Pierre Bernard wins Erasmus prize
February 3, 2006, received from Guy Schockaert, please see the Erasmus Foundation page for more details
Recent posters from Pierre Bernard and his design studio "Atelier de Creation Graphique" were shown at the jury exhibition of the 2. China International Poster Biennial in Hangzhou (CN) in 2005 :
The Board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation has decided to award the Erasmus Prize 2006 to the French graphic designer Pierre Bernard.
The Erasmus Prize is awarded annually to a person who has made an exceptionally important contribution to European culture, society or social science. The amount of the Prize is Euro 150.000. The presentation of the Prize will take place on 24 November 2006.
The field in which the 2006 Erasmus Prize will be awarded is described as 'Design for the public domain'. This includes the realm of the state, politics and the common good. In making this choice for the public domain the Foundation did not consider the designer who functions as a specialist in form, fashion and market, but rather the designer as thinker who during the design process is conscious of forms of interaction with other disciplines, with users and commissioning parties.
Pierre Bernard was one of the leading and stimulating figures in the design collective Grapus which greatly promoted the renovation and professionalization of this field in France. After the dissolution of Grapus in 1990, Pierre Bernard established the design studio Atelier de Création Graphique in 1991 which he has led since that time and which is one of the successors of Grapus.
The work of Pierre Bernard concentrates on the public domain, and on all its sectors: communication between governments and citizens; communication in the public sphere; use of and orientation in the physical space of town and country; presentation and representation of current cultural productions and the cultural heritage. Pierre Bernard is a typical representative of the designer as thinker and intellectual. He researches not just form, but also content, context and the process of the commission, and in so doing gives preference to experimentation and innovation.
The design oeuvre of Pierre Bernard is informed by non-dogmatic, critical thinking, as well as the diverse cultural traditions of Europe. These values have taken form not only in the sciences and the arts, but also - partially due to Bernard - in such a modern discipline as visual communication. "Graphic design will not turn the world into a paradise, but it may contribute to a more humane world".
Previous laureates include Sigmar Polke, Simon Wiesenthal, Vaclav Havel, Henry Moore, Marc Chagall and Charly Chaplin, among many others since the prize was established in 1958.