Bill Moggridge, director of Cooper-Hewitt, was awarded the 2010 Prince Philip Designers Prize Tuesday, Nov. 9. The U.K.’s most prestigious design prize is awarded annually to recognize a lifetime contribution to design. As one of the pioneering designers of the 20th century, the jury, chaired by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, determined that Moggridge has been central to how design helps people understand and use technology. “I am astonished to have been chosen when my fellow short-listed candidates have achieved such amazing work,” said Moggridge.

The Prince Philip Designers Prize is Britain’s longest-running design award. It recognizes designers for raising the status of design and improving everyday life by turning ideas into commercial reality. The prize was first awarded in 1959 and is run by the U.K. Design Council; the judging panel is chaired by Prince Philip himself. Winners are selected based on the quality, originality and commercial success of their work, as well as the designer’s overall contribution to the standing of design and to design education. Nominees are put forward by professional organizations and educational establishments.

“The Prince Philip Prize provides a timely reminder that Britain is a nation of innovative, sometimes maverick thinkers,” said David Kester, chief executive of the Design Council. “Celebrating those talents is a vital part of inspiring the next generation of world-changing designers, innovators and creators.”

The prize has honored some of the best of British designers including Sir James Dyson (1997), Sir Terence Conran (2003) and Lord Norman Foster (2004). The 2010 shortlist included renowned avant-garde fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood; Eva Jirinca; Zaha Hadid, architect of the London 2012 Olympics Aquatic Centre; and Burberry’s chief creative officer Christopher Bailey.

This year the judges decided to also award three Special Commendations to Westwood, graphic designer Neville Brody, and furniture designer John Makepeace.

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