Brompton bike creator wins UK's longest-running design award

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Andrew Ritchie was named the winner of the 50th Prince Philip Design Award at London's Buckingham palace October 15, beating out fellow creatives such as fashion designer Hussein Chalayan or architect David Adjaye.

The British Design Council, which annually awards the prize for the respective designer's lifetime achievement, argued that the foldable Brompton bike -- manufactured by the engineer in the UK and sold throughout the world -- won for its "lightness, portability, smoothness of ride, and the sense of freedom it bestows."

David Kester, CEO of the Design Council, did not comment on Ritchie's win but on the state UK design currently finds itself in: "In this special year we celebrate 50 years of innovation, the design evangelism of The Duke of Edinburgh and the value of the designer in our society. In the current economic environment it is timely to remind ourselves that the UK has such great creative capabilities."

This year's nominees spanned multiple disciplines from architecture to industrial, graphic and fashion design. Designers on the shortlist included designer Wayne Hemingway, architect Eric Parry, and the graphic designers Peter Saville, and the Jay Smith and Howard Milton duo. Habitat founder Terence Conran and inventor James Dyson rank among its past winners.