Beazley Designs of the Year
The Design Museum, London
– 28 January 2018
“Beazley Designs of the Year” showcases all nominees of the Beazley Design Award. In its tenth year the exhibition has six categories: architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, product and transport. The organisers of the exhibition and the prize hope to showcase a groundbreaking view of the future.
Selecting a design for an award is often a fraught process. In many cases, even participating in a competition and winning a prize can be an expensive business. The evaluation criteria can also be difficult to comprehend, and usually lead to a loss of transparency and credibility. However, design awards do also bring together new developments, curate an overall picture and showcase trends.
The London Design Museum is a non-profit organisation funded by entrance and membership fees and volunteer work and moved in to its new building in Kensington in November 2016. The Beazley-Insurance Group, a company that describes its insurance policies as “well-designed products” and which sets great store by good design has sponsored the Beazley Design Award since 2016.
The jury of the design award consists of renowned experts in the individual disciplines, such as Marcus Engman, design manager at Ikea, and Gerry McGovern, chief designer at Land Rover. An important focus across all disciplines is placed on socially or politically relevant concepts.
For example, in the digital category, nominations includes emojis featuring women in various professions, Pokemon Go, and an interactive rendition of a Syrian Torture Prison. In the product category, it is all about marketable innovations, such as a Piaggo Robot, which, carries the shopping alongside its human, the Flax Chair, which consists of a wax fibre composite and is naturally degradable, or the Snoo Smart Sleeper from Fuseproject, a cradle that lulls babies to sleep.
In addition to major projects such as Port House by Zaha Hadid Architects, the architecture category also includes smaller, alternative projects, such as the Calais Builds, a tent construction for refugee camps or the Croft Lodge Studio, a fusion of a 300-year-old country house and a new integrating shell.
In the graphic design category, nominations include the magazine Real Review and the design of a refugee flag for refugees who participate in the Olympics. In the fashion category, the merchandise and pop-up store of Kanye West and Mat Vlasic for Bravado stands out with West's latest addition. In the transport category, you’ll make new discoveries about the latest in mobility with self-driving vehicles.
The winners will be announced in January and the public can submit their votes on the website. A publication shows all nominees and summarises the competition.
The diverse selection not only highlights the focus of today's designers, but also current trends in society and market gaps and opportunities.