Shortlist revealed for Design Museum’s Beazley Designs of the Year

Spanning everything from graphics to transport design, the 10th iteration of the annual awards and exhibition includes a search and rescue drone that assists refugees and the national place branding for Wales.

Wales Nation Brand, by Smörgåsbord Studio

London’s Design Museum has announced the nominees for the 10th anniversary edition of the Beazley Designs of the Year award.

The annual award and accompanying exhibition, which takes place at the Design Museum’s site in Kensington, West London, looks to celebrate the best design from all over the world during the last 12 months.

The 62 nominees have been chosen by a panel of designers, curators and creators, and span six different categories, including digital; graphics; product; transport; architecture; and fashion.

In keeping with last year’s overall winner – Ikea’s flat-packed refugee shelter Better Shelter – many of the selected designs this year also look to help alleviate the human impact of the refugee crisis.

This includes the Avy Search and Rescue Drone, which is designed to help refugees in danger while travelling across the Mediterranean Sea by detecting boats, and dropping life jackets, food, medication and other supplies.

Activism and protest is another strong theme among this year’s nominations. The distinctive, pink Pussyhat made for the anti-Donald Trump women’s march earlier this year has been nominated as part of the fashion category, and David Adjaye Associates’ design for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. has been shortlisted in architecture, making a strong political statement about the importance of the black community in the US.

In the graphics category, Tony Brook, Adrian Shaughnessy and Patricia Finegan have been nominated for their work as part of design-led publisher Unit Editions, with recent projects including a monograph dedicated to the life and work of Pentagram partner Paula Scher, and a book documenting the visual diaries of graphic designer Lance Wyman.

Sketches and models

Smörgåsbord Studio is also included in the graphics category for its work developing a new national brand identity for Wales, which includes a contemporary play on the country’s instantly recognisable dragon symbol, and a bespoke typeface called Cymru Wales Sans inspired by the Welsh language.

Other nominees include Air-Ink, a collection of ink-based products made out of carbon emissions from cars, augmented reality (AR) mobile gaming app Pokémon Go, and DixonBaxi’s on-air branding for the Premier League.

Finally, the transport category sees a conceptual traffic system for self-driving vehicles that would eliminate the need for traditional traffic light signals, and an autonomous, electric tram that’s guided by a double-dashed line painted on the street rather than tracks.

Sketches, models, physical pieces, videos and photography of all the nominated designs will go on display as part of an exhibition at the Design Museum from 18 October 2017.

A winner from each category and one overall winner will be announced on 25 January 2018.

See the full list of nominees and find out more information about the awards on the Design Museum’s site.

Unit Editions, by Tony Brook, Adrian Shaughnessy and Patricia Finegan
Premier League on-air branding, by DixonBaxi
Avy Search and Rescue Drone, by Paul Vastert, David Wielemaker, Christian McCabe and Patrique Zaman
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., by Adjaye Associates
Pussyhat Project, by Krista SuhJayna Zweiman, Kat Coyle and Aurora Lady
Pokémon Go, by Niantic Inc
Light Traffic, by Carlo Ratti at Senseable City, Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
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