Revealed: the world’s most creative designs

Exactly how far design can go to improve our lives, solve our problems or just make us feel better, whether we live in Bognor or Bangalore, is being revealed under one roof.

Hailed by its organisers as the newest place to see the future, the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year exhibition at London’s Design Museum is now open until June.

With contributions from every corner of the globe, the showcase of ‘the world’s most forward-thinking designs’ will excite both aspiring designers and hard-nosed investors alike.

Nominated by industry experts, the pieces for visitors to see span seven categories: architecture; fashion; furniture; graphics; interactive; product and transport.

Firmly addressing the challenge facing the planet, there is the ‘Aquaduct Concept Vehicle’ – a tricycle that purifies water in an on-board tank as its rider pedals.

The design, by IDEO, could potentially help billions of people around the world, even those in developed cities like Bangalore, by letting them autonomously sanitise water.

Keeping the water off, meanwhile, even in hazardous conditions is the raison d’être of SENZ XL’s uniquely shaped and patented umbrella, which is windproof up to wind-force 10.

Almost as ubiquitous an item as an umbrella to British visitors is Daniel Whittock’s ‘eye’ logo, now recognised as the face of Channel 4’s Big Brother reality TV show.

Much harder for curators to exhibit is the roof of the Oslo Opera House, featured for its design by Snøhetta that lets people sunbathe, skateboard or ski into the Oslofjord.

Less inert is Tony Mullin’s Green Protest Suit – resembling a normal two-button men’s suit, albeit in felt and enabled to display the message or slogan of its wearer’s choice.

While some of the designs may sound, and seem, a little whacky, the Design Museum’s director Deyan Susjic said their unveiling to the world is timely.

“In the midst of economic chaos,” he said, “creative thinking is more important than ever.”

Alan Yentob, the BBC’s creative director, Karen Blincoe, the environmentalist and the architect Peter Cook will be among the judges choosing the best in each category.

The winners will be announced at a glitzy dinner on March 18, but the public can also have their say online by nominating their favourite design for its creator to win the ‘blog vote.’


17th February 2009

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