Publisert: 16 August 2011
“Norway as a welfare state is dependent on us developing a society in which everyone can function well,” said cabinet minister Audun Lysbakken when presenting the jury that is to award Norway’s first national prize for universal design. The Minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion presented the jury during an event held in the government buildings in Oslo.
“Universal design helps more people to get a job and remain at work for longer. In addition, the strategy helps people to live at home for longer and function well in towns and villages, and thus postpones the time when they have to move into sheltered housing and nursing homes,” said Mr Lysbakken.
Guro Fjellanger, a former Minister of the Environment and current member of the Norwegian parliament for the Venstre (Liberal) Party, will chair the jury which will otherwise consist of seven of Norway’s foremost designers and architects with a knowledge of universal design.
“This is a jury with a great deal of high-level expertise and it is undoubtedly well qualified to select Norway’s best innovation projects in the field of universal design. The jury members have an important and exciting job ahead of them – a total of 55 fantastic contributions from all over Norway will be examined,” says Onny Eikhaug, a programme leader with the Norwegian Design Council.
The Norwegian Design Council
The Norwegian Design Council has been given the task of managing the process leading up to the Innovation Prize for Universal Design awarded by the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion. This will be the first time a Norwegian prize is awarded for innovative products, services or surroundings that are universally designed.
“We want to make universal design’s enormous potential visible by showing good examples of it. Although we have come far in this field in Norway, many professionals, politicians and decision-makers in both the private and public sectors know little about universal design and are not very interested in this subject,” stresses Ms Eikhaug.
Jury chair Guro Fjellanger wants to make the public in general more aware of universal design. “This is something that is necessary for some people but makes things simpler for everyone. The lack of universal design stops some people from taking part in society. At the same time, the concept helps to make life easier for everyone. Both audio books and the TV remote control are good examples of universal design,” she says.
During the summer, the jury will select finalists in the following categories: product design, architecture, transport, furniture and interior design, graphic design, landscape architecture, and service and interaction design. These will compete for the prize, which will be awarded at a ceremony at the DogA Centre (Norwegian Design and Architecture Centre) in November 2011.