2015’s Designs of the Year nominees, announced by London’s Design Museum, represent the global breadth of design talent, featuring some of the industry’s biggest names alongside rising stars and little-known practices. Google’s self-driving car, Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton and Asif Kahn’s Sochi Olympic Megafaces are just some of the high-profile projects to be represented in the exhibition of nominees which opens at the Design Museum on 25 March.
Now in its eighth year, Designs of the Year celebrates design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year. The international awards and exhibition showcase projects from the previous year, across six categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Product, Graphics, and Transport.
Design experts, practitioners and academics from across the world are asked by the Design Museum to suggest potential projects, from which the museum has selected 76 for nomination and display in the exhibition. A specially selected jury chooses a winner for each category and an overall winner.
Designs of the Year’s wide-ranging scope provides a snapshot of the contemporary concerns of the design world, with nominees coming from over thirty countries across five continents. A strong theme for 2015 is the desire to harness new technologies to solve long-standing problems, as seen in projects as diverse as the world’s first lab for 3D printing prosthetic limbs, and the Moocall sensor which is connected to a cow’s tail and texts the farmer when calving is imminent.
An interest in democratising design and empowering users can be seen across the board, notably in AL BORDE’s architectural school for an Ecuadorian fishing community, and Technology Will Save Us’s DIY Gamer Kit which encourages everyone to get coding.
Beauty combined with utility never goes out of style - Paul Cocksedge Studio’s Double O bike lights and Marjan Van Aubel’s phone charging Current Table are as pleasurable to look at as they are to use.
A mushroom-based modelling material you can grow yourself, beautiful Norwegian banknotes, a billboard that can clean pollutants from the air – someday the other museums will be showing this stuff.
The 2015 Designs of the Year jury are:
Anish Kapoor, Artist (Chair)
Farshid Moussavi, Architect and Professor at Harvard GSD
Other jury members are still to be announced. The Designs of the Year category winners are announced on Monday 4 May, with the overall winner being revealed at an event at the Design Museum on Thursday 4 June.