Our Story | May 2019
The Design Museum has announced the seven category winners for the annual Designs of the Year Awards. Designs of the Year celebrates a year’s worth of cutting-edge innovation and original talent; showcasing the very best in global Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphic, Product and Transport design. The seven category winners are:
• Architecture: HEYDAR ALIYEV CENTER, BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - Designed by Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher. Elaborate undulations, folds and inflections modify this plaza surface into an architectural landscape that performs a multitude of functions.
Judge Piers Gough of CZWG Architects LLP said: “‘An intoxicatingly beautiful building by the most brilliant architect at the height of her office’s powers.
It’s swooning fluid on the outside and inside, belieing its size and complexity. The thousand and one geometrical junctions are consummately mastered and segue seamlessly into each other. Sitting atop a swooping zigzag landscape that would be a winner even without the building. It is as pure and sexy as Marilyn’s blown skirt.
“Without an ounce of awkward argumentative modernism in its bones. It rather reads like a sweet love letter to Zaha’s homelands.”
• Digital: PEEK (PORTABLE EYE EXAMINATION KIT) - Designed by Dr Andrew Bastawrous, Stewart Jordan, Dr Mario Giardini, Dr Iain Livingstone. A smartphone-based system for comprehensive eye examinations, PEEK is easy to use, affordable and portable, meaning that it can bring eye care to even the remotest of settings.
• Fashion: PRADA S/S14 - Designed by Miuccia Prada. Pop-art prints meet sporty details and structured shapes in this boldly coloured, powerful collection. Vogue said of the show ‘By next summer we’ll wonder what we ever wore before.’
Konstantin Grcic: Pro Chair Family
• Furniture: PRO CHAIR FAMILY - Designed by Konstantin Grcic. Featuring state-of-the-art ergonomics and pioneering design, the construction of the chair not only allows movement in all directions, but actively stimulates it thereby promoting healthier sitting.
• Graphics: DRONE SHADOWS - Designed by James Bridle / booktwo.org. A series of installations consisting of a 1:1 outline of a military unmanned aerial vehicle, or Drone. They have appeared in the UK, Turkey, the USA, Brazil and elsewhere.
• Product: THE SEABOARD GRAND - Designed by Roland Lamb and Hong-Yeul Eom. The Seaboard is a reinvention of the piano keyboard, reimagining the keys as soft waves that enable continuous and discrete real-time, tactile control of sound through three-dimensional hand gestures. The design combines contemporary minimalism and traditional handcrafted quality.
• Transport: XL1 CAR – Designed by Volkswagen. The world’s the most efficient liquid-fuelled production car; it requires only 8.4 PS to sustain a constant 100kph on a level surface in still air, a speed the car can reach from rest in 12.7 seconds.
Gemma Curtin, Curator of Designs of the Year, comments: ‘From the daringly innovative to the reassuringly good, Designs of the Year 2014 is a condensed and vivid selection of the last twelve months in design. This spectrum of expert-chosen design is an insight into what design can do for us both as individuals and as a society.’
Nick Perry, Head of London, Bird & Bird said:‘We are thrilled to have been involved in supporting Designs of the Year, each of these category winners has demonstrated exceptional insight and skill and we look forward to seeing further designs from them in the future. Working with clients whose focus is on technology, or whose businesses are being transformed by the use of technology means we know that there is a huge amount to be gained from innovation and design. Designs of the Year is invaluable in supporting the next generation of innovation, as we have seen demonstrated, and continues the rich heritage of design which the UK is known for.’
The seven winning designs will now compete for the overall Design of the Year 2014 award. The overall winner will be announced on 30 June at an event hosted by St Martins Lane London. The seven category winners, along with all of the other 69 nominated designs for 2014, are on display in an exhibition at the Design Museum until 25 August.
Members of the public can have their say on Designs of the Year in the Visitor Vote, which allows visitors to the Design Museum to pick their favourite design from the exhibition. New for 2014 is the Social Vote which sees two nominations fight it out each day through the exhibition’s online Social Vote platform. Broadcast to over one million of the Design Museum’s Twitter and Facebook followers, the Social Vote allows people from all over the world to participate in Designs of the Year 2014.