The Design Museum released the nominees for the tenth annual Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition and awards earlier this month. Sponsored by specialist insurer Beazley the shortlist comprises 62 nominations across categories of architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, product and transport and showcases the most original and exciting products, concepts and designers in the world today. The exhibition held at the Design Museum will open on 18th October 2017 and will run until 28th January 2018 and as with every year so key concerns, issues and developments of the period have been addressed in the designs. The LuxPad explores some of the highlights of the 2017 Beazley Designs of the Year shortlist…
The Beazley Designs of the Year Shortlist for the architecture category is filled with culturally significant buildings. The Calais Builds Project was a combined effort of architect Gráinne Hassett along with migrants living in the Calais Jungle and students of Architecture from the University of Limerick, which saw a major community infrastructure built including a women’s and children’s centre and the Baloo Youth centre, both of which were later demolished by the French Government and the inhabitants displaced. The Hegnuset Memorial and Learning Centre on Utøya, Norway was created by Blakstad Haffner Architects and involved the recreation of the café and local centre which was destroyed in the devastating terrorist attack which took place on the island in 2011.The space has been kept preserved as a memorial and is now framed by 69 columns to represent each fatality of the attack. The old structure is now enclosed in a new pine frame with 495 wooden slats, one for each survivor.
The Digital category of the 2017 Beazley Designs of the Year shortlist contains the likes of Pokémon GO, the game which became a huge cultural phenomenon and was downloaded 750 million times. Its popularity was short lived however with daily user rates dropping from 28 million to just 5 million in April 2017. Another highlight of the Digital category is the Professional Women Emoji which was created after founders Agustin Fonts, Rachel Been, Mark Davis, Nicole Bleuel and Chang Yang, a small-cross functional team from Google, saw that professional women within Emoji were lacking.
In Fashion Ecoalf are nominated for their production of a new material made from the marine waste at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea as a way to help clean ocean debris. The 100% recyclable material is made in Spain and contains 43% recycled polyester from the plastic found in the ocean, 29% post-industrial linen, 22% Tencel and 6% industrial cotton. Another key Fashion nominee is the Nike Pro Hijab, a performance hijab which could change the face of sport for Muslim women and was unveiled two days before International Women’s Day.
The Graphics category holds numerous projects on protests, conflict and political campaigns and is perhaps the biggest indicator of the struggles faced around the world in 2016 and 2017. The Refugee Nation Flag is a particular highlight which was created by Yara Said with The Refugee Nation for Amnesty International to represent the first every refugee team at the Rio Olympic Games. Closely linked to the refugee crisis is ‘Fractured Lands’ the edition of The New York Time published on 14th August 2016 which contained a single 42,000 word nonfiction narrative by Scott Anderson. Documenting 18 months of reporting, it tells the story of the catastrophe which has fractured the Arab world from the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, through to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis.
The Transport category of the Beazley Designs of the Year Shortlist includes numerous designs dedicated to a cleaner planet with Olli by Local Motors, the world’s first self-driving, 3D printed, electric bus and SeaBubbles by Alain Thebault and Anders Bringal, a new design for water taxis that have no noise, no CO2 emissions and a self-charging dock which gives energy back to the grid and cleans the waterways at the same time. The full list of nominees in the Beazley Designs of the Year shortlist and the messages behind their creation can be found on the Design Museum website. The public vote will open in October 2017 along with the exhibition and a jury of industry experts will decide the winners in January 2018.