Design Museum: Beazley Designs of the Year Award Nominees

The Beazley Designs of the Year award has announced all of its contenders for the prize ceremony on January 25th. The Design Museum in Kensington, London will be hosting this event, and nominees list names such as Kanye West’s, Niantic’s Pokémon GO, among others.

This award seeks out innovative design work across the fields of Architecture, Graphics, Product, Digital, Fashion and Transport. Last year, Better Shelter, an installation that provided housing for million of displaced people, was declared the award winner.

Aside from a few such as Niantic’s unmistakeable Pokémon GO  and Kanye West‘s (in)famous Life of Pablo album & merchandise, this year’s Beazley Designs of the Year seem to have yet again taken quite a turn for the political. Much like Better Shelter, most of this year’s nominee projects are focused towards the powering of a specific political message, such as Yara Said‘s Refugee Flag, Nike Pro‘s high performance sports Hijab, and the Pussyhat Project. See the full list below:

Pokémon GO by NIANTIC

Niantic game developers took our favorite childhood console game series, combined it high-end smartphone technology and made everyone’s dreams come true: to capture, collect and battle Pokémon in real-life. Pokémon are animated, collectible animal-esque creatures each endowed with their own unique design, and Pokémon GO saw over 500 million captured on the first two days after the app’s release. Since its creation in 1995, the Pokémon franchise not only produced some of the most inspiring and original animated graphic works in design history, it also shaped the childhoods of millions of millenials all over the world.

 

Life of Pablo by KANYE WEST

Rapper, producer and fashion designer Kanye West’s work and his 21 Grammies are no strangers to virtually anyone. His 7th album Life of Pablo brought us not only another edition of the artist’s musical work but also a major breakthrough in graphic and fashion design, heavily supported by the creations of his brand, Yeezy for Adidas Originals.

 

Refugee Flag by YARA SAID and the REFUGEE NATION for Amnesty International

With the Refugee Nation‘s debut in the Olympics, with a team of ten athletes. Yara Said designed the team’s flag – an orange flag with a black stripe, mimicking the signature colors of a lifejacket.

 

High Performance Sports Hijab by RACHEL HENRY, BARON BRANDT, MEGAN SAALFELD and BROGAN TERRELL for NIKE PRO

Two days before the international Women’s Day, Nike Pro released their very own sports hijab, inspired by Sarah Attar’s gold medal win representing Saudi Arabia at the 2012 Olympics. It is meant to improve the visibility, inspiration and acceptance of muslim women in the world of high-end sports.

Meet Graham by PATRICIA PICCINI for Transport Accident Authority (TAC)

Graham is “the only person designed to survive on our roads”, a sculpture of what a human body should need to look like in order to survive a low impact car crash. Graham‘s inhuman, disproportionate features serve as a reminder of just how dangerous a car crash can be and consecutively, why road security measures and safe driving are so important.

 

Wedge Dowel by IKEA

Another contender for this award, IKEA has released a joint that requires neither glue nor tools in order to facilitate their clients’ assembling of its own pieces in their homes.

 

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (DC) by ADJAYE ASSOCIATES, THE FREELON GROUP, DAVIS BRODY BOND and SMITHGROUPJJR for the Smithsonian Institution

The NMAAHC, dedicated to the history of slavery and African American culture in DC is a 19th century-style ironclad, traditionally crafted by enslaved African Americans. It follows  Sir David Adjaye’s recent knighthood for services to architecture.

 

Pro-EU anti-Brexit Campaign by WOLFGANG TILLMANS, BETWEEN BRIDGES

Although not gaining as much traction as planned, Wolfgang Tillmans started this campaign after the issuing of the Brexit Referendum results. It did succeed, however, in promoting a great message for unity and awareness.

The Pussyhat Project by KRISTA SUH, JAYNA ZWEIMAN, KAT COYLE and AURORA LADY

The Pussyhat is a knitted, pink beanie with cat-ears. While sounding quite simplistic, its creation goes deeper. It is an emblematic piece of protest campaign against POTUS Donald Trump’s several blatant sexist remarks, and has since then evolved into a global project in the fight against mysoginy.
We’re looking forward to see which of these projects takes home the Beazley, but one thing is for sure – all of them are absolute masterpieces.
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