5 important things that happened in design this week

From Design Week’s 30th birthday to a Design Museum exhibition created by Morag Myerscough – we round up the important design news from the last seven days.

Design Week began celebrating its 30th birthday

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Design Week magazine started up in print in 1986, and ran for 25 years before going online-only. 2016 marks our 30th anniversary, and we’re celebrating with a year-long series of video content, exclusive interviews and features, and by dipping into our archive.

Watch current editor Tom Banks in conversation with founding editor Jeremy Myerson here and here, and look out for more interviews as the year unravels. #DW30

Philip Hammond promised to invest in digital in his Autumn Statement

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The Autumn Statement took place this week, with chancellor Philip Hammond placing great emphasis on science, technology and digital.

He has promised to invest £23bn into science and technology development, and pledged £1bn towards digital infrastructure and developing a super-fast 5G network in the UK.

Once again, there are tax breaks for small businesses, although this time the Government is focusing on those in rural areas.

Though not mentioned in the Statement itself, his report promises a (far smaller) amount of money towards art and culture.

£10 million in total will go towards culture and heritage projects in the UK, with £7.6 million of this being used to repair Wentworth House, a Grade 1 listed heritage house in South Yorkshire.

£850,000 will go towards a Royal Society of the Arts pilot scheme which aims to promote cultural education in schools, while £1.6 million will help build a new arts complex in Southampton called Studio 144, and £1 million will go towards a new creative media centre in Plymouth.

You can read the full report here.

WeTransfer underwent a rebrand

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File transfer platform WeTransfer redesigned its logo and website this week, dropping the word “transfer” from its logotype.

Designed by the company’s in-house creative team alongside typographer Paul van der Laan, the new logo aims to focus more on the creative community than the service, and the new website hopes to be more intuitive.

“A product like WeTransfer needs to continuously evolve, and the previous technical and design architectures weren’t flexible enough,” says WeTransfer vice president of design Thijs Remie. “The new website not only got a fresh coat of paint, but is built on a completely revisited platform.”

Morag Myerscough revealed her latest work at the Design Museum

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Morag Myerscough unveiled more of her signature colourful creations at the new Design Museum this week, having spent the last 5 years designing its first ever permanent exhibition space.

Designer Maker User includes a hand-picked selection of the Design Museum’s archive of 8,000 products, alongside crowdsourced items recommended by visitors and museum fans through social media.

Studio Myerscough worked with exhibition curator Alex Newson to create a space that was less focused on strict design sectors, and more on the roles of designer, manufacturer and consumer.

“Designers need makers or manufacturers, and equally need to respond to users,” Myerscough says. “There’s not a single, linear approach, it’s layered. Everybody needs each other, and one doesn’t happen without the other.”

To reflect this “layered” approach, Myerscough has arranged the exhibition space so that you can see several sections of the exhibition from one spot so that the “spaces make connections with each other”.

One of the most prominent pieces of the exhibition is the moving, colourful graphic sitting outside of the exhibition space, which uses a mechanical billboard mechanism to alternate between the words ‘Designer’, ‘Maker’ and ‘User’.

Designer Maker User is a permanent exhibition space based at the Design Museum on Kensington High Street, London, and will rotate its crowd-sourced collections regularly as visitors submit more suggestions. Entry is free.

This year’s James Dyson Award winner was announced

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A recyclable paper bike helmet won this year’s James Dyson Award this week, designed by New York-based design graduate Isis Shiffer.

She will receive £30,000 in prize money to develop the product, and an extra £5,000 will be awarded to her university – the Pratt Institute of Design.

EcoHelmet uses a hexagonal “honeycomb”-style structure to protect the head from impact, and can be folded completely flat when not in use.

It distributes impact evenly around the head, and has a biodegradable coating which means it is rain resistant for up to three hours.

Two runners-up were awarded £5,000 each to develop their products, including an asthma management system and a smart contact lens designed to monitor glucose levels of diabetic people.


Got a design story? Get in touch at sarah.dawood@centaurmedia.com.

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