Pruys and Bekaert


Geert Bekaert-prijs

Ter stimulering van de architectuurkritiek en bevordering van de dialoog.

New game, new chances. To celebrate design criticism and to stimulate design writing, Archined and Designplatform Rotterdam are organizing a new edition of the Simon Mari Pruys Award for design criticism and the Geert Bekaert Award for architecture criticism.

For this edition of the Pruys-Bekaert Awards, we cordially invite you to submit your new or previously published essays on the theme of world views.

Theme: Word Views
A world view is a comprehensive concept or theory about the world and the place of humankind in it. It is an intellectual construction that allows the analyses of events and their meaning and that includes perspectives for answers to existential questions. In the context of architecture and design, these could be political, moral, ethical or aesthetic foundations from which designs or designers depart.

Among the different forms of culture, architecture and design* occupy a prominent position. They quietly display opinions and ideals and have the potential to express social relations and power structures. Inherent in our call for world views is the conviction that materials, objects, buildings and the built environment are not separate from their often layered context.

This call for the Simon Mari Pruys Award for Design Criticism and the Geert Bekaert Award for Architecture Criticism invites you to think about the world view of the designer or contemplator, or about the role of design in certain world views. Your contribution can be about your own practice or about that of someone else. How do designers or contemplators define and interpret the designed world? On which world are they working?

* ‘Architecture’ also refers to interior architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. We understand design in the broadest sense of the word, including social design, design thinking, food design, bio design, graphic design and fashion.

Submission Criteria
The same submission criteria apply to both competitions.
– Essays do not contain more than 1,200 words.
– Essays are written in Dutch or English.
– Essays are new or, if previously published, after 1 July 2016.
– Essays are submitted for either the Simon Mari Pruys Award or for the Geert Bekaert Award.
– Entrants are the (co)authors of the submitted article.
– Essays are in Word (no PDF or other formats), in a standard font, their line spacing 1.15 and font size 11, with the title of the article as the file name.
– No images are included or attached.
– Entrants’ names and telephone numbers are in the e-mail, not in the document. If the essay has been previously published, its publication date and the title of the magazine or website are also in the e-mail.

Send your essay no later than Sunday 30 June 2019 to: and/or
Essays that do not meet the set criteria will not be considered!

The judges for the Simon Mari Pruys Award are:

The judges for the Geert Bekaert Award are:
Kirsten Algera (design historian and critic and Editor-in-Chief of MacGuffin Magazine)
Jan Boelen (product designer, artistic director Z33 Hasselt and Head of department Social Design, Design Academy Eindhoven)
Hicham Khalidi (director Van Eyck, Maastricht)

The judges for the Geert Bekaert Award are:
Wim van den Bergh (architect, theorist and full professor of Housing and Design at RWTH Aachen)
Lara Schrijver (Professor of Architectural Theory at the Faculty of Design Sciences, University of Antwerp and a member of the editorial board of the Architecture in the Netherlands yearbook since 2016).
Paul Vermeulen (De Smet Vermeulen architecten, architectural critic and Professor of Architectural Design, Department of Architecture TU Delft)

Judging and results
Each jury nominates three texts. The nominees will be announced on 1 October 2019. The winners of the Pruys Award for Design Criticism and of the Bekaert Award for Architecture Criticism will be announced on Saturday evening 16 November 2019.

During the evening of the award ceremony, the nominees will read their text. After the presentations, the juries will select the winning texts. The winners win prestige, honour and fame as well as a beautiful trophy.

No competition is complete without a Public Prize; the winner will be decided by the audience.

The award ceremony is part of the DesignChewing design festival in TENT Rotterdam.

After whom are these Awards Named?
Simon Mari Pruys (1927-1980) trained as a designer but became a leading Dutch design and architecture critic in the 1960s and 1970s. He wrote reviews and columns in various magazines and newspapers. In 1972 he published Dingen vormen mensen: Een studie over producten, consumptie en cultuur, in which he struck a very critical note about the relationship between industrial design and social phenomena such as consumerism and the environment. He also wrote De nieuwe onzakelijkheid: Design kritiek (1971) and De Paradijsbouwers: Anti-kunstzinnige opmerkingen over de gebouwde omgeving (1974).
See: Eigenzinnig en controversieel de criticus Simon Mari Pruys deel 1

Geert Bekaert (1928-2016) was a Belgian art and architecture critic, theorist, historian and curator. From 1950 onward he wrote more than 1,000 articles and texts about visual arts and architecture for magazines and newspapers. He lectured at numerous universities and colleges in the Netherlands and Belgium and was editor-in-chief of Archis magazine (1990-1995). In 1988, Bekaert was awarded the Rotterdam-Maaskant Prize. His articles have been collected in Verzamelde opstellen, of which the first volume, Stapstenen: 1950-65, was published in 1985. The ninth and final volume, Wijnvlekken: 2006-2010, appeared in 2012.
A number of Bekaert’s articles are available online at De Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren.