On Wednesday 13 January 2016, Design Flanders presented the Henry van de Velde Awards and Labels 2015 at the BOZAR in Brussels. The jury decided to dedicate the Career Award to Paul Verhaert, for all his work in education and industrial installations. A well-deserved tribute to the Founder and Chairman of our company.
Career Award 2015
Being a pioneer in many areas of engineering and an innovation researcher long before anyone else, the jury decided to honor Paul Verhaert with the Henry van de Velde Career Award 2015. This prize is more than an official recognition and appreciation of the designer’s work, it confirms that he is a source of inspiration and encourages younger designers.
Pioneer in user design thinking
It has always been Paul Verhaert’s mission to think up revolutionary new products and services for other companies. A particular mind-set that resulted in more than 500 innovative products as well as partnerships in all kinds of industries, even space exploration.
For Paul Verhaert, design is about giving an object an added value which usually comes from a balance between new qualities and the unwanted effects these qualities cause. The balance that guarantees the greatest added value lies in innovation which can come from 3 directions: drawing on new insights in technology, seeing things from the user’s point of view or adapting the business model. All three components must stay in optimal proportion to each other through the design process. A way of thinking which allowed Paul Verhaert to make a difference.
The Henry van de Velde Career Award is a confirmation that the designer is creative, dares to experiment and to take risks, and continually call into question the existing state of affairs. Paul Verhaert essentially symbolizes the drive to grasp opportunities and make a fundamental difference. Design Flanders decided to produce a documentary to illustrate his career. The film focuses on the impact he had as a future-oriented thinker on economy, science, education and design.