Pussyhat worn at women's march

Design Museum reveals shortlist for Beazley Designs of the Year

Image credit: Dreamstime

London's Design Museum has announced a shortlist of 60 original designs from 2016-2017 which range from symbols of political protest to new emojis and Pokémon Go.

The competition, which has been running for 10 years, brings together projects from around the world in six categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport. Winners for each category will be decided by industry experts and by public vote, which will open in October 2017.

Highly original engineering with a focus on sustainability is featured heavily in the Transport category. Nominees include Olli, the world’s first self-driving, 3D-printed, electric bus; Seabubbles, a zero noise, zero carbon, self-charging water taxi; and Honda’s Moto Riding Assist, a self-balancing motorbike designed to reduce the possibility of falling while stationary.

Wind and Rain Bridge, China

The Architecture category includes Arturo Vittori’s Warka Water, which harvests potable water from the atmosphere; the Wind and Rain Bridge in China, which was constructed entirely without the use of mechanical fasteners; and Grainne Hasset’s Calais Builds Project, which involved architects working with local migrants to design and build community infrastructure for migrants living in Calais.

Last year’s top prize was awarded to Ikea’s flat-pack refugee shelter, and this year, there are no signs that the competitors are any less politically focused. The shortlist that has been described by CNN and The Guardian as “politically charged” and “[reflecting] a tumultuous time of global political unrest and creative popular resistance.”

Many of the nominated projects were designed with a social justice agenda, such as a Nike sports hijab for Muslim women, and the ‘Women in the Workplace’ emojis.

Other nominees include the ‘pussyhat’ in the Fashion category. The knitting pattern was designed in protest in response to US President Donald Trump’s recorded boasts of sexual assault. The designers describe the pink, cat-eared hat as “a symbol of support and solidarity for women’s rights and political resistance”.

The award winners will be announced in January 2018 and the winning designs will go on show at the Design Museum in South Kensington in October 2018.

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