We love great designs and we’re pretty sure you do too so covering the Beazley Designs of the Year 2016 nominees is a no-brainer. Ok so you might be scratching your head about that name but basically, this is the Design Museum in London’s world-famous Designs of the Year. Really, it is so famous the names are just the Design Museum and Designs of the Year, which is just awful for SEO (if anybody at the Museum is paying attention).
Now in its ninth year, Beazley Designs of the Year celebrates designs released over the last 12 months that “promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year,” as the Museum’s official message reads. The nominees will be on view at the Design Museum in London from November 24, 2016 – February 19, 2017, when the space reopens in its new headquarters in West London. Oh yes, about that name again. Beazley is not an effort to associate the awards with a name, just the name of the sponsor this year.
The nominees in six categories include architecture (from small-scale domestic to public parks), fashion (collections from student graduation shows to iconic fashion houses), graphics (beautiful packaging, books, magazines, branding, exhibition design, typefaces), products (furniture, toys, packaging, lighting, technology, homeware), plus digital projects and transport.
Standouts from this year’s architecture category include Herzog & de Meuron’s recently completed Tate Modern Switch House, the gold leaf-painted Fondazione Prada in Milan by Rem Koolhaas’s firm OMA, Bjarke Ingels’ sloped 600-apartment residential building in Manhattan with a silhouette reminiscent of a shark fin, and Beijing studio MAD Architects’ undulating Harbin Opera House featuring two concert halls and a public plaza.
Graphics nominees include the designers of Malaysia’s protest posters that demonstrators could access online, a clever first aid kit for refugees and the design of David Bowie’s final album cover. The Bowie album cover was released on the iconic musician’s birthday (and just days prior to his death). Its dark simplicity was intended to reflect the musician’s mortality, per graphic design collaborator Jonathan Barnbrook, who did five of Bowie’s album covers.
The product shortlist includes a Space Cup for astronauts, a sleek Kodak Super 8 camera, minimalist Muji kitchen appliances, and LEGO figures. Another candidate, Adidas x Parley running shoes, used existing footwear manufacturing processes but replaced the usual synthetics with yarns made from recycled gill net dredged from the sea.
Collections produced by Craig Green, Agi and Sam, and Richard Malone are highlighted in the fashion category. The transport category includes a digital compass for bicycles and a crowdfunded bicycle helmet. The digital category included OpenSurgery, a do-it-yourself surgery robot for an at-home laparoscopy.
A winner will be selected in each category, and one overall winner will be announced on January 26, 2017.
Previous winners have included Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center (for the Republic of Azerbaijan) in 2014, and the 2015 prize went to a microdevice made to mimic complex tissue structures of the human body, designed by a duo at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute.
Here are the 10 designs that caught our eye this time. More images follow after the break.
- 1. Harbin Opera House by MAD architects
- 2. Fondazione Prada in Milan by OMA
- 3. Residential building in Manhattan by Bjarke Ingels Group
- 4. First aid kit for refugees by Erwin k. Bauer, Anne Hoffman, Dasha Zaichanka, Katharina Holzl, Miriam S. Koller
- 5. Adidas x Parley running shoe by Adidas Sustainability Team, Adidas Design Team, Alexander Taylor, Parley for the Oceans, Sea Shepherd
- 6. Tokyo Tribal by Nendo
- 7. Precious Plastics by Dave Hakkens
- 8. MUJI kitchen appliances by Naoto Fukasawa
- 9. Kodak Super 8 Camera by Yves Behar, Ilgu Cha, Sarah Neurnberger, Steven Overman, Danielle Atkins
- 10. Space cup by Mark Weislogel, Andrew Wollman, John Graf, Donald Pettit, Ryan Jenson