If the future is deemed to be digital, then design is well equipped to play its part, judging by the wealth of great projects earmarked for fame in the relevant categories of this year’s awards.
The variety is great, but the quality consistently high and it is fantastic to see digital designers at last getting the recognition they deserve. Interestingly, though, the Best of Show came from elsewhere this year – last year digital categories yielded joint Best of Show winners.
The outstanding design of the Virgin Atlantic Airways Club Lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport won the day, giving out a very positive message for interior designers who have been more beleaguered than most of their peers in recent years. It also scores points for architects such as Softroom that work on interiors.
Even retail environments yielded interesting schemes this year, regardless of what we hear about pressures on the high street. Indeed, among the interiors categories, only the museum sector failed to produce a winner.
Product and furniture categories were also healthy, as they have been for the past couple of years. Apple strides on, but it is not the only player.
Some areas of design are not so fortunate. Though we have great winners in most categories, notably editorial design, posters and print, some of the traditional areas like corporate literature and packaging failed to impress the judges this year. Judges’ commentaries for each category give some indication as to why this might be.
My thanks to the judges, who battled for two long, but enjoyable days to find the very best of design among the entries. They didn’t drop their standards once and we should all be very grateful to them for that.
Their selection can be found on the following pages. I hope you feel inspired by their choice and welcome your feedback on it.
LYNDA RELPH-KNIGHT, EDITOR, DESIGN WEEK