London’s Design Museum has announced the seven category winners for the annual Designs of the Year Awards, celebrating the best of international design from the last 12 months. Among the seven category winners include the renovation and reimagining of a faded 1960s tower block in Paris and the "quiet" graphics of David Chipperfield’s 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, Common Ground.
The seven category winners are:
Architecture: Tour Bois-le-Prêtre, Paris / Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal
The transformation of this run-down tower block in northern Paris created an alternative approach to the physical and social redevelopment of decaying post-war housing.
Jury member Amanda Levete: "Druot, Lacaton and Vassal have re-invented a tower block in Paris, previously known colloquially as ‘Alcatraz’. A clever and elegant solution, far from the usual cosmetic approach that fools no-one. Residents left for work in the morning returning in the evening to a bigger, light filled apartment. Completed at half the cost of demolition and new build, this is an exemplary lesson in harnessing clever thinking and ingenuity to transform neglected parts of our cities – for me that is what good design is all about."
Digital: GOV.UK website / Government Digital Service
The new Gov.uk website aims to combine all the UK Government’s websites into a single site. The project could save the public £50 million a year by building a platform to make web publishing simpler for government and delivering more services online.
Ilse Crawford, chair of the jury: "Access and information are critical and particularly challenging in the public domain. Design, in this nominee, has been used to create a new reality for the user, a tool that can push the user experience forward, making design more apparent to the public and raising the question ‘what is design?'"
Fashion: Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel / Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Called 'the Empress of Fashion’, Diana Vreeland’s (1903-1989) impact on fashion and style in her time was legendary. With 350 illustrations, including many famous photographs by Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and other major fashion photographers, this film shows fashion as it was being invented.
Ilse Crawford, chair of the jury: "She took fashion design to another level, reaching a wider audience and creating a greater understanding of the fashion world. So many of her achievements are taken for granted, for example the fact that she brought fashion into the context of the museum. And she never stopped. The longevity of her career is quite astounding."
Furniture: Medici Chair / Konstantin Grcic for Mattiazzi
Three types of wood - thermo treated ash, walnut and douglas - are joined at irregular angles, resulting in a comfortably reclined seat.
Ilse Crawford, chair of the jury: "Furniture design is in a crisis in the current age, so many students no longer study furniture design as the industry asks them to create pieces at such a pace that they can’t give them the care and dedication that they need. Mattiazzi show the commitment to making a piece that can be used for life and that is the only way to get well designed furniture that can compete with the classics."
Graphics: Venice Architecture Biennale identity / John Morgan Studio
Spoken in a Venetian dialect, the stencil text is contained in a white plaster panel and roughly framed in black. The signs were made to blend in with the fabric of existing Venetian signage.
Ilse Crawford, chair of the jury: "Quiet is the new loud. The invisible hand of design. Graphic design that is clear, that is derived from its context and doesn't try to compete with it and extremely well done. Refreshing."
Products: Kit Yamoyo / ColaLife and PI Global
ColaLife works in developing countries using Coca-Cola’s distribution channels to carry ‘social products’ such as anti-diarrhea kits to save children’s lives. Slotting perfectly in the gaps left in a Coca-Cola crate, the kit effectively piggy backs on existing distribution channels to deliver life saving medicine.
Jury member Olga Polizzi: "A truly brilliant idea, that is a collaboration between an independent nonprofit organization and Coca Cola. Using Coca Cola’s distribution channels simple medicines, in cleverly designed wedge shaped containers that fit in between the Coca Cola bottles, can be delivered at no cost to remote areas and developing countries. Anywhere that a bottle of Coca Cola can be bought lives can now be saved."
Transport: Morph Folding Wheel / Vitamins for Maddak Inc.
The wheelchair re-invented. For the first time the wheels on a wheelchair are able to fold flat and fit in storage compartments of airplanes and small cars. When folded, this wheel takes up only 12 liters of space, compared with 22 liters when it is circular and in use. The wheel has been developed with support from the Royal College of Art, the Wingate Foundation and the James Dyson Foundation.
Jury member Griff Rhys Jones: "It’s amazing that no one has re-invented the wheel, which is a testament to the achievement in this nomination. This is a design that will actively help wheel chair users in many aspects of their lives."
Pete Collard, Curator of Designs of the Year comments: “Designs of the Year is the Design Museum’s authoritative review of the most innovative, forward-thinking and culturally relevant projects from the past twelve months. The work selected demonstrates the many ways in which design can transform our physical and cultural landscape.”
The seven winning designs will now compete for the overall Design of the Year 2013, to be announced on 16 April at an awards evening held at The Angler, South Place Hotel, London. The winning entries, along with all the shortlisted designs are on show at the Design Museum until 7 July.
- Johanna Agerman Ross (Editor of Disegno)
- Amanda Levete (Architect)
- Olga Polizzi (Director of Design for Rocco Forte Hotels)
- Sarah Raven (Garden designer)
- Griff Rhys Jones (Actor and presenter)
- Nicolas Roope (Designer)
- Ilse Crawford (Designer, Chair of the jury)