The Design Awards 2012

26.03.12

Get the lowdown on what TBP thought of this year’s nominees for the Design of the Year Awards…

Anyone who loves their design as much as we do will be on tenterhooks about the results of next month’s Design of the Year 2012 Awards… so during a recent TBP social we took a jaunt to the Design Museum to check out the exhibition first hand. Find our thoughts on some of our favourite entries below.


Shade by Simon Heijdens
Shade by Simon Heijdens

One of the first designs that caught our eye was Shade by Simon Heijdens, an entry for the Product Design award. This floor-to-ceiling glass window utilises small triangular cells that continuously react to the light outside in order to reflect the mood of the day within. Though we did think it a beautiful example of muti-functional design, the mechanism was also rather noisy, so we wouldn’t recommend home installation just yet…


Ambulance designed by The Helen Hamlyn Centre
Ambulance designed by The Helen Hamlyn Centre & RCA

Next, the Helen Hamlyn Centre unites simplicity and functionality in, of all things, the ambulance. Thanks to their collaboration with the Royal College of Art, the interior space has been optimised to give paramedics as much working room as possible, whilst keeping everything close to hand. In addition, bright colours have been selected to distinguish the individual storage compartments, ensuring that the space feels friendly rather than clinical. All in all, an entry that champions the beauty of practical design – although one we hope not to experience in-situ of course.


Hövding Invisible Cycle Helmet
Hövding Invisible Cycle Helmet

Another nifty find was the Hövding Invisible Cycle Helmet, which puts both style and safety onto the design agenda. Disguising a safety collar as a fashion accessory, the collar features a hidden airbag which inflates upon impact. Ingenious design that removes the risk of going helmet-less, whilst solving the problem of ‘hat hair’ too.


Vivienne Westwood Ethical Fashion Africa Collection
Vivienne Westwood Ethical Fashion Africa Collection

Finally, it wasn’t wholly surprising to see Vivienne Westwood’s Ethical Fashion Africa collection making it into the list of nominees for the Fashion Award. The effort that has gone into this collection is clear, and after a busy year globally, Westwood’s dedication to sustainability has become more than evident. Handmade in Nairobi and produced in collaboration with The Ethical Fashion Programme, these bags feature the vibrant colours and emblems of African culture. One for the Christmas list perhaps?


Did you get a chance to stop by the exhibition? It is showing until the 4th of July 2012, so there’s no excuse not to head down to South Bank for a look. Let us know your thoughts via Twitter, or a comment below.