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Prix Émile Hermès International Award 2011

The Prix Émile Hermès is going international. The award is designed to support innovation, and promote young talents whose forward-looking creations reflect evolving societies and lifestyles worldwide.

Every three years, the Prix Émile Hermès invites young professional designers from all over the world (from final-year students to age 40) to design the objects of tomorrow, on a given theme.

The Prix Émile Hermès was created in 2008 to foster creativity in young designers by offering them the chance to explore a specific theme as the starting-point for an original, vital contribution to the aspirations of today’s society.


Since its inception in 2007, the Prix Émile Hermès has supported innovation and promoted the work of talented young designers whose forward-looking, sustainable approach reflects our evolving society and lifestyles. For the second Prix Emile Hermès, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès has chosen a universal theme touching on one of humanity’s most vital needs: to heat, me-heat, re-heat.

Candidates are invited to submit designs for an object, machine, utensil, piece of furniture, architectural concept etc., carefully devised and formulated for a specific, practical function while at the same time proposing a formal, aesthetic concept of the highest quality. Each design will offer a lasting, sustainable alternative to existing everyday objects performing the functions stated in the competition’s theme. Multi-purpose, adaptable designs are also invited, incorporating uses and applications which may be discovered over the life the object.

Each object, machine, utensil etc. must be designed for easy reproducibility, whether conceived for the mass market and industrial manufacture, or small-scale distribution and production using traditional craft techniques. One-off, utopian designs or “dream products” are by definition excluded.

The jury will examine the entries and assess the designs according to the following criteria:

  • quality of presentation (clarity, detail, thoroughness)
  • compliance with the competition’s theme and specifications
  • creativity, originality, innovation, aesthetic quality

In addition to these criteria, the jury’s final selection will take account of the quality of execution of the submitted prototypes.


The initial shortlist is drawn up by a distinguished international jury: each designer is invited to create a prototype financed by the Foundation, from which the same jury will select three winners, each receiving a cash prize designed to launch or further their career:

  • €50,000 for the winner,
  • €25,000 for the runner-up, and
  • €15,000 for the third place.

The winners’ work will feature in a special exhibition and in its catalogue and it will be promoted by the Foundation around the world.


  • The Prix Émile Hermès is an international award, open to entrants from all countries.
  • The award is open to designers aged 40 or under on 30 November 2010, in the following categories:
    • graduate professionals from schools of design, engineering, architecture, the visual or applied arts;
    • non-graduate design professionals with at least three years’ proven experience;
    • final-year masters students at graduate schools of design, engineering, architecture, the visual or applied arts.
  • Submissions are invited from individual designers or teams of up to five people.
  • Designs will focus on everyday indoor or outdoor uses, indoor and outdoor spaces, and/or emergency and humanitarian applications.
  • You may focus on one or all of the functions stated in the competition objective.
  • The Prix Émile Hermès does not cover fashion or clothing. Designs should in no way echo or make reference to the house of Hermès (the parent organisation of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès), nor to its logo, brand colours or style specifications.

How to enter?

If you want to enter you must register on the competition’s official website no later than 30 November 2010.

Submission period starts on 1 December 2010. Submission of projects and designs will be possible until 15 February 2011 through the official website.