Best city nominee: Porto
Porto's downtown cultural life has been re-energised by an active student and arts community; the city is now dotted with attractive new builds by the likes of Álvaro Siza Vieira, and top tables with stellar ocean views.
Chocolate bar, from Chocolateria Equador, www.chocolatariaequador.com. Plate, from the Favorita restaurant, www.pensaofavorita.pt
Wine and beer, from Era Uma Vez no Porto, www.eraumaveznoporto.com
Martini glass; matchbox, both from Buhle restaurant, www.buhle.pt
Card from Café Candelabro, www.cafecandelabro.blogspot.com
Best city nominee: Berlin
Whether you visit for the fashion, cuisine or Grade-A sightseeing, Berlin comes up with big, distinctive cultural offerings. The party circuit, now shifting to edgier Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, is still red hot.
Exhibition flyer from ABC Art Berlin Contemporary, www.artberlincontemporary.com
Books from a selection at Gestalten, www.gestalten.com, and Pro QM, www.pro-qm.de
Derzeit magazine, distributed daily during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, www.derze.it
Best city nominee: Guangzhou
Fuelled by a muscular economy and a robust construction industry, China's third largest city is on a high-stakes roll. It boasts stunning new architecture such as the 600m TV tower and Zaha Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House.
Image showing the Canton Tower, by Information Based Architecture, www.iba-bv.com
Model of the Guangdong Museum of Art, by Rocco Design Architects, www.gdmoa.org/en_zhanting; www.rocco.hk
Best city nominee: Mexico City
An easy mix of Aztec temples, Spanish colonial piles and modernist villas; progressive laws; and a new generation of creative minds and architects make Mexico City one of the world's most dynamic metropolises.
Image showing Casa Luis Barragán, www.casaluisbarragan.org
Image showing Celeste Champagne Tea Room, www.celeste.com.mx/celeste-champagne-tea-room
Mexico City Wallpaper* City Guide, £4.95, from Phaidon, www.phaidon.com
Tequila miniatures, from Los Danzantes restaurant, www.losdanzantes.com
Best city winner, London
London's star is back on the rise and the city is almost ready for its Olympic Games close-up. Renzo Piano's Shard, the highest tower in Western Europe, is rising, and new builds, restaurants and hotels are popping up all around town.
Model of the Velodrome, by Hopkins Architects; www.hopkins.co.uk
Model of the Shard, by Renzo Piano; www.rpbw.com
Life-enhancer of the year winner: Lookout point at La Ruta del Peregrino, Mexico, by HFF Architects
This spiral lookout is one of eight stops, meant to be both landmarks and spiritual enhancements, on a 117km-long pilgrimage route. The intimate brick structure offers 360-degree views of the area.
Life-enhancer of the year nominee: OfficePOD
Roomier than your average office cubicle, this compact, standalone structure incorporates a desk, built-in storage, lighting and window blinds. The weatherproof pod can be placed in the back garden to provide that crucial separation of home and work.
From £17,950, www.officepod.co.uk
Life-enhancer of the year nominee: Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet
A six-volume, 2,483-page opus with friendly prose and gorgeous photography covering everything from sous-vide to hyperdecanting.
Life-enhancer of the year nominee: ‘Numi’ toilet, by Kohler
This sleek, streamlined toilet packs a suite of hi-tech functions you never knew you needed, from integrated bidet and air-dryer to seat- and foot-warmer, deodoriser and illuminated control panels. Motion sensors even open and close the heated seat.
£6,500, tel: 44.844 571 0000 (UK), www.kohler.co.uk
Life-enhancer of the year nominee: ‘Foldboat’, by Max Frommeld and Arno Mathies
First spotted at a Royal College of Art graduate show, this small vessel seating two is easily assembled by folding a sheet of high-density polyethylene plastic following pre-marked grooves.
Best new grooming product nominee: Juno Body Lipid Serum, by Sunday Riley
This preservative-free anti-ageing complex contains a blend of supercharged Native American botanicals such as prickly pear and night-blooming cactus. It is produced by boutique Houston skincare brand Sunday Riley.
Best new grooming product nominee: Powder.Puff, by Kevin Murphy
Australian hairstylist Kevin Murphy's volumising hair powder, which transforms into an invisible paste on the hair, is packed with seaweed and citrus extracts. It is housed in a pint-sized shaker - a little goes a long way.
£15.45, tel: 44.1282 613413 (UK), www.kevinmurphy.com.au
Best new grooming product nominee: Skincare, by Three
An all-natural Japanese cosmetics range that comes in simple, utilitarian, Nendo-designed packaging. With their rounded edges and rubber accents, the bottles resemble blocks of stone and can even be stacked into playful formations.
Balancing Lotion, ¥5,775 ($75); Gentle Cleansing Milk ¥4,410 ($57); Balancing Treatment Essence, ¥8,400 ($109), www.threecosmetics.com
Best new grooming product nominee: Manicure set, by Czech & Speake
This gentleman's manicure set contains nail scissors, tweezers, cuticle nippers and toenail clippers, expertly manufactured in Solingen, Germany. They are held in place by discreet magnets in a leather-bound case.
£336, tel: 44.20 7439 0216 (UK), www.czechandspeake.com
Best new grooming product winner: Make-up, by Tom Ford
The latest jewel in Tom Ford's glittering fashion and beauty empire is a fully functioning, 132-piece make-up collection brimming with cool tools. The range includes liquid gel eyeliners and an impeccable array of lip and nail colours.
Nail lacquer, £25; cheek colour, £45, tel: 44.870 034 2566 (UK), www.tomford.com