Bringing together the world’s most established talent alongside graduates and rising stars, Beazley Designs of the Year provide a rare moment to experience a diverse selection of industries, objects and technologies in one exhibition. An annual celebration of the most notable and innovative design ideas from the past twelve months, Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition is a snapshot of a moment in time, a round-up of the issues that are occupying the world’s psyche. The Design Museum in London has announced the shortlist for the tenth-anniversary exhibition, bringing together 62 global projects across six categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion Graphics, Product and Transport. Activism and protest have proven to be strong themes in this year’s nominations, reflecting a tumultuous time of global political unrest and creative popular resistance.
Selected by a panel of distinguished international designers, curators and creatives, the nominees are certainly the most original and exciting products, concepts and designers in the world today. The list includes a hijab designed by Nike and a clothing line by Kanye West for his Life of Pablo tour, Pokémon Go, the augmented reality mobile game, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C designed by the recently knighted Sir David Adjaye, IKEA furniture that does not require screws or allen keys, or the world’s first 3D printed self-driving bus, amongst others. The year of political unrest is reflected in Wolfgang Tillmans’ Remain Campaign, support posters for Jeremy Corbyn, the Pussyhat worn by protesters in the USA following President Trump’s sexist comments, or and IC4Design’s Finding Her, a Where’s Wally-style advertisement highlighting low levels of gender equality in Egyptian professions.
Activism is also a strong theme in the Graphics category. The list of nominees brings the bravest and most innovative solutions including Protest Banner Lending Library, a space for people to gain skills to learn to make their own banners; Ibiza Mykonos Jeremy Corbyn, a series of 40+ hypothetical posters created in reaction to the announcement of an early general election; Me & You by Nathan Smith and Sam T Smith, a collection of postcards designed post EU referendum as a means to remain connected; and The Refugee Nation flag by Yara Said with The Refugee Nation for Amnesty International, designed to mark the participation of the first ever refugee team in the 2016 Olympics, amongst others.
The public vote will be open online from October 2017 and a jury of industry experts will decide on the award winners. A winner will be selected in each category and one overall winner will be announced on January 25th, 2018. Previous winners have included the 2012 Olympic Torch, the Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid and Human Organs-on-Chips, a micro-device lined with living human cells to mimic the complex tissue structures of the human body. Beazley Designs of the Year will be on display at the Design Museum in London from October 18th, 2017 to January 28th, 2018.
Featured image: Nike's Hijab; Protest Banner Lending Library, Chicago Cultural Center, Photo by eedahahm 5; Me & You, Collection Quarter; Google's Female Emoji. All images courtesy of the Design Museum.