Design Museum- Designs of the Year 2015

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Endgrain designed by Raw- Edges Design Studio (Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay), UK

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Through its grains a tree manages to conduct water and minerals throughout the plant. We thought that if water can be transferred along the grain we can add pigment to fully paint a block of wood from within... just like the fake blue roses! 

So we soaked the wood in colours and built up a collection of colourful timbers that are later glued to each other in vivid colourful patterns. When sculpting these complex patterned blocks into the finish objects, the three dimensional shape distorts the graphic patterns in a surprising and unexpected way.
The launch of the Endgrain collection is coincided with the Brussels Design September, where we focused on patterns that are inspired by check textiles to create a collection of desk, wall shelf, stools, low tables maybe even jam jar tops. Source: www.raw-edges.com 

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Saw Swee Hock Student Centre designed by O'Donnell and Tuomey, Ireland for the London School of Economics, UK

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Built on an awkward central London site, the new student centre fot the London School of Economics has a folded and angled brick facad. The faceted skin was designed to respect the Rights of Light envelope, allowing neighbouring buildings to retain access to daylight. The facade also makes visual connections between the interior and exterior space, as well as expressing the dynamism of life in a contemporary Student Union. 

Red brick was selected to match the surrounding buildings, but with irregular moulded forms and perforations that let light shine through brick skin, illuminating the union at night. Source: information board- designsoftheyear.

I beleive that products should blend with its surrounding instead of sticking out like a sore thumb e.g. when designing a furniture piece.

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Designed for movement (right)

'We tried to talk to nearly everyone who would have a stake in our project: kids, teachers, school janitors, procurement managers for school furniture, even insurance companies.' (Kondstantin Grcic, designer)

The very slim backrest and round seat allows more movement and variety of sitting positions. The S-shape back rest takes strain away from the lower back and pelvis. 

Updating the school chair (left)

Since Day's polypropylene moulded school chair very few designers have successfully competed with it. These two recent designs have taken a phycial ergonomic approach. The Tip Top aims to create a better position for the spine and the pro chair promotes 'dynamicsitting' allowing the student to move as much as possible. According to research this helps people to learn more effectively. Source: designmuseum- designs of the year information stand. 

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Design reflects innovation

Designers are inspired by new material or new methods of manufacture to create design. Eighty years seperate the design of these two chairs, but both use innovative materials and a cantilevered form to hightlight their strengths. Tubular steel was bent into a radically simple form in this 20s furniture to reflect a changing industrial society. The Myto chair uses the form of the earlier B32 chair to show off a newly invented strong polymer Ultradur High Speed. Source: designsoftheyear- information stand.

Finding new methods and processes is mainly why I love Product Design. The exploration aspect of this course has allowed me to find new stuff in my work and methods that people havent used for a while. 

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Sabi Space by MAP Project Office UK

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We were approached by Sabi to find product opportunities that would extend their brand into home accessories. Through research we identified the problems that users commonly faced, particularly in rented accommodation, and how better design could meet their needs.

Sabi Space is a family of bathroom products that could be installed by anyone, on any wall surface. The core product is a universal peg, which attaches to any surface with high strength 3M adhesive. A range of 11 accessories including, mirrors, shelves, shower caddy, toiler roll holder, hanging rail, towel rail and coat hanger can all be mounted from the universal peg. Source: mapprojectoffice.com

 

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MegaFaces designed by Asif Khan

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Megafaces, which debuted at the Sochi Olympics, is an experimental architectural installation. It comprises a large scale kinetic-volumetric LED display supported by a bank of automated 3d-scanning photo booths, an automated 3d scan meshing system, a tablet app which uses QR-code cards, an SMS notification system, an automated 3d modelling and lighting algorithm, a web portal, and a video streaming service. The installation was commissioned by MegaFon. Described by the designer as ‘A Mount Rushmore for the digital age’, Megafaces is a building which could physically transform to take on the appearance of the people visiting it. Source: telegraph.co.uk

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Of instruments and Archetypes designed by Unfold, Belgium, with Penny Webb, UK, and Jesse Kirschner, the Netherlands

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Of instruments and Archetypes is an exquisite set of wireless digital measuring tools that transfer instantly the dimensions of things to an  on-screen digital 3D model. The calliper, tape measure and protractor, made from wood and brass, have been used to customise archetypical objects by producing precision- fit elements using a 3D printer. 

3D printing is something we cant have access to in Foundation. But I respect the technology behind it and understand its importance in the design world. 

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10 100 1000 Project by La Metropolitana, Fancisco Torres and Luis David Arredondo, Mexico

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Diezcienmil is a project developed by the Mexican designers Francisco Torres and La Metropolitana. Ten Mexican designers were invited to respond to a brief to design a wooden stool measuring 35cm x 35cm x 35mm. The aim was to create a collection of affordable pieces that would promote contemporary design within Mexico as well as Mexican design worldwide. Source: Information stand- designsoftheyear.

In design I think its helpful if you can appeal to a wide range of audiences rather than a fixed one. This way everyone can benefit from whatever you're making. 

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D- Air Bag- Street designed by Vittorio Cafaggi/ Dainese, Italy

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The airbag for a motorbike gives protection to the rider and anyone on the pillon in the event of an accident. Sensors mounted on the fork of the bike to anticipate a frontal collision send a wireless signal to activators in the airbag; these inflate the cells in 45 milliseconds. A lean-angle sensore under the seat can detect a fall, or a non-impact accident.

Aimed at the regular rider or commuter who may need to use their motorbike in all weathers and congested conditions, their safety technology was pioneered by Dainese on the racetrack. 

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Man Machine designed by Konstantin Grcic, Germany for Galerie Kreo, France.

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MAN MACHINE is a collection of furniture pieces developed for Galerie kreo in Paris. Like the CHAMPIONS tables, my previous project for kreo, I based the entire collection on one material (and technique): glass. Glass is surely not the most obvious material for making furniture. Apart from being cold and heavy, there is a prevalent stigma about its fragility. However, if you think about it, glass is one of the most commonly used building materials in contemporary architecture. The idea of MAN MACHINE (named after Kraftwerk´s 1978 album) started to formulate when we began introducing moving elements to the glass furniture. The movement is achieved by using industrial gas pistons, a kind of magic muscle. The performance and leverage of each gas piston is customized according to the exact movement required. On the CHAISE