Since 2008, Designs of the Year has been an industry measuring stick for where design stands now. The awards 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 in London.
Consisting of over 90 nominations, this year’s contest includes the celebrated Olympic Cauldron by Heatherwick Studio; Western Europe’s tallest building – The Shard designed by Renzo Piano; the boutique boatshaped 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 also claimed the only mobile phone nomination.
Zaha Hadid earned 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 a revolutionary collapsing wheel technology by Vitamins Design.
The exhibition featuring all the nominations will open March 20, 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 BarberOsgerby for the London 2012 Olympic Torch.
The museum entry is free and the exhibition can be seen until July 7.