Design duo Barber Osgerby have beaten everyone to the finishing line, scooping the Design of the Year 2012 at last night’s Design Museum awards ceremony for their Olympic Torch, fighting off competition from the likes of architecture firm Foster + Partners, and fashion designer Mary Katrantzou.
Britain's current Olympic mania may have given the pair a push in the right direction but their flame-burner – which also picked up the Product Award – rightly wins praise for its supremely functional, lightweight form, striking aesthetic and the advanced technology used to create it. The torch is crafted from an aluminium alloy, developed for the aerospace and automotive industries and features 8,000 holes (representing the number of people who will carry it), created using a new laser-cutting technology called Fire on the Fly.
In five short years, the annual awards have become a prestigious celebration showcasing the cream of the creative crop. They span seven diverse categories (with nominees and winners currently on display at the Design Museum until 4 July) ranging from transport to graphics and digital. Category winners this year included Hopkins Architects for their London 2012 Velodrome, which secured the Architecture Award, and RCA Graduate, Kihyun Kim, who won the Furniture Award for his balsa wood chair.
The esteemed panel of judges included our very own editor-at-large, Henrietta Thompson, culture pundits Evgeny Lebedev and Sir George Iacobescu, as well as Dutch designer Hella Jongerius.
Many of the winners and nominees have graced Wallpaper* print and web pages this year, including the Olympic Torch and David Chipperfield's Hepworth Wakefield (winner of our 'best new public building' Design Award), which shows that great minds think alike when it comes to spotlighting the best design.