Hot 50: A-C

Apple has become the benchmark for quality and elegant, functional, user-friendly design innovation. Its ultra-slim Apple MacBook Air, launched in 2008, is sure to feature in the next round of awards.

Apple has become the benchmark for quality and elegant, functional, user-friendly design innovation. Its ultra-slim Apple MacBook Air, launched in 2008, is sure to feature in the next round of awards. Apple is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to forward-looking technology. For this reason, Apple was also selected for the 2008 Design Week Awards Hall of Fame.

Year after year, Apple develops innovative and brilliant products for the consumer market. We eagerly await the next round of goodies and doubt that they will disappoint.

Bunch is a disparate group of creatives from advertising and design formed by Mark Hurst (a designer working mainly in advertising), Denis Kovac and others. It has three hubs – London, Zagreb and Singapore reflecting the physical locations of its members.

The idea behind Bunch is to pursue great ideas collectively, just for the fun of it.

Over the past couple of years, Bunch has created an inspirational annual. This year it excelled itself by publishing Bastardised, a book of ‘Bunchisms’ which features cover artwork by the enigmatically named Omega!theKidPhoenix.

Taking the theme Made in Bunch, members approached 289 global creative greats to weave their magic into the ‘B’ in Bunch. Not a new idea, perhaps, but where else would you find Dalton Maag founder Bruno Maag’s interpretation and concepts by Stewart McMillan of Studio Output alongside contributions from designers as far afield as Eastern Europe and Hawaii?

You have to admire the nerve of it, but also the excellence of execution and the inspiration the book engenders.

Sir Michael Bichard:
Sir Michael Bichard has made the Hot 50 listing before. As rector of the former London Institute, he effected the unification of five London colleges under the institute’s umbrella to create the University of the Arts, London.

Hopes were high when he assumed the honorary role of chairman of the Design Council from Sir George Cox last year shortly before the end of his rectorship, given his background in education and the council’s focus on developing skills in design to help UK business. He has, though, pinned his flag closer to the mast of bringing design more closely into public sector processes – perhaps the council’s most far-reaching campaign.

Bichard has, meanwhile, found himself another job – as executive director of the Institute of Government. His deep appreciation of design can only help in this appointment.

Cox will be a hard act to follow at the Design Council. The Cox Review of 2005 set the agenda for design in the eyes of Government, and his personal commitment went beyond what is expected. Bichard’s reign may be quieter, but he has effected a major shift at the council, having had a hand in the appointment of David Godber as deputy chief executive.

Jason Bruges:
It’s rare for the work of Jason Bruges and his team not to grace the pages of Design Week. So prolific has Jason Bruges Studio been with high-profile projects that it has been hard to ignore it.

But it isn’t just about volume. The architect-turned-lighting designer has done more than most to push the boundaries between architecture, art and technology.

Many of the projects are commercial – such as the installation for champagne giant Veuve Clicquot at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed. But not all – take The Night Gallery, commissioned by Greenpeace for the Glastonbury Festival, and created by artist Jenny Hall with an installation by Bruges and his team.

Each piece is beautiful and extraordinary, often bringing art into the public arena.

The year ended with news that Bruges had, with artist Martin Richman, won the job to work on 12 bridges and underpasses for the London 2012 Olympics. We have that to look forward to.

Bruges isn’t content to work purely on architectural installations. His collaborations include work with musician and sound designer Martyn Ware of the Future of Sound, among other things. Their work on projects such as a centre for disabled children sets standards of sensitivity others can only hope to attain.

Professor Daniel Charny:
Professor Daniel Charny – teacher, curator and designer. Is there any wonder why he is in such great demand? His enviable career has not gone unnoticed. The enthusiasm and dedication he brings to design make him a worthy candidate for this year’s Hot 50.

The Israeli-born Charny, known for his lively intellect and creativity, has been teaching design worldwide for more than 16 years. Since 1998, he has worked on the Royal College of Art’s design products department team, where he runs the student group Platform 10 with Roberto Feo.

In 2002, Charny started the Aram Gallery, a design gallery dedicated to experimental and new work. Over the past six years, the gallery, in London’s Covent Garden, has seen a vast range of exhibitions curated by Charny.

He flips between different disciplines with ease, working also with London’s Design Museum on how to display permanent exhibitions, and advising on collections for the Design Museum in Israel, designed by fellow Israeli Ron Arad and due to open this year. His passion for work and design is barely containable, and while he has cut back on the hours he teaches, his career continues to grow.

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