This year's prestigious award was presented by Nadja Swarovski to Ron Arad. The Tel Aviv born designer said, "Thank you London! I couldn't imagine doing whatever I'm doing anywhere else in the world". Previous winners of the medal include Zaha Hadid (2007), Marc Newson (2008), Sir Paul Smith (2009), and Thomas Heatherwick (2010).
London-born 'hair designer' Vidal Sassoon, was the recipient of the festival's first-ever lifetime achievement award. Architect Thomas Heatherwick, recipient of last year's medal and one of this year's judging panel, nominated the hairstylist (and architecture enthusiast) for what he called Sassoon's contribution to design and great affect on the wider culture.