5 important things that happened in design this week

From a Snapchat app redesign to innovation at the RSA Student Design Awards 2016, we round up some of the key design events from the last seven days.

Snapchat redesigned to give brands like Buzzfeed more screen space

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Social media platform Snapchat updated its interface this week, bringing news and entertainment to its forefront.

Media brands such as Buzzfeed, The Wall Street Journal and Refinery29 are now given a Pinterest-style grid system in the app’s Discover section, with images and short teaser headlines.

App users are also now able to personalise the content on their feeds, by subscribing to their favourite channels, in a similar style to YouTube.

Snapchat’s developers have said that the update will help people receive bespoke content that is “of interest to them each day”.


Transport for London (TfL) revealed details of its design festival

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TfL is set to show visitors the history of London transport design, with a free pop-up festival hitting Regent Street on 3 July.

The Transported by Design festival will look at the “past, present and future” of transport methods that have spanned the capital since the 19th century – from horse-drawn buses and 1920s tube carriages through to contactless payment and future possibilities shown through virtual reality headsets.

The day festival is part of a wider 18-month programme from TfL celebrating the long-standing relationship between London’s transport system and design.


Prince Philip Designers Prize returns after a five-year hiatus

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The Prince Philip Designers Prize, now hosted by the Chartered Society of Designers, has been brought back to life after closing down in 2011.

The prize, started in 1959, was run by Design Council for 52 years.

Having been stopped for four years, the prize was revived in 2015, and has been preparing for the 2016 edition since then.

The panel has whittled down its shortlist, which includes Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby and John Makepeace. Previous winners include James Dyson, Terence Conran and most recently Quentin Blake.


RSA unveiled winners of its annual student award

Medical-symbolsThe annual RSA Student Design Awards announced its winners this week, with a range of design solutions pitched to help tackle social, environmental and economic global issues.

There were 36 winners from 19 countries, whittled down from more than 900 entries.

Winning entries included; Maker Blocks, a block toy and accompanying app for children which aims to encourage the process of craft and making; Medical Symbol Language Kit, a icon-based set of posters and instruction sheets to help patients with low literacy or language barriers understand when to take medication; FrailTea, a kettle which monitors and analyses older people’s grip to help recognise early signs of illness; among others.

The RSA Student Design Awards has been running since 1924.


Google overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable brand

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The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2016 report was released this week, and it showed that Google had knocked Apple off the top spot in brand value.

Figures showed that Apple was down 8%, while Google was up a massive 32%.

The report was undertaken by Millward Brown and WPP, with brand value calculated through a mix of financial data analysis and extensive consumer market research.

A number of brands which made it into the top 10 have made big moves in design and interactive experiences for consumers over the last year, such as Facebook’s venture into 360 degree video and animation and Google and Apple’s heavy investment in virtual reality.

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