Banksy’s stab-proof vest for Stormzy and the Covid-19 illustration feature among Designs of the Year nominees

The Design Museum’s 13th annual prize has 74 nominees across six categories from graphics to digital, highlighting the most innovative and provocative need-to-know projects from the past year.

Date
21 October 2020
Reading Time
2 minute read

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The Designs of the Year nominees have been revealed by London’s Design Museum, showcasing 74 of this year’s most exciting, innovative, provocative and important creative projects. From the omnipresent 3D illustration of Covid-19 to Stormzy’s stab-proof vest by Banksy, via brilliant graphic, digital, fashion, product, architectural and transport design, the list comprises the need-to-know ideas from across the world over the past 12 months.

There are 13 nominees in the Graphics category, including the aforementioned rendering of the Sars-CoV-2 virus by Alissa Eckert and Dan Higgins, and the Banksy-designed vest Stormzy wore for Glastonbury – a powerful statement about structural racism in the UK. Also on the list are the Tokyo 2020 Official Art Posters, including designs by Chris Ofili and Viviane Sassen; Studio Frith’s identity and typeface for the Hayward Gallery’s Kiss My Genders exhibition; and Eric Timothy Carlson and Aaron Anderson’s cover artwork for Bon Iver’s i,i. There’s also Caitlin Young’s animated short film Breast Friends about her conflicting inner narratives around feminism (which we spoke to her about earlier this year) and an activist campaign by Huei Yin Wong and Jack Railton-Woodcock in critical response to the Pantone Colour of the Year of Living Coral. The designer and writer team instead made Bleached Coral, to reflect the sad reality that at least half of the coral across Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has been killed off during marine heatwaves since 2016.

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Studio Frith: Kiss My Genders exhibition identity and typeface (© Hayward Gallery, 2020)

The Digital category features the sound design for TV series Chernobyl, Stacie Woolsey’s Make Your Own Masters initiative (which she wrote about for It’s Nice That here) and virtual teenager Lil Miquela. There’s also Xenobot, an organism designed by a computer; Us & Them, a video collage exposing western prejudice; Manifold Garden, a game designed by artist William Chyr; and Jalaiah Harmon’s viral TikTok dance Renegade.

The Product category includes plasters for a range of skin tones by Nuditone, and an Ikea range called Förändring made from waste rice straw, a rice-harvesting residue that is usually burned and therefore contributes heavily to air pollution in northern India. Also nominated is Impossible Foods’ vegan burger, Impossible Burger 2.0; the Judy emergency kit for victim of natural disasters; and Lego’s Braille Bricks.

To see the full list of nominees and find out more about the projects, go to the Designs of the Year website. An exhibition of all the nominees opens today at the Design Museum until 28 March 2021. The category winners and overall winner will be announced on 26 November 2020.

GalleryDesigns of the Year nominees 2020

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Lego: Braille bricks (© Lego 2020)

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© Huei Yin Wong and Jack Railton-Woodcock: Bleached Coral

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© Doug Blackiston, Josh Bongard, Sam Kriegman and Michael Levin: Xenobot (2020)

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© Alissa Eckert (MSMI) and Dan Higgins (MAMS): 3D rendering of SARS-CoV-2

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Tomko Konioke: Wild Things – Hachilympic (© Tokyo 2020 Official Art Posters Project)

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Lil Miquela © Trevor McFedries, Sara DeCou, Nicole de Ayora, Isaac Bratzel, Kara Weber, Lauren Goulston

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Ikea: Förändring (© Ikea, 2020)

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William Chyr: Manifold Garden (© William Chyr, 2020)

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Caitlin Young: Breast Friends (© Caitlin Young, 2020)

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Banksy: Stormzy's stab-proof vest (© Banksy, 2019)

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent the last ten years working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on jb@itsnicethat.com.

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