Belmond, renowned for its global collection of exceptional hotels and luxury travel adventures, last summer announced its continuing partnership with New Designers, the UK’s largest design graduate show, which supports up-and-coming creative talent. Now in its third year, The Belmond Award recognized not one but two recent graduates in 2020 for projects that demonstrate an intrinsic knowledge of how design and craftsmanship – two fundamentals of Belmond’s DNA – are married together.
Established over 40 years ago with the acquisition of the Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Belmond is a pioneer in the world of travel. It joined the LVMH group in 2019, and currently owns and operates 46 unique hotel, rail and river-cruise experiences in some of the world’s most inspiring destinations. Belmond’s belief that good design defines authentic experiences led to its partnership with New Designers, the UK’s leading event for design graduates, and the creation of The Belmond Award to support up-and-coming creative talent.
Belmond’s brief for 2020 challenged this year’s graduates to propose a design for one of its barges, which cruise the picturesque rivers of France. They epitomize the concept of slow travel, which offers travelers the luxury of reflecting, unwinding and connecting with those around them.
With the Covid-19 pandemic leading people across the world reflect on things they value, The Belmond Award 2020 asked candidates to create a design that celebrates or highlights an aspect of life which they consider to have true value. This may be literal, in the form of an object of desire, or more abstract, with something that evokes a universal emotion. Sustainability and environmental friendliness are key criteria, alongside originality and innovation.
The winners of The Belmond Award 2020 – Alexandra Carr et Harry Gordon – will be commissioned to design a product to be displayed at one of Belmond’s distinctive properties, with Belmond undertaking to facilitate and fund the winner’s collaboration with a manufacturer to produce their design. The prize includes a £1,000 bursary, as well as the opportunity for the winner to learn from Belmond’s in-house design experts and wider network of creative professionals, craftsmen and women.
Belmond believes that challenging times are a moment for innovation, creation and passion. Through its 2020 partnership with New Designers, Belmond wishes to support young design talent and to give them a platform during a particularly difficult period for those starting out on their career.