• Foldable-plug
  • Sugru
  • Helmet
  • Plant-lock
  • Omlet-beehaus
  • Blanke-art
  • Kyoto-box
  • Pact-underwear
  • Wheelchair
  • Commode
  • Blown-fabric
  • Clouds
  • Paz
  • Real-time
  • N310
  • Idea_of_a_tree
  • Abyss
  • Soma
  • Issey
  • Story-of-stuff
Product Design

Designs of the Year: Product

Posted by Florencia,

Having the most nominations, this category is hugely diverse, ranging from everyday products to the rare and specialised. The category winner was the foldable plug by Min-Kyu Choi, who made the traditional British plug look cumbersome and obsolete, and instead gave it a new, sleek look – only 10mm wide – which is useful for travellers (Choi said the idea came about because he was annoyed with having to carry around a plug that was thicker than his Mac Book Air).

Many of these designs solve problems we face everyday like Sugru, a silicone-based material that can be used for multiple repairs, or as creator Jane ni Dhulchaointigh put it, to ‘hack things better’. Simple in its concept, Sugru can save you a lot money by helping you repair objects you thought were ready to be thrown away.

Per Finne Industrial Design also gave a little twist to the ordinary by making a Ski Helmet for Girls that is lighter, stylish and pony-tail friendly (pretty sure a cycling version would also be just as popular), and in the same spirit, the Front Yard Company made a Plant Lock which gives cyclists a safe place to lock their bikes while adding a little greenery to cities – a lovely combination.

The Beehaus by Omlet also stood out for its solution to the decreasing bee population in the UK as it facilitates beekeeping for people living in cities.

Another highlight of this category was the Design and Democracy: Blanke Ark by Blueroom, Innovativoli and KADABRA, which is a new voting system comprising of a voting booth, ballot box, signage, ballot and graphic profile, all created to make the voting process more accessible. Already used in the Norwegian governmental elections in 2009, it will be implemented for the country’s regional elections in 2011. 


The Kyoto Box by Job Bohmer was a memorable entry for its simple designs with multiple benefits, as it is small solar cooker which provides free energy for cooking, baking, cleaning water and drying foods. It also lowers the costs of energy, reduces household CO2 emissions, and reduces deforestation. One of the beauties of this product is that its use and benefits are as big and influential in developing as well as developed countries.

PACT Underwear by Yves Béhar showed that being environmentally friendly and socially responsible can also be sexy. These days apparently, change starts with your underwear. Béhar partnered with various charity organisations and gave each one its own underwear collection as well as 10% of the profits. The underwear is produced locally and adheres to high environmental and social standards.

Other nominees included the Worldmade Sport Wheelchair designed by David Constantine, the Design Bugs Out Commode by PearsonLloyd, the blown-fabric lanterns by Nendo, Clouds by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Kvadrat, the Hope Chandelier by Francisco Gomez Paz and Paolo Rizzatto for Luceplan, Real Time by Maarten Bass, the Samsung N310 Mini Notebook by Naoto Fukasawa, The Idea of a Tree by Katharina Mischer & Thomas Traxler, CASE Abyss by Abyssus Marine Services for SeaBed Geophysical, Soma by Ayala Serfaty, L’Eau d’Issey ETTORE SOTTSASS Edition by Issey Miyake and finally, The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard is a wonderful little story about how more products aren’t necessarily the solution and in fact can lead us to a dysfunctional lifestyle.


Posted by Florencia

Most Recent: Exhibition View Archive

  1. David-james-uma-thurman-int-list

    Lucien Freud, Kate Moss, Joaquin Phoenix…it reads like that list of dream dinner party guests you have to reel out in awkward “getting to know you" games. But it’s more than that: this all-star list is just a sliver of the cast that creative director David James has worked with over the years. David has been creative director at AnOther Magazine for the past decade, creating iconic images with photographers including Craig McDean, Willy Vanderperre and Nick Knight. If you missed out on getting the mags IRL, don’t fret: today sees the launch of Everything that Matters – an online retrospective of David’s editorial work. It makes for a lovely little scroll, even if it does make us feel pretty old to think that the time that’s passed since 2005 is retrospective-worthy.

  2. Andrew-bruce-_-anna-fox_-norman-tebbitint-list

    If ever you needed a reminder of the occasionally ludicrous caricatures that have made up British politics, a new show of images of the Spitting Image puppets will be in London just before the election in May.

