Bicentenary Medal - The RSA - RSA

Bicentenary Medal

Bicentenary Medal

Recognising outstanding contributions in design since 1954.

The RSA Bicentenary Medal was instituted in 1954 to commemorate the founding of the RSA over two hundred years earlier and has been awarded annually to a variety of individuals for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of design in industry and society.

In the RSA's current account of design, the medal is awarded to recognise 'outstanding, regenerative and impactful contribution, through design practice, that is enabling people, places and planet to flourish in harmony'.

This aligns with our evolving ambitions for where design’s role is most needed today, as set out in our Design for Life mission, which seeks to unlock the potential in human, social and natural capital to achieve more resilient, rebalanced, and regenerative futures for all.

2023 medallist – Satish Kumar and Schumacher College

Satish Kumar and Schumacher College

A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish Kumar has been quietly setting the global agenda for change for over 50 years. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally respected ecological and educational ventures, including Schumacher College.

Schumacher College is a progressive college for ecological studies offering a range of programmes and courses that blend diverse practices and disciplines from economics and horticulture to design and crafts to deliver whole-systems and whole-person learning.

The college has a sustained history as a trailblazer in ecological learning founded on the need to find new ways of living that put people and the planet first, inspired by the economist E. F. Schumacher, author of Small Is Beautiful. 

The college focuses on interactive education methods to help students and community members develop the practical, holistic and strategicskills required to face 21st century challenges. Students work together in small groups which embrace the learning principles of head, heart, and hand. Many courses feature guest teachers who are world-renowned thinkers, activists and practitioners.

Medal award ceremony

Satish Kumar and Schumacher College will be awarded the Bicentenary Medal at a ceremony event at the RSA on a date to be announced. The ceremony is part of a year of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of our Student Design Awards.

The nomination process

As part of our ongoing journey to adopt more inclusive and equitable practices, in 2021 we launched a new semi-open medal nomination and review process. We now invite nominations from across our global community of Fellows, Student Design Award and Pupil Design Award winners, RDInsights and design institution partners. Nominations are reviewed by a panel that includes a past medallist, a Royal Designer for Industry, design and funding partners, Student Design Awards alumni, and members of The RSA leadership team. A recommendation is made to the RSA’s Nominations and Governance Committee for final approval.

Regenerative Futures

Discover more about this RSA programme which explores how we can create a future where people and planet flourish hand-in-hand.

Past Bicentenary Medal winners

From 1954 to present day, explore previous winners who have been recognised for their outstanding contribution in design.