The latest Beazley Designs of the Year competition brought on another memorable batch of designs, from humanitarian-driven projects to pop culture to clever reinventions of everyday products. Hosted by the Design Museum in London, the overall-winning Design of the Year prize went to “Better Shelter”, a flat-pack shelter for refugees.
Starting out with over 70 nominees, the jury awarded category winners for Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product, Transportation, and of course, Architecture — which Better Shelter won. The designers of Better Shelter — Johan Karlsson, Dennis Kanter, Christian Gustafsson, John van Leer, Tim de Haas, Nicolò Barlera, the IKEA Foundation, and UNHCR — were presented with the award during an exclusive dinner inside the Design Museum’s new home in Kensington.
The category winners and all nominated designs are exhibited at the Design Museum now until February 19.
Read on for more about this year’s winners.
BEAZLEY DESIGN OF THE YEAR 2016 + Architecture Category Winner:
Name: Better Shelter
Designers: Johan Karlsson, Founder & Interim MD Dennis Kanter, Designer Christian Gustafsson, Industrial Designer John van Leer, Engineer and Industrial Designer Tim de Haas, Head of Technology IKEA Foundation, Partner UNHCR, Partner
Summary: “Better Shelter is a social enterprise driven by a mission to improve the lives of persons displaced by armed conflicts and natural disasters. Aiming to be the leader in emergency and temporary shelter innovation, they continuously develop their products together with partners, customers and, most importantly, the people who live in the shelters. Through innovative methods, they aim to create a safer, more dignified home away from home for millions of displaced persons across the world.”
“Better Shelter tackles one of the defining issues of the moment: providing shelter in an exceptional situation whether caused by violence and disaster. Sadly, we have seen many instances recently where temporary shelter was necessary. Providing not only a design but secure manufacture as well as distribution makes this project relevant and even optimistic. It shows the power of design to respond to the conditions we are in and transform them.” — jury member Dr. Jana Scholze, Associate Professor, Curating Contemporary Design, Kingston University
Designers: OpenSurgery was developed as a graduation project at the Design Interactions department of the Royal College of Art (London UK, 2015).
Summary: “The initial concept originated from the Healthcare Futures Workshop at the KYOTO Design Lab (D-Lab) at the Kyoto Institute for Technology (Kyoto JP, 2014). OpenSurgery, created as a graduation project at the Royal College of Art, claimed the Beazley Digital Design of the Year. Selected for demonstrating ‘a tipping point’ in our relationship with technology, the project was created in response to uninsured Americans posting videos on YouTube and performing minor operations and medical hacks on themselves and others. The Robotic Surgeon proposes an alternative do-it-yourself robot. By combining 3D printing with laser cutting technology hacked with surgical equipment bought online, the machine theoretically could be replicated at a fraction of the cost of professional surgical care.”
Name: Children vs. Fashion
Designers: A group aged 8 kids from CEIP La Rioja School, Madrid, Spain
Summary: “In the Fashion category it was a video exploring advertising that won the award. Children vs Fashion asked a group of eight year olds in Madrid to provide their thoughts on an element of fashion advertising the portrayed gender imbalance. Offering the uninhibited viewpoint of a child, the project exposes the negative impact of a selection of advertisements and how the focus is removed from the clothes that they are intended to promote.”
Name: ★ (pronounced Blackstar)
Designer: Jonathan Barnbrook at Barnbrook for David Bowie/Sony Entertainment Inc.
Summary: “It was the iconic album cover of David Bowie’s Blackstar album received the Beazley Graphic Design of the Year. Designed by Jonathan Barnbrook, the Unicode Blackstar symbol created a simplistic identity that let the music take centre stage but also created a design that’s easy-to-recognise and share. Designed using open source elements, the artwork for the album became open-sourced itself following Bowie’s death enabling fans to engage and interact with the symbols.”
Name: Space Cup
Designers: Mark Weislogel: Innovator (IRPI LLC/Portland State University) Andrew Wollman: Designer (IRPI LLC) John Graf: Co-Investigator (NASA Johnson Space Center) Donald Pettit: NASA Astronaut Innovator (NASA Johnson Space Center) Ryan Jenson: Sponsor (IRPI LLC)
Summary: “A coffee cup used by astronauts was awarded the Beazley Product Design of the Year. The Space Cup was designed and developed using scientific results of experiments conducted aboard the International Space Station. The cup is designed to exploit passive capillary forces to replace the role of gravity to create an earth-like drinking experience in the low-gravity environment of space. Sealed drink bags are normally sipped through a straw to avoid spilling in space. The Space Cup however uses surface tension, fluid wetting properties, and a unique shape to drive the liquid toward the astronaut’s mouth whilst drinking from an open cup.”
Name: Lumos – A Next Generation Bicycle Helmet with Integrated Lights, Brake, and Turn Signals
Designers: Eu-wen Ding – Co-Founder & CEO, Jeff Haoran Chen – Co-Founder & CTO
Summary: “Lumos, the world’s first smart bicycle helmet with integrated light signals, completed the category winners by being named the Beazley Transport Design of the Year. With a built in accelerometer Lumos detects when you’re slowing down and automatically displays a brake light and turn signals. In August 2015, Lumos Helmet blew past its funding goal of $125,000 USD to raise over $800,000, making it the highest funded bicycle helmet campaign in crowdfunding history.”
Images courtesy of the Design Museum – Beazley Designs of the Year.