From Mona Chalabi to Led by Donkeys, the Designs of the Year 2019 shortlist showcases activism in all forms

10 September 2019

Exhibition graphics by Zac Group

The 76 nominees for this year’s Beazley Designs of the Year awards have been announced, with activist projects and work tackling inequality in creative ways being honoured for their interdisciplinary impact.

Nominated in the Graphic category, Mona Chalabi’s project Who Are You Here To See? visualises data on the demographics of artists featured in a US museum collection, which is 75% white males. Mold magazine by LinYee Yuan explores the future of food and how designers are addressing food crises. Notamuse, a book by Silva Baum, Claudia Scheer and Lea Sievertsen profiles female graphic designers in Europe.

Pentagram’s Sascha Lobe was nominated for the pictogram signage designed with L2M3 for David Chipperfield’s Amorepacific HQ; while activists Led By Donkeys were selected for their work blowing up statements made by politicians about Brexit to billboard size.

It’s Nice That’s own Will Knight even got a mention for his involvement in the UK Student Climate Network protest, designing placards along with Harry Butt, Indiana Lawrence, Lena Manger and Axel Lagerborg for Play Nice and ILoveYou Agency.

In the digital category, nominees include Playdeo’s Avo, a game starring an AR avocado; Meet Q: The First Genderless Voice, the first gender-neutral voice technology; and Olio, the food sharing app. Alterego by MIT Media Lab was also selected, for its wearable neural interface that allows humans to command a virtual assistant by articulating words through thought.

In fashion, Ji Won Choi’s Adidas collaboration, Becca McCharen-Tran’s Climatic swimwear collection for all body shapes, vegan flip flops by Mats Rombaut, and costume designs for The Favourite were shortlisted.

Meanwhile in the product category, ThisAbles, a hack to make Ikea furniture accessible, was selected alongside Nendo’s denqul, a battery pack that charges when shaken; a hands-free breast pump by Elvie; and a so-called “plastic made of plants” called Nuatan, an oil-free bioplastic that is biodegradable in industrial compost.

Beazley Designs of the Year will be on display at the Design Museum, London from 11 September 2019 – 9 February 2020. See the full list of nominees here.




Sascha Lobe: Amorepacific


Sandy Powell: The Favourite costumes


Mats Rombaut: Green Lettuce Slides


Led By Donkeys

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Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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