February 11, 2014

Designs of the year 2014, London Design Museum

Designs of the Year 2014 
Design Museum, London 
Nomination announced - Exhibition from 26 March to 25 August 2014 

Kate Moss’s favourite app, a floating school in a Nigerian lagoon, friendly lamp posts, virtual mountain rescue teams, a recoiling mudguard for the discerning cyclist - just some of the 76 nominations for Designs of the Year 2014, announced yesterday.

Designs of the Year gathers together a year of cutting-edge innovation and original talent; showcasing the very best in global Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphic, Product and Transport design.

2014’s nominees include international design stars such as Zaha Hadid, John Pawson, Stephen Jones, David Chipperfield and Miuccia Prada, alongside crowd-funded start ups and student projects. All of the nominated designs go on display at the Design Museum, in an exhibition open from 26 March to 25 August 2014. A distinguished panel of experts chose a winner from each category and one overall winner, to be announced later in the year.

Designs of the Year pits the ingeniously amusing against the admirably innovative. The Dumb Ways To Die app features cute characters who meet increasingly grisly ends, accompanied by an insanely catchy tune; while the PEEK Portable Eye Examination Kit harnesses smartphone technology to revolutionise eye care in developing countries.

The broad reach of the competition allows for an overview of emerging trends and common themes from across different design disciplines. This year the ubiquity of the smartphone is particularly apparent, as is the disruptive effect of crowd-funding sites such as Kickstarter. More than ever, designers are seeking to blur boundaries between the digital and physical worlds with new ideas like the calendar made of Lego that syncs with your computer/phone diary and the fire alarm that texts to let you know that everything’s ok.

After the success of its first outing in 2013, the Visitor Vote will return, allowing 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.

The gaming app that outlives its player, the mobile phone you can build yourself, the bottle caps that turn into building blocks – someday the other museums will be showing this stuff. #designsoftheyear

Shad Thames, LONDON, SE1 2YD