The world’s first plastic-free shopping aisle, the colourful LEGO House by Bjarke Ingels Group and a lab that explores the potential of algae as a replacement for non-biodegradable plastics, the Design Museum in London has today announced the most international list of contenders to date for the eleventh edition of Beazley Designs of the Year.
The annual exhibition and awards comprise 87 nominations across six categories: architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, product and transport. Selected by a panel of distinguished international designers, curators and critics, the awards showcase the most original and impactful products, concepts and designers in the world today.
The fashion category includes items from Nike’s Nigeria National Football Team collection, pieces from Palomo Spain’s SS 2018 Menswear collection and Matty Bovan’s debut collection. The rainbow check by Christopher Bailey for Burberry and Fenty Beauty by Rihanna – are also nominated amongst the fashion and product categories and reflect designs that show a commitment to inclusivity.
Responding to the threat of global warming and a drive to create a sustainable future, resources and biomaterials are two prominent themes in this year’s nominations, with projects including: Trash Isles, a campaign by LADbible in partnership with the Plastic Oceans Foundation, which gained widespread support across the globe and called for the UN to recognise a floating pile of rubbish as an island, and the world’s first plastic-free aisle in Amsterdam, designed by creative agency Made Thought for Ekoplaza – both forming part of the graphics category.
Product nominee Algae Lab, by Studio Klarenbeek & Dros at Atelier Luma, explores the potential of algae as a replacement for non-biodegradable plastics, providing users with the means to create 3D printed items.
Another innovative product nominee is Erez Nevi Pana for his Bleach collection, a range of furniture made from the crystallisation of salt in the Dead Sea. (You can read more about Erez's incredible work and process via our recent interview.)
Other entries include Italian designers Formafantasma, who have developed a series made from recycled electronic devices and Totomoxtle by Fernando Laposse, a veneering technique that is helping to maintain crop diversity and local employment in Mexico.
Following last year’s winner, Sir David Adjaye OBE for the design of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C, the architecture category continues to feature many renowned practices including Jean Nouvel for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, OMA for the Qatar National Library and architect trio Smiljan Radic, Eduardo Castillo and Gabriela Medrano for the Bío Bío Regional Theatre in Chile – following the Chilean government’s pledge to rejuvenate the city of Concepción after the earthquake of 2010.
The digital category includes Gucci’s Utopian Fantasy campaign, titled #GucciHallucination. Blurring the lines between real and fake by taking viewers on an app-based journey to display the fashion house’s SS18 collection. Also included is a digital animation from the European Space Agency visualising the dangers of space debris to spacecraft, showing that disused and broken satellites will be harmful to future space travel.
A winner will be selected in each category and one overall winner will be announced on Thursday 15 November 2018.
Previous winners have included Sir David Adjaye OBE for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C; GOV.UK, UK Government website by GDS; and Better Shelter by Johan Karlsson, Dennis Kanter, Christian Gustafsson, John van Leer, Tim de Haas, Nicolò Barlera, the IKEA Foundation and UNHCR.
Beazley Designs of the Year will be on display from 12 September 2018 until 6 January 2019. Discover more and plan your visit via designmuseum.org.