The Earthshot Prize – Award design                2021

Launched by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in October 2020, The Earthshot Prize is the most prestigious global environment prize in history. It aims to discover, celebrate, and scale innovative solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet. The Prize is centered on five Earthshots - Protect and Restore Nature; Clean our Air; Revive our Oceans; Build a Waste-free World; and Fix our Climate – unifying, ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for us all.

Titled ‘Precious Matter’, the design of the award was inspired by the iconic photograph of Earth that was taken by astronaut Major General William Anders on December 24, 1968, during the Apollo 8 mission. The photograph, known as ‘Earthrise’, was the first photograph of the Earth captured from space and is credited with helping start the environmental movement.

Produced from recycled materials, each award is completely unique in its design and depicts a slightly different rotation of the Earth’s surface. The 50 awards combine to create the full Earth – just as the 50 solutions of The Earthshot Prize will come together over the next decade to help repair our planet. This feature of the design reflects the aim of The Earthshot Prize to inspire collective action to tackle the world’s greatest environmental challenges.

The recycled brass was sourced from water pipe fittings, household waste and minute metal elements filtered from wastewater sludge, and then amalgamated together. The design reflects the importance of reusing and recycling waste and aligns with The Earthshot Prize’s ambition to build a waste-free world.

The Earthshot Prize medal is presented in a recycled linoleum box, sourced from the ends of the rolls from factories and is made up of linseed oil, pine resin, wood dust, chalk and pigments. The linoleum was selected by the colours, which were blended and formed individually making each of the 50 boxes unique. When opened, the medal is revealed, depicting the Earth like a precious object as seen from the moon.

Links: Earthshot Prize
COMMISSIONED BY: The Royal Foundation

CREDITS: Royal Dutch Mint, Forbo testfactory, Kuperus & Gardenier, TUdelft, Laserbeesd, KWR, Tony Sloof, Urban Metals, Elephant Refinery and Overdie Fines


Photography: Mathijs Labadie, Roel van Tour
Text edit: Laura Houseley
Graphic design: Kumi Hiroi
Coding: Henrik van Leeuwen


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