Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize

The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize was inaugurated by the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Foundations, to be awarded for the first time in 1994 on the centenary of Torsten Söderberg’s birth. The foundations are among Sweden’s most important donors to research and development and were founded in 1960. Over the past five years the Torsten Söderberg Foundation, which from 2014 is the sole financial donor behind the prize, has awarded an average of SEK 120 million a year to scientific and corresponding causes.

Close links between the Söderberg family and the Röhsska Museum
The brothers Torsten (1894–1960) and Ragnar (1900–1974) Söderberg were mainly active in the family company Söderberg & Haak, the largest iron and steel wholesaler in Sweden, founded in 1866 with headquarters in Stockholm. Ragnar Söderberg was the chairman and managing director of the company while Torsten Söderberg was the general manager of the company’s activities in Gothenburg. In addition, the brothers founded Ratos AB. Torsten’s wife Wanja, née Aminoff (1899–1982) is also a donor to the Torsten Söderberg Foundation.

Torsten and Wanja Söderberg were members of the Association of Friends of the Röhsska Museum from 1938. Torsten became a committee member in 1948 and was its chairman between 1950 and 1960, as his son Tomas is today. In addition, Torsten Söderberg was a member of the Röhsska Museum board, appointed by the Gothenburg Museum Foundation. There are thus close links between the Söderberg family and the Röhsska Museum, which have been further strengthened by this special design and decorative art prize.

The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize currently amounts to SEK 1 million. It is administered by the Röhsska Museum, to be annually awarded to an active Nordic designer or craftsman. In addition to the considerable prize sum, the prize winner is given the opportunity of exhibiting his/her work in a separate exhibition at the Röhsska Museum in conjunction with the prize giving ceremony. Every six years, the prize can be divided into five equal parts and used to reward especially important work by critics in the field, one from each Nordic country. When the prize is awarded to people within the field of industrial design, it can be shared equally by several people who have worked together on the same project.

Each year the Röhsska Museum has the pleasure of awarding the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize, with funds from Torsten Söderbergs Foundation, which is intended to support design and the decorative arts in the Nordic region. The prize was inaugurated in 1992 by the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg foundations in memory of Torsten and Wanja Söderberg.

Prizewinners:
Ceramic artist Jane Reumert, Denmark, 1994.
Jewellery artist Liv Blåvarp, Norway, 1995.
Designer Brita Flander, Finland, 1996.
Furniture designer Mats Theselius, Sweden, 1997.
Textile artist Louise Sass, Denmark, 1998.
Authors Aðalsteinn Ingólfsson, Iceland; Kaj Kalin, Finland; John Vedel-Rieper, Denmark; Jorunn Veiteberg, Norway and Kerstin Wickman, Sweden, 1999.
Designer Peter Opsvik, Norway, 2000.
Industrial designer Björn Dahlström, Sweden, 2001.
Graphic designer HC Ericson, Sweden, 2002.
Architect and designer Sigurður Gústafsson, Iceland, 2003.
Jewellery artist Janna Syvänoja, Finland, 2004.
Volvo YCC concept car: Anna Rosén, Cynthia Charwick, Maria Uggla,
Maria Widell Christiansen, Camilla Palmertz, Eva-Lisa Andersson, Elna Holmberg,
Lena Ekelund and Tatiana Butovitsch Temm, Sweden, 2005.
Ceramic artist and designer Ole Jensen, Denmark, 2006.
Design group Norway Says: Torbjørn Anderssen, Andreas Engesvik and
Espen Voll, Norway, 2007.
Fashion designer Steinunn Sigurðardóttir, Iceland, 2008.
Designer Harri Koskinen, Finland 2009.
Design group Front, Sweden 2010.
Fashion designer Henrik Vibskov, Denmark 2011.
Jewellery engineer Sigurd Bronger, Norway 2012.
Graphic designer Hjalti Karlsson, Iceland, 2013.
Fashion designer Ann-Sofie Back, Sweden, 2014.
Designer Ilkka Suppanen, Finland 2015.
Designer Margrethe Odgaard, Denmark, 2016.

The SEK 1,000,000 prize is the highest in the world; it is determined by a jury and awarded annually. The jury consists of representatives from the five Nordic countries: Museum Director adj. professor Anne-Louise Sommer, Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen, Denmark; Director of design and decorative arts Widar Halén, National Museum, Oslo, Norway; Museum Director Jukka Savolainen, Design Museum, Helsinki, Finland; Museum Director Harpa Þórsdóttir, Hönnunarsafn Íslands Museum of Design and Applied Art, Reykjavik, Iceland; Ph.D. Tomas Söderberg, chairman of Torsten Söderberg Foundation; and the jury’s chairman, Museum Director Tom Hedqvist, Röhsska Museum, Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize will be ceremoniously awarded in Gothenburg on 4th November. An exhibition of the prize-winner’s work will open at the Röhsska Museum on the 5th of November 2014.

About the Söderberg family, the foundations and the prize
The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg’s prize was inaugurated in 1992 by the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Foundations, two of Sweden’s most important donors to Sweden’s research and development. The foundations were formed in 1960.

There are thus close links between the Söderberg family and the Röhsska Museum, which have been further strengthened by a special design and decorative art prize inaugurated to commemorate the centenary of Torsten Söderberg’s birth. The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize currently amounts to SEK 1 million. It is administered by the Röhsska Museum, to be annually awarded to an active Nordic designer or craftsman. In addition to the considerable prize sum, the prizewinner will be given the opportunity of exhibiting his/her work in a separate exhibition at the Röhsska Museum in conjunction with the prize giving ceremony. Every six years, the prize can be divided into five equal parts and used to reward especially important work by critics in the field, one from each Nordic country. When the prize is awarded to people within the field of industrial design, it can be shared equally by several people who have worked together on the same project.

The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize

Category: T & W Söderberg award

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