Designs of the Year 2015 category winners announced

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The winners of the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year 2015 awards have been announced, and include obscurely-shaped vegetables, a self-driving car and a crowdfunding project for cleaning up the ocean.

The Design Museum has announced the category winners of its Designs of the Year Awards 2015, which form the shortlist for the overall winner.

The categories are Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport, and winning designs include microchips that mimic human organs, a car that drives itself and an advertising campaign for “ugly” fruit and vegetables.

Artist Anish Kapoor is chairing the jury for the competition. Other members include Hilary Alexander, writer and stylist, Alexis Georgacopoulos, director of Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, Farshid Moussavi, architect and professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and Richard Woolley, studio director at Land Rover Design Research and Special Vehicle Operations.

The category winners are:

Architecture: UC Innovation Center by Anacleto Angelini, by ELEMENTAL
Architecture: UC Innovation Center by Anacleto Angelini, by ELEMENTAL

This is an eco-friendly university building based in Santiago, Chile, which aims to reduce energy costs by two-thirds through the use of open air squares and thermal insulation. Jury member Moussvi says: “The large openings carved away from the center’s facades not only act as air corridors, light channels and pockets of collective spaces, but they also provide a different perception of such a building in the city: one that is permeable, visually, socially and climatically with its environment.”

Digital: The Ocean Cleanup, by Boyan Slat, Jan de Sonneville and Erwin Zwart
Digital: The Ocean Cleanup, by Boyan Slat, Jan de Sonneville and Erwin Zwart

The Ocean Cleanup is a crowdfunding project for large-scale removal of plastic pollution from aquatic ecosystems, which is a “digitally-based idea to raise awareness of the terrible problem of plastic in the oceans,” says jury member Kapoor. 

Fashion: Thomas Tait AW13/14, by Thomas Tait
Fashion: Thomas Tait AW13/14, by Thomas Tait

Fashion is the autumn/winter 2013/14 collection created by Central St Martin’s graduate Tait, which “featured outstanding technical precision in terms of the panelling and innovative seaming,” says jury member Alexander.

Graphics: Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables, by Marcel for Intermarché
Graphics: Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables, by Marcel for Intermarché

This is an advertising campaign that “celebrates the beauty” of imperfect, or ugly, fruit and vegetables. Jury member Georgacopoulos says: “This is a very down-to-earth, straightforward way of saying ‘enough with the food waste’.”

Product: Human Organs-on-chips, by Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh
Product: Human Organs-on-chips, by Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh

Human Organs-on-chips is a proposed advancement in medicine, which showcases micro-devices lined with human cells in order to mimic organ function. Jury member Woolley says: “This is an intriguing and exciting prospect that has the potential to reduce animal testing, and speed up development of new drugs.”

Transport: Google self-driving car, by YooJung Ahn, Jared Gross and Philipp Haban
Transport: Google self-driving car, by YooJung Ahn, Jared Gross and Philipp Haban

This car lacks a steering wheel or pedals, and can be driven by pushing a button. Woolley says: “The potential for a product like this to change the way society thinks about the car, its use and its ownership, is huge.”

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The six winners were chosen from 76 nominated designs, which are all currently on display as part of an exhibition at the Design Museum that will run until 31 March 2016. The overall winner of Design of the Year 2015 will be announced in June.

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