I was honored today to receive the Icograda President’s Award from outgoing Icograda President Don Ryun Chang of Korea. The presentation took place at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (the ultra-modern opera house also known as “The Egg”) here in Beijing, with an audience of several thousand present for the opening day of the Xin: Icograda World Design Congress 2009. It was a bit bizarre (and somewhat overwhelming) to mount the huge stage while an exhibit of photos compiled by Don played on the massive screen.
Beginning in 1970, the Icograda President’s Award has been presented on a biennial basis by the Icograda President. The award honors an outstanding contribution to the work of Icograda. A listing of previous recipients is available here. This has also made the news here and here.
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(This just in—Don has provided me with his award presentation transcript):
“Before we start the Adobe Design Achievement Awards, I have the pleasure of announcing the second 2009 Icograda President’s Award and it gives me great pleasure to introduce Rob Peters and to recognize his many contributions—from his distinguished stewardship of our council during his term as President and board member, to his numerous published articles featured in important design publications, but today especially his significant role in nurturing and promoting design in China and Asia.
Raised and schooled in Europe, Robert was educated in Switzerland, Germany, and England. He is a graphic designer, communications strategist, and principal of CIRCLE, an award-winning design consultancy he co-founded in 1976. Robert is active internationally as a design practitioner, advisor, juror and lecturer.
Following the 1991 Icograda World Design Congress in Montreal, Rob was designated as the GDC’s official delegate and liaison, representing Canada to Icograda General Assemblies in Glasgow in 1993, Porto (Portugal) in 1995, Punta del Este (Uruguay) in 1997 (where I first met him), and Sydney in 1999 where he was elected to the Icograda board for a six-year term from 1999 to 2005, serving as President from 2001 to 2003. Significant achievements during Peters’ six years on the Icograda board include: development of our first content-rich portal, rejuvenation of the network ‘Friends of Icograda,’ launch of both the Icograda Design Education Network and the Icograda Design Media Network, co-organization of Icograda congresses in Seoul (‘Oullim’ 2000), Johannesburg, South Africa (‘Continental Shift’ 2001), and as President of our Council in Nagoya, Japan (‘VISUALOGUE’ 2003—with some 3700 delegates from 49 countries in attendance, the world’s largest ever congress of graphic designers). Rob also served as official liaison between Icograda and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from 2001 to 2005.
Peters joined the board of the international humanitarian organization Design for the World (DW) in 2000 and was appointed as a Vice President in 2002; in 2004 he was named an Honorary Member of the Brno Biennale Association; he was also a member of the founding executive of the International Design Alliance (IDA) from 2003 to 2005.
For nearly 30 years, Robert has lived in a low-energy, passive-solar house he designed and built in the woods east of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is an avid climber (rocks, ice, mountains) and he enjoys nature and human-powered outdoor pursuits. His interests include art, architecture, photography, visual language, and travel, and he has written many important articles for prominent design publications such as Communication Arts (like the memorable article that introduced Chinese design to many readers all over the world).
Rob has been a great role model, a friend to me over the years, and he has given me great advice—it is a special honor for me to recognize his achievements here in China today.
It gives me sincere pleasure to present the 2009 Icograda President’s Award to Robert L. Peters.”