Brit Insurance Design Awards

From an original concept for a cookery book and iPhone app, to an open air library, an organically-shaped chair and the world’s first designer lightbulb, the winners of this years Brit Insurance Design Awards at London’s Design Museum were an inspired collection from the world of architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics, interactive, product and transport.

The seven winners, selected by a jury chaired by former chief executive of the Design Museum Stephan Bayley, are:

  • Architecture: Open Air Library, Magdeburg by Karo Architekten, Germany
  • Fashion: Uniqlo +J Autumn/Winter ’10 by Jil Sander for Uniqlo, Japan
  • Furniture: Branca by Industrial Facility, Sam Hecht, Kim Collin and Ippei Matsumoto, Italy
  • Graphics: Homemade is Best by Forsman & Bodenfors for Ikea, Sweden
  • Interactive: Flipboard by Mike McCue and Evan Doll, US
  • Product: Plumen 001 by Hulger and Samuel Wilkinson, UK
  • Transport: Barclays Cycle Hire by Transport for London, UK

Highlights include Industrial Facility’s Branca chair, manufactured by Italian brothers Mattiazzi. The chair intentionally looks familiar to the eye – mimicking the natural growth patterns of twigs and branches, the backrest and armrests seem to grow seamlessly from just one piece of wood.

Product design award winner Plumen 001 is the world’s first designer lightbulb created by Samuel Wilkinson and Hulger. Using 80% less energy and lasting approximately eight times longer than a typical incandescent bulb, the Plumen 001 is formed of two interwoven glass tubes that curve organically so as to create a new silhouette from each and every angle.

Graphics award winner Swedish company Forsman & Bodenfors’ Homemade is Best cookery book and iPhone app is a playful look at the traditional presentation of cookery. Produced for IKEA, and part of a larger marketing campaign for the giant brand, the graphics firm took inspiration from Japanese minimalism – these carefully composed stills of 30 recipes bring the ingredients centre stage.

The Open Air Library is a community effort that operates a trusting open shelves policy where residents are free to borrow books 24 hours a day. The scheme began five years ago when the residents of Magdeburg in Germany staged an intervention in an abandoned district that formally housed a public library.

The overall Brit Insurance Design of the Year will be announced on 15 March who will be awarded a trophy designed by Ross Lovegrove.

The Brit Insurance Design Awards will be on exhibition at London’s Design Museum until 7 August 2011.

Guest blogger Sean Jackson

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