76 Projects have Designs on Prestigous Creative Award

by Cass Art

Eclectic doesn't even begin to describe the humungous variety of runners and riders in the race for the Design of the Year 2014 award.

The worlds of architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics, digital design, transport and products all collide in the battle for this prestigious honour.

Each sector is forwarding original products, which can be viewed by the public at the Design Museum from this week.

This year's candidates reflect the growth in technology, with smartphones particularly to the fore.

The 76 nominations include a floating school in a Nigerian lagoon, Italian fashion designer Miuccia Prada, a Lake District search-and-rescue drone, and an app reportedly popular with fashion model Kate Moss.

They will all go on exhibition at the design venue on the banks of the River Thames near Tower Bridge in London from Thursday (March 27) until August 25. The overall winner will be selected later in the year.

A Design Museum spokesman said: “This year the ubiquity of the smartphone is particularly apparent, as is the disruptive effect of crowd-funding sites such as Kickstarter.

“More than ever, designers are seeking to blur boundaries between the digital and physical worlds with new ideas such as the calendar made of Lego that syncs with your computer/phone diary and the fire alarm that texts to let you know that everything's OK.”

Cass's five favourite contenders for the Design of the Year 2014 Award:  

- Serpentine Galleries identity, created by Marina Willer in collaboration with Brian Boylan to express a spirit of openness. The logo acts as an aperture, opening for different content and different ideas in an ever-changing way, and also as a bridge - echoing the actual bridge over the Serpentine that links the two Galleries in Hyde Park. Pentagram's Daniel Weil worked with Willer to create the signage system for the Galleries both externally and internally.

- Hello Lamp Post: this Bristol-based interactive project invites people to begin conversations with familiar street furniture using the text message function on their mobile phones

- Aerosee: this “crowd-sourced search-and-rescue drone” in the Lake District sees operations witnessed by people on computers, tablets and phones to reduce the length of time taken to locate lost people

- Lego Calendar: this Lego-brick-constructed wall-mounted time planner syncs events and timings to an online calendar when a photograph is taken of it

- the Makoko Floating School: this three-story school, comprising wood and plastic barrels, floats on a lagoon in Lagos, Nigeria's most populous city

- the Dumb Ways To Die app: this features cute characters who meet increasingly macabre deaths set to an annoyingly catchy tune. It was designed as a public transport safety tool for the Melbourne Metro.

Found your own reccomendations? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or below.

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