Designs of the Year 2014 (The Design Musem 08.08.14)

Popped along to the Design museum the other day to check out the Designs of the Year exhibition.

It’s jampacked with beautiful and intelligent creations – here’s a couple of favourites:

1) Chineasy

An illustrated learning method, to help people learn Chinese. Each images was designed to ensure the Chinese character was no less than 80% of each illustration. Such an amazing idea.

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2) Lego Calender

I’d seen this on twitter when it was first launched – lovely physical calendar in our digital world. In many ways, I’m less fussed about the fact it can sync with digital diaries via a photo – for me, it’s just a beautiful piece of physical design.

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3) Silk Pavilion

My out-and-out favourite of the exhibition was the silk pavilion; a piece that explored the relationship between digital and biological manufacture. The project used an algorithm to based on the spinning patterns of silk worms to create 26 polygonal silk panels. These panels created a dome, onto which 6500 silkworms were released. The silkworms worked industriously to to add thickness to the panels – creating a darker, denser material. Anthony Dunne, who nominated the piece, asked the question: how far are we prepared to go in the redesign of other life forms to meet our own needs, and who decides? An important question for the future.

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4) Phonebloks

Saw this on Kickstarter and was so impressed, I thought it was fake. Amazing to see it up close – proof that it could happen soon. Brilliant idea for customisation, this project aims to break our habit of upgrading entire phones each year, instead allowing owners to replace damaged, broken or obsolete product features part-by-part.

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5) ABC Syringe

This design could have a huge impact on the medical community – a syringe that changes from clear to red when its exposed to air. Unsafe use of syringes accounts for 1.3 million deaths a year, but after two years of development by Dr David Swann, this syringe could tackle the issue – allowing a user to know if a syringe is sterile and safe.

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6) Bradley timepiece

Lovely piece of engineering – a watch for blind people, that allows the wearer to feel the time by touching small ball bearings, which are held in place by magnets. A sleek, durable, private alternative to speaking clock watches currently on the market.

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7) Generations game

A mobile phone gaming app that is designed to be played over… centuries. It’s been designed to bring the idea of digital heritage to life. No idea how to play it, but a lovely thought.

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