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

Overall and digital category winner: ‘Anatomy of an AI System’ by Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler

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

(Image credit: press)

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.

Fashion category winner: Adidas Originals

Fashion category winner: Adidas Originals, by Ji Won Choi

(Image credit: press)

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

Transport category winner: GACHA Self-driving Shuttle Bus

Transport category winner: GACHA Self-driving Shuttle Bus by MUJI and Sensible 4

(Image credit: press)

Graphics category winner: Amorepacific architectural branding

Graphics category winner: Amorepacific architectural branding, by Sascha Lobe, Pentagram

(Image credit: press)

Product category winner: CATCH: The HIV Detector

Product category winner: CATCH: The HIV Detector by Hans Ramzan

(Image credit: press)

Public category winner: MySleeve

Public category winner: MySleeve by Marie Van den Broeck

(Image credit: press)


Beazley Designs of the Year, until 9 February 2020


224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6AG


Sujata Burman is a writer and editor based in London, specialising in design and culture. She was Digital Design Editor at Wallpaper* before moving to her current role of Head of Content at London Design Festival and London Design Biennale where she is expanding the content offering of the showcases. Over the past decade, Sujata has written for global design and culture publications, and has been a speaker, moderator and judge for institutions and brands including RIBA, D&AD, Design Museum and Design Miami/. In 2019, she co-authored her first book, An Opinionated Guide to London Architecture, published by Hoxton Mini Press, which was driven by her aim to make the fields of design and architecture accessible to wider audiences.