The Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2011 held their showcase of this year’s nominees at the Design Museum on 15th Feb. The awards present the most creative designs from across the globe across seven categories: graphics, furniture, fashion, architecture, transport, product, and interactive. When the awards say they have it all, believe us, they have the ammunition in the form of the new Fiat 500, a designer coffin, a spinning top chair, the Barclay’s Cycle for Hire system, and the iPad among numerous other designs that satisfy elements of both form and function.
One of the first things we noticed was the set of Amplify Chandeliers attracting full attention in the center of the exhibition. Designed by Yves Behar and Fuseproject for Swarovski, these beautiful paper lights are powered by a low-energy LED light which reflects off the single crystal that is encompassed in a faceted paper shade. The result is a beautiful chandelier effect that combines classic elements with modern design and energy saving techniques.
Another interesting lighting concept was the collection of Wall Piercings. These lights gradually change colour creating a mesmerising effect that would be ideal for a restaurant or club. These mesmerizing lights, designed by Ron Gilad for Flos, are definitely worth a look.
Also featured was an architectural model representing Thomas Heatherwick’s incredible Seed Cathedral, also known as the UK Pavilion, which was one of the most visited sites at the Shanghai Expo this year. The large display pictures that accompanies the model at the showcase only gives a glimpse at what a huge and magnificent undertaking this project was. Stretching over 6,000 square meters, the Seed Cathedral is 20 meters high and was constructed using 60,000 transparent optical strands that stretched 7.5 meters in length. The tip of each of these strands is embedded with a seed from the Millennium Seedbank at Kew. The interior of the pavilion is illuminated only from the natural light that is filtered past each optical hair. An extraordinary sight to behold, and one that is our personal favourite to take home top honors at the awards.
See all the nominees at www.designsoftheyear.com
Designs of the Year 2011 is on at the Design Museum until 7 August 2011