The Design Museum announces the contenders for the sixth annual Designs of the Year. They include the best designs from around the world in the last 12 months across seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Product and Transport. Selected by a panel of distinguished nominators, the awards compile the most original and exciting designs, prototypes and designers in the world today – brought together in a Design Museum exhibition from 20 March until 7 July.
Consisting of over 90 nominations, this year’s contest include the celebrated Olympic Cauldron by Heatherwick Studio; Western Europe’s tallest building – The Shard designed by Renzo Piano; the boutique boat shaped hotel room – A Room for London by David Kohn Architects; The Louis Vuitton collection by Yayoi Kusama; and the award-winning Exhibition Road by Dixon Jones, which integrates vehicle and foot traffic with its rejection of boundaries between pavement and road. Microsoft’s Windows phone 8 has claimed the only mobile phone nomination. The Digital category also includes the latest Gov.uk website.
Zaha Hadid earns two nominations this year for the Galaxy Soho building in Beijing and the Liquid Glacial Table, which resembles running water. Forty years after his death, architect Louis Kahn has won a nomination for New York’s Four Freedoms Park which was finally completed at the end of 2012. The successful Barbican installation Rain Room by Random International, which produced queues of over three hours has received a nomination, and the venue’s Bauhaus exhibition is recognised for its graphics by APFEL.
Some of the most remarkable prototypes to emerge in the last year include a non-stick ketchup bottle invented by the Varanasi Research Group at MIT, which uses a special edible solution sprayed on the inside of the bottle; a prototype pair of self-adjustable glasses for children with no access to opticians by The Centre for Vision in the Developing World in Oxford; and a wheelchair that folds completely flat with its revolutionary collapsing wheels technology by Vitamins Design.
Key advances in technology are also recognised in the nominations such as the 3D printer and an apparatus coined Magic Arms, which has helped a girl suffering with arthrogryposis to regain mobility.
The exhibition featuring all the nominations will open 20 March 2013 with the winners from each category and one overall winner to be announced in April. Last year the prestigious award was won by design studio Barber Osger by for the London 2012 Olympic Torch.
Designs of the Year, Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London. SE1 2YD. designmuseum.org
1. Rain Room, designed by Random International. Courtesy Design Museum.
2. The Shard, designed by Renzo Piano. Courtesy Design Museum.
3. Liquid Glacial Table, designed by Zaha Hadid. Courtesy Design Museum.