Designs of the Year announced

The category winners have been announced in the Design Museum’s 2014 Designs of the Year Awards.

Seven winners have been announced across the categories, and these form the shortlist for the overall winner, which will be announced in June.

The winners are:


Architecture: Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan, by Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher.

The centre is designed to become the main building for cultural programmes in Azerbaijan and, according to Zaha Hadid, ‘breaks from the rigid and often monumental Soviet architecture that is so prevalent in Baku’. It is named after former Azerbaijan president Heydar Aliyev.


Digital: Peek (Portable Eye Examination Kit), by Dr Andrew Bastawrous, Stewart Jordan, Dr Mario Giardini and Dr Iain Livingstone.

A smartphone-based system for comprehensive eye examinations, developed by a team at the International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Peek comprises a mobile app and clip-on hardware that transforms a smartphone into a tool that can examine the eye.


Fashion: Prada S/S14, by Miuccia Prada.

Pop-art prints meet sporty details and structured shapes in this collection. Vogue said of the show ‘By next summer we’ll wonder what we ever wore before.’

Pro Chair

Source: Oliviero Toscani

Furniture: Pro Chair Family, by Konstantin Grcic.

Featuring state-of-the-art ergonomics and pioneering design, the construction of the chair not only allows movement in all directions, but actively stimulates it, thereby promoting healthier sitting. 

Drone Shadows

Source: Steve Stills

Graphics: Drone Shadows, by James Bridle/

A series of installations consisting of a 1:1 outline of a military unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone. They have appeared in the UK, Turkey, the USA, Brazil and elsewhere. According to Bridle, the project aims to give a feeling of what it is like to encounter drones.


Source: Copyright © 2013 ROLI Ltd

Product: The Seaboard Grand, by Roland Lamb and Hong-Yeul Eom.

The Seaboard is a reinvention of the piano keyboard, reimagining the keys as soft waves that enable continuous and discrete real-time, tactile control of sound through three-dimensional hand gestures.


Source: Volkswagen

Transport: XL1 Car by Volkswagen.

Volkswagon claims this is the world’s the most efficient liquid-fuelled production car. It requires only 8.4 PS to sustain a constant 100kph on a level surface in still air, a speed the car can reach from rest in 12.7 seconds.

The winners were selected by a jury that includes Government Digital Service director of design Ben Terrett, Frith Kerr of Studio Frith and Industrial Facility partner Kim Colin.

The overall winner – taken from this shortlist – will be announced on 30 June.

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