entries – scrutinised the work entered. There was also a ‘lifetime achievement award’ that went to Aoi Huber Kono (b.1936), and a ‘career award for historic achievement’ given to the late Michela Papadia (1943-2015).

Identity Filmar en América Latina film festival designed by Sophie Rubin won the first prize.
Top. Winners of AWDA (plus judges) at the awards ceremony in Milan. Photo by Chiara Beretta.

The overall winner, across all three categories (entered in the professional category) was Swiss designer Sophie Rubin of We Play Design for her identity project for the film festival Filmar en América Latina.

In the professional category, the ‘honourable mention’ went to Giulia De Benedetto of TassinariVetta for her visual identity and poster campaign for SISSA (Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati in Trieste), while the special mention went to Maria Donata Bologna for her typographic installation Museo Fabbrica delle Parole.

Identity and poster campaign for SISSA designed by Giulia De Benedetto (TassinariVetta).

Typographic installation by Maria Donata Bologna at Museo Fabbrica delle Parole.

The winner (‘honourable mention’) in the research category was by Barbara Predan and Špela Šubic of ALUO (Academy of Fine Arts and Design) at the University of Ljubljana for How is a vase like a house?, a thorough documentation of the life and work of designer Janja Lap.

How is a vase like a house?, about Slovenian designer Janja Lap.

The ‘special mention’ went to Roshanak Keyghobadi, an Iranian designer currently at the State University of New York for her ‘Iranian Women in Graphic Design’ research project now housed at the PGDA (People’s Graphic Design Archive). This remarkable research project was also singled out for the new ‘AWDA for rights’ award.

‘Iranian Women in Graphic Design’ research project by Roshanak Keyghobadi.

In the student category the winners were Maria Calzolari of HEAR (Haute école des arts du Rhin, Strasbourg) for her witty, critical project Action cleaning (‘honourable mention’) and Federica Caputo (University of Westminster) for her outsized book The Circle. The study of a shape (‘special mention’).

Action cleaning by Maria Calzolari, student category.

Spread from Federica Caputo’s huge book The Circle. The study of a shape, student category.

Other prizes were awarded by specific sponsors, such as Graphic Days, which gave an award for the book Volta pagina by Carin Marzaro, and Zetafonts who gave their award to a zine by Zeynep Yesilmaden. More details can be found on the AWDA website shortlist.

The prizes were announced at a special ceremony at the Triennale Museum in Milan on Friday 10 November, attended by most of the award-winners and judges.

Aoi Huber Kono, who received an AWDA ‘lifetime achievement award’. Portrait by Aya Sunahara.

The playful concertina-folded Lions, designed by Aoi Huber Kono, ca. 1967.

Designs by Michela Papadia (1943-2015), who was given a posthumous ‘career award for historic achievement’.

The international jury comprised Solace Emefa Adzei
 (Pan-Afrikan Design Institute), Cinzia Ferrara (AWDA), Fabiana Ielacqua (AIAP), LaTigre (Luisa Milani and Walter Molteni), Jonas Liugaila (LDA, 
Lithuania), Stina Löfgren (Sweden), Susana Machicao (Bolivia), Zahra Pashaei (Iran), Amanda Schutz (DesCan, Canada), Zeynep Tonguç (Turkey) and Eye’s John L. Walters.

The research jury included Giuria Ricerca (AWDA), Marta Bernstein, Dario Carta, Benedetta Crippa, Luciana Gunetti, Laura Moretti (AWDA
), Jonathan Pierini (ISIA) and Daniela Piscitelli.

The ‘scientific committee’ members were Maddalena Dalla Mura (AIS), Carla Palladino (AWDA), Mario Piazza (AIAP), Marco Sammicheli (Triennale di Milano) and Marco Tortoioli Ricci (AIAP).

Eye Editors

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.