DAME Award 2021 nominees announced

DAME Announcement: Award’s Jury finds plenty to celebrate 30th anniversary

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Following a long-awaited return to the Jury Room, METSTRADE, the organisers of the world-renowned DAME Awards, is pleased to announce that 53 products from a total field of 103 entries spanning 25 countries have been nominated to enter the final rounds of judgement of the 30th DAME Award competition.

The 2021 Jury comprises eight leading experts in their field. They evaluate for evidence of excellence in every facet of product design, from ease of use, functionality, and aesthetics, to environment, innovation and even packaging and presentation.

The judgement process utilised a hybrid format for the 30th anniversary edition of the DAME, the first time in the competition’s history. Jury members who were able to travel safely to RAI Amsterdam – from the UK, South Africa, Italy and France – provided essential physical appraisal of the entries, a hallmark of the DAME Awards. Others constrained by circumstance joined by video link and provided vital opinions based on their remote research, a powerful addition to the traditional assessment process.

Every available minute of the two-day meeting was needed to arrive at final decisions, reflecting the quality and diversity of entries. You can view the list of the 53 nominated products here.

Those shortlisted entries have entered final assessment to identify the winners from seven categories and the ultimate 30th anniversary DAME Award overall winner. All nominees and winners will be celebrated at the METSTRADE 2021 Breakfast Briefing in the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre on 16 November, which will also feature a keynote speech by professional sailor, world record holder and ocean advocate, Dee Caffari.

DAME nominated products can be viewed in a special display at METSTRADE located in hall 6, while METSTRADE TV will broadcast special DAME Award programmes featuring winners and Jury members on all three days of the show, 16-18 November at 11:30. These programmes can be watched via a livestream and on-demand on the virtual METSTRADE Connect platform, available to all registered attendees.

Addressing changing circumstances

Andre Hoek, renowned yacht designer and chair of the DAME Jury, says: “It was good to resume the full DAME Awards format for this 30th anniversary edition. One can never under-estimate the value of being able to engage with products when assessing them, alongside comprehensive clear information, and visual media. To be presented with such a strong entry field from familiar companies and new businesses was also very encouraging.”

“The world has changed in so many ways since we last met in a physical Jury room,” Hoek continues. “Enforced restrictions have heightened our appreciation of the environment, while the lifestyle benefits of marine leisure are appealing to a whole new generation. There was definite evidence among several entries this year of the need for a sustainable product lifecycle and accessible design for novice users. These are critical aspects of design that must continue to improve as we move through this decade.”

METSTRADE director Niels Klarenbeek adds: “The DAME Awards has successfully driven the global marine leisure industry’s focus on the need for excellence in every aspect of product design for 30 years. That consistency is an incredible achievement for all involved, including the many exhibitors who have entered and those tasked with making difficult judgements.”

“My thanks particularly to the Jury members this year for their versatility in adopting hybrid working methods to ensure we had the best result,” Klarenbeek continues. “Blending physical and virtual approaches has proven very successful to overcome the many obstacles of this decade. That is why we believe our all-new METSTRADE TV channel, broadcasting from the show floor, will have such an important role to play this year. We look forward with anticipation to announcing the DAME winners at the Breakfast Briefing and featuring them in our broadcast media, live and on demand.”

About the DAME Design Award

The DAME Design Award celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, following the running of a one-off DAME R&D Excellence in Adversity Award in 2020. The purpose of the awards throughout its history has been to raise awareness of all that is important about marine equipment design, from aesthetics to functionality, integration to packaging and price efficiency to lifecycle management. It offers opportunities for all METSTRADE Show exhibitors from around the world to submit their latest products and have them judged by experts spanning all areas of design. Because of this wider focus, the DAME encourages the whole marine industry to continuously improve its design efforts, to the last detail. Entrants are not just judged against their global peers – the DAME Jury recognises improvements from year-to-year within individual companies too.

The DAME Design Award stimulates design progression across all disciplines and product types. Great end-to-end design is vital to improve manufacturing efficiency and product reliability. It recognises that the marine industry must match the high customer expectations set by products in other sectors like automotive and consumer electronics.

DAME Jury 2021

This year’s DAME Jury is made up of eight leading industry experts:

  • Andre Hoek (chair), naval architect and yacht designer, founder of Hoek Design, The Netherlands
  • Elaine Bunting, independent marine journalist, qualified yacht instructor and former editor Yachting World, UK
  • Davide Cipriani, boat and industrial designer, president of yacht design at Centrostiledesign, Italy
  • Ben Ellison, freelance marine technical journalist, Panbo marine electronics hub, USA
  • Patrick Hemp, technical manager and trained designer, ICOMIA, South Africa
  • Arjen Jansen, senior lecturer, school for Industrial Design Engineering at TUDelft, The Netherlands
  • David Marsh, independent technical marine journalist and naval architect, UK
  • Olivier Racoupeau, naval architect and boat designer, founder and owner of Berret Racoupeau Yachts, France

The DAME Jury is supported by a non-voting secretary, Kim Hollamby of Hollamby Partnership, UK