Beazley Designs of the Year 2019 winners announced

Beazley Designs of the Year 2019 winners announced

At the Design Museum ceremony in London tonight, Muji, Pentagram and Adidas are among the winners of the coveted Beazley Designs of the Year 2019

Do we know our voice assistants well enough? This is the question posed by the overall winner of the Beazley Designs of the Year award, a project from the Digital category by Kate Crawford of AI Now Institute and Vladan Joler. Anatomy of an AI System allows you to visually navigate how your AI devise has impacted the world over time.

Problem solving and technology spearhead the winning list of projects, chosen by this year’s judges: Wallpaper* Editor-in-Chief Sarah Douglas; vice chancellor at Royal College of Art Dr. Paul Thompson; designers Yinka Illori and Martino Gamper; product design director at Facebook Melissa Hajj and creative director at Dr. Martens, Damien Wilson. Anatomy of an AI System is a map that delves deep from the birth to the death of a devise – from how the listening tools capitalise on our emotions with targeted advertising to the environmental dump of metal pollutants in our hills and streets long after we part ways with the product.

Presenting the data in a consumable chart, the project asks whether these atmospheric assistants are worth it on a long-term scale. ‘[This project] makes everyone who sees it think about all the unseen impact of tech hardware. You will never look at your smart home hub in the same way again,’ says Thompson, chairman of the 2019 judges.

Brick building
Architecture category winner: Maya Somaiya Library, by Sameep Padora and Associates

Digital tools were found useful in Sameep Padora and Associates’s project that scooped the Architecture category accolade for Maya Somaiya Library in Mumbai. This space is much more than just a book cove though, as it doubles as a usable landscape for the public to explore. Using high-tech form-finding software, its curved brick structure is realised – a feat of engineering that is an ode to Uruguayan engineer Eladio Dieste.

‘The Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition brings to the forefront the most revealing, intriguing and exciting new design from around the world and is a vital part of the museum’s programme,’ says Deyan Sudjic, co-director of the Design Museum. Adidas was honoured in the Fashion category, with its Korean-inspired Cozy Collection by Ji Won Choi – an architectural street wear range that reimagines the three stripes in hues of lilac, red, navy and green.

Man leaning
Fashion category winner: Adidas Originals, by Ji Won Choi

Problem solving projects come by way of the Graphics, Product and Transport winners. Here, Sascha Lobe from Pentagram’s architectural branding for cosmetic brand Amorepacific’s HQ in Seoul was awarded the Graphics prize. Working closely with David Chipperfield to create signage that reflects the surroundings, like the river, mountain and park, they devised a new type of Latin to help connect the dots between language and communication. Elsewhere, British designer Hans Razman’s portable HIV test, CATCH: The HIV Detector, won the best Product category. The low cost kit tests for the virus in just three steps and hopes to provide rapid diagnosis in locations without easy access to healthcare.

While safety around self-driving remains sceptical, its innovations are still recognised, like the Transport category winner, the GACHA Self-driving Shuttle Bus, by MUJI and Sensible 4. This is a forward-thinking model that aims to help smaller communities and the older generation with its compact, minimalist design that is weather resistant. Meanwhile, this year’s public vote winner has been awarded to MySleeve by Marie Van den Broeck, a simple yet effective silicone cover that allows for grip and extra comfort on crutches.

Until 9 February, these designs along with the 70 other nominations will be on view in exhibition curated by Beatrice Galilee and realised by 3D designer Pernilla Ohrstedt with graphics by Zak Group. Explore the full shortlist here. §

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