Drumroll, Please! Designs of the Year Nominations Announced

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(Header image: Apple)

The prestigious Design Museum in London has recently unveiled its list of nominations for the Design of the Year 2014 award. It’s been reported on by the Independent and other newspapers, and acts as a real showcase for some of the most imaginative designs over the last few months. A whopping 73 different nominations are up for a prize, and as a nice touch, the general public can decide the winner either by visiting the museum or its social media websites.

The full list is here, but it’s somewhat ironic that a list of products up for a design award isn’t designed all that well: there’s no pictures and not much leaps out about individual entries at first glance. However, we’ve grabbed a few neat examples to show you.


Dumb Ways to Die: The App

Yes, the stars of that video are in an app now. Aping the microgame design of Nintendo’s WarioWare series, players take part in a series of quick fire challenges to help protect the foolish characters from a grisly (yet hilarious) fate. We’re doubtful of its educational value, at least on initial playthroughs, but it’s still a stylish and highly enjoyable little time-waster. Download it for free on your smart device.


Touch Board

Source: Bare Creative

Source: Bare Creative

This ordinary-looking circuit board from Bare Creative promises to be an exciting and innovative piece of kit in the right hands. A Kickstarter darling, the Touch Board can be used to turn practically any conductive surface into a sensor, by connecting that surface to one of its 12 outputs. By loading sounds onto a microSD card, for instance, and plugging it into the slot on the board, you could create a virtual keyboard on a bedroom wall. That’s just one example out of many on their Kickstarter page, and with efforts made to make the Touch Board as intuitive to use as possible, we can’t wait to see where it goes next. If you’re interested, you can buy one here.


Building Stories

Comics (or graphic novels, depending on what you read and who you talk to) have played host to some astonishing feats of artistry over the years, and if this Design Museum nomination suggests anything, it’s that the medium shows no signs of slowing down. Chris Ware’s highly acclaimed work is a series of 14 separate comics of varying shapes and sizes, focussing on the small group of people living lives of quiet desperation in a crumbling apartment block. Both the artwork and the novel’s form have seen praise from newspapers like the Guardian, and though we haven’t had the chance to sample its delights, we’re sure it’s worth a browse if you’re in the mood for something a little different. Buy it online from your favourite bookseller.


The Lego Calendar

Source: Creative Applications Network

Source: vitaminsdesign.com

London design studio Vitamins have created this remarkable calendar out of nothing more than Lego bricks and a little technical wizardry. According to their press release, the calendar (which records tasks on the horizon) had to balance several qualities including tactility, appearance and discretion. Employees, clients and timespans are represented by minifigures and different colours of Lego bricks, arranged by month and day. This creates a simple, easy to read way of displaying information whilst keeping a client’s identity under wraps.

What makes the calendar truly special, however, is how it interfaces with technology. Whenever a change is made to the calendar, you can simply take a picture of it and send it to a certain email address. The updates to the Lego calendar are then made to its digital counterpart. This can apparently be made to work with any cloud based calendar.

Since something like this is pretty complex to get up and running, you might just want to marvel at our previous article on amazing Lego creations instead.


The PET Lamp

Source: Designboom

Source: Designboom

Plastic bottles are a useful but problematic convenience of the modern world, and as such efforts to reuse or recycle our existing resources is admirable. One of the more artistic solutions we’ve seen is the PET Lamp, created by one Alvaro Catalán de Ocón: the word PET refers to the variety of plastic used in the lamp’s construction.

In Colombia, plastic bottles are broken down into strips of material, and woven into the shapes you see above and on their website. Once the lamp shades are complete, they are sent to Madrid where a light bulb and other attachments are fitted to transform it into a working lamp. The end result is a distinctive and attractive lamp that debuted at the Milan Furniture Fair last year. Visit their website for more information, or their shop if you’re interested in buying one.


Those are just some of the highlights: there’s also some other great examples on the list, including our old friend Phonebloks, which we talked about last year. So what are you waiting for? Go and check out the full list for yourself!




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