Organised by the Helen Hamlyn Centre in collaboration with the Design Business Association (DBA) and sponsored by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA)
The capacity audience for the Awards event, at the Royal College of Art on 6 February 2007 was treated to not one keynote speech but two because of a surprise visit by Anne McGuire, Minister for Disabled People in the Department of Work and Pensions. McGuire told them: "I want to say to those that are in the business of designing, manufacturing or delivering services to remember that if you get it right for disabled people you get it right for everyone and that surely makes good sese... So while I can't promise good design will ensure a wide audience for your products, I can assure you that poor design will alienate millions."
Professor John Clarkson of Cambridge University, a long-term collaborator with the Helen Hamlyn Centre through the i~design project chaired the event. He introduced the other keynote speaker David Godber, Director of Nissan Design Europe, who said: "as someone who will be old at some point in the not too distant future, the fact that someone is bothering to think about me before I need to is a revelation."
The five teams then presented their prototypes through six-minute films accompanied by an exhibit that detailed the design process and outputs. Then it was the turn of the painter Sally Booth, who represented HHC's dedicated network of disabled users who had worked with the teams to develop their projects. She outlined her sometimes 'surreal' experience as a partially sighted person such as the restaurant that offered her an 'accessible' Braille menu behind a glass frame and said that she longed for the day when car manufacturers "can design me a car that can get me from A to B without being able to see - that would be just fantastic. I don't think that is going to happen in my lifetime but I do hope it happens sometime."
Colum Lowe of the NPSA read the judges' verdicts on each individual project and then left it to Deborah Dawton, Chief Executive of the DBA to announce the winner - Wolff Olins for their Go Steady communications campaign and accompanying kitemark. She praised all the teams for their commitment, their dedication to the inclusive ideal and the sheer quality of their work.
Download a transcript (100KB rtf file) of the event.