Judges astonished after V&A turns down Pavilion prize

Museum considers the award too complex and time consuming


The Moët Hennessy PAD London Prize 2011—presented annually since 2008 at the Pavilion of Art & Design (PAD)—has not been awarded. Instead of accepting a design chosen at the show by a prestigious judging panel, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) will receive the £20,000 prize money via the Outset Design Fund to make its own purchase.

“It took us completely by surprise when Christopher Wilk [the V&A’s curator of furniture, textiles and fashion] said on 5 September that [the award] was too complex and took up too much time,” says Patrick Perrin, co-director of PAD. “I tried calling the V&A throughout September and no one called me back until a few days ago. We won’t do this again next year. Moët Hennessy will still be involved but we’ll award the prize money to a deserving young designer instead.”

Perrin described the judging panel, chaired by architect and designer Nigel Coates with members including Tom Dixon, Jasper Conran and Anna Somers Cocks, The Art Newspaper’s executive director, as “very upset”.

In a statement, the museum said: “The V&A re-evaluated its relationship with PAD… which led to us deciding some time ago to cease the relationship. The V&A did not have any contractual arrangement… to continue the relationship in 2011.”

The judges did, however, choose the best stand.

Appeared in Frieze London dailies , October 2011