  3. Neil_kenlock_untitled_young_woman_seated_on_the_floor_at_home_in_front_of_her_television_set_c-_type_print_london_1972__neil_kenlock_victoria_and_albert_london-int-list

    The new exhibition at London’s V&A Museum, Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s -1960s came as the result of a conscious decision by the organisation to broaden and enrich its collection, curator Marta Weiss explained at the opening yesterday. “Over the last seven years the V&A has been working with Black Cultural Archives to acquire photographs either by black photographers or which document the lives of black people in Britain,” Marta says, “a previously under-represented area in the V&A’s photographs collection.”

  4. New-listdr-lakra's-record-covers-collection.-magnificent-obsessions_the-artist-as-collector_-barbican-art-gallery.-%c2%a9peter-macdiarmid_-getty-images

    I’ve always been quite partial to bric-a-brac, but it’s never been more compelling to me than while I was wandering around the Barbican’s new exhibition Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector yesterday. The show is effectively a paean to the idea that you are the stuff you keep, and as such it’s a hoarder’s dream.

  5. Paul-rand-list

    Designs that transcend time, the fripperies of fashion and taste and the brand they’re attached to are ones that ensure their place in the canon; and one man who created such work is Paul Rand.

  6. Vivianesassen-pinkinslee-int-list

    Very few photographers straddle art and fashion photography as successfully as Viviane Sassen, a fact London’s galleries are very much aware of at the moment. The Dutch photographer has only just seen the end of In and Out of Fashion, an experimental show at The Photographers’ Gallery which used large-scale projected slideshows moving quickly across large, temporary walls in the dark space to the accompaniment of a melodious and hypnotic soundtrack. Yet today the ICA is opening another show of Viviane’s work, entitled Pikin Slee.

  7. List

    In 1915, two years before the Russian Revolution took place, an exhibition took place in St Petersburg which turned the art world upside down. Entitled The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings: 0.10, it included one of Kazimir Malevich’s now iconic black square paintings, a profound and original offering in a 20th Century society which repressed modern ideas almost as furiously as it bred them, and it’s this spirit of radical thinking in the midst of a restrictive society which sits at the root of the Whitechapel Gallery’s new exploration of abstract art, Adventures of the Black Square.

  8. List

    With photography now a ubiquitous medium gifted to everyone for the price of a smartphone, it’s easy to forget that it was once the preserve of only a select few pioneers, whose experiments with light-sensitive chemicals and simple mechanical structures gave birth to something we all take for granted today. But a new show at The Science Museum’s Media Space seeks to remind us of the pioneering endeavours of modern photography’s forebears.

  9. List

    The name Jeremy Deller conjures up all manner of conflicting images in my mind’s eye; of frivolous inflatable sculptures and brass bands playing acid house; of turbulent clashes between miners and police and the rusted bodies of motor vehicles. He’s got a real knack for uniting ideas that feel inherently opposite. So his latest show at Modern Art Oxford shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise in its bringing together of two figures who seem very much at odds with each other.

  10. List

    There’s not a pie in the cultural world that James Franco isn’t ready and willing to stick a finger into, and to prove it the actor, director, poet and musician has just announced a new exhibition of his artworks, entitled Fat Squirrel, which is to be held at London’s Siegfried Contemporary gallery. The show is an undeniably eclectic collection, including a number of self portraits of the artist in the guise of various famous historical figures, a deer orgy entitled Triple Team, and some bright painterly collages, not to mention the eponymous overweight rodents which are undoubtedly our favourites.

  11. List

    There are equal doses of pleasure and frustration to be had in stumbling across the work of a photographer you’ve never seen before. It’s classic FOMO on a macro scale, coupled with joy at the prospect of showing off the treasure you’ve found. At least that’s what I felt when I discovered that photographer Mark Neville was to be showing two of his photo-series alongside one another in a new show entitled London/Pittsburgh at London’s Alan Cristea Gallery.

  12. List-flyers-for-the-institute-at-sexology.-photography-by-russell-dornan_-design-by-liam-relph-(3)

    London’s Wellcome Collection space always hosts explorations of the things that fascinate us most. It’s covered death, it’s exhaustively explored the human body in all its glory and grotesquery, and now it’s moved on to surely the most fascinating of all – sex, or more precisely, how people have studied it.

  13. List

    How’s this for a collaboration? Artist Quentin Jones, who counts photography, animation, painting and filmmaking among the tools of her trade, has teamed up with spatial designer Robert Storey to create the setting for her new exhibition in the The Vinyl Factory Space on London’s Brewer Street, with Robert creating a set for each of Quentin’s works.