Running from the end of March until mid-August, it presents innovative design across seven categories: architecture, product, fashion, furniture, graphics, digital and transport.

“Now in its seventh year, Designs of the Year is an innovative, thought-provoking exhibition of international projects from the past 12 months. These projects show the best of design, from initiatives in technology or materials to design that helps make life easier, safer or more stimulating,” says the curator of Designs of the Year 2014, Gemma Curtain.

As you enter the exhibition you’re greeted with a stark black-and-white poster with the words: ‘Someday the other museums will be showing this stuff’. It encapsulates the aim of the exhibition – to showcase emerging trends and themes across design disciplines. However, only in an exhibition of this kind could you have established designers such as Zaha Hadid and Konstantin Gric alongside start-ups and student initiatives, many of whose projects have been crowd-funded. 

The product design category has the most nominees with 20 projects. A standout design, which has already been awarded the World Design Impact Prize 2013–2014, is the A Behaviour Changing (ABC) Syringe by Dr David Swann from the University of Huddersfield, UK. This design addresses a real problem, particularly in emerging countries: that of the unsafe use of non-sterile syringes. The simple yet very effective design solution is for the syringe to remain colourless in the sterile pack but as soon as it’s opened, the syringe barrel turns to bright red, alerting patients as to whether it has already been used.

  

All the Designs of the Year nominees are listed on the Design Museum website and those from all over the world have an opportunity to vote for their favourite in the Social Vote. In the meantime, the jury will convene and an overall winner will be announced later this year.

Tanya Weaver

www.designsoftheyear.com

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