AKQA and Universal win Cannes Lions Design Grand Prix for H&M Looop

AKQA and its architecture and interior design partner Universal Design Studio have won the industry’s most prestigious prize, a Cannes Lions Grand Prix, for H&M Looop.

“We are deeply honoured the esteemed international Cannes Lions Design jury selected H&M Looop as the winner of its distinguished prize,” said Ajaz Ahmed, CEO of AKQA. “The award embodies the transcendent power of design and fluent relationship between interfaces. This win is a celebration of sustainability, collaboration and creativity — central priorities for our planet and industry. Congratulations and thank you to our team and H&M for achieving this trailblazing recognition.”

“Three years ago, we joined forces with AKQA to unite the disciplines of architecture, product and digital design. The remarkable Cannes Lions Design Grand Prix win represents a new era, and a realisation of that vision,” said Edward Barber OBE and Jay Osgerby OBE, co-founders of Universal Design Studio and industrial design firm Map Project Office.

H&M Looop is a pioneering visual manifestation of the circular economy that’s at the heart of the fashion industry’s future. Winning The Grand Prix is a tribute to the dedicated team that has contributed to the transformation this work will inspire.

Johnny Budden, Executive Creative Director, AKQA London and Sweden
Looop hero

Camilla Henriksson, Global Head of Customer Experience H&M Lifestyle Brands said “Beyond happy and proud for this recognition with H&M Looop. The installation with H&M Looop in the store in Stockholm is the result of passion and engagement from a lot of talented people and partnerships from HKRITA, H&M Foundation, H&M colleagues, AKQA and Universal, and shows that when joining forces in a true partnership we can create wonderful things together.”

“The machine visualizes to customers that old textiles have a value and should never go to waste. This new innovation with an instore recycling system shows how recycling works, without using water or chemicals, and getting customers on board is key to achieve real change and transform our industry for the future.”

The 2021 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity attracted 29,074 award entries from 90 countries.

In May, H&M Looop won a coveted Fast Company World Changing Ideas award. The project has also won two D&AD awards and three One Show awards.

AKQA is in the lead position for both vision and execution in Gartner’s annual independent evaluation of Global Marketing Agencies. AKQA is also positioned highest in the IDC MarketScape report for Customer Experience Improvement Services. AKQA is the most awarded digital agency according to the 2021 UK Digital Agency Census published by industry title The Drum. AKQA’s anthology of recent work: Family Album was released in May 2021.

Universal Design Studio is the award-winning architecture and interior design practice founded in 2001 by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, and today co-directed by Jason Holley and Paul Gulati. Over the past twenty years, the studio has reshaped the way we inhabit and experience spaces. From designing global flagship retail stores for fashion icons such as Stella McCartney to defining the interiors for Ace Hotel’s famed Shoreditch flagship, working with Map to shift the dial on quantum computing for IBM and creating culturally significant projects for museums across the globe. This Autumn, Phaidon will publish the studio’s first monograph titled ‘Universal Design Studio: Inside Out’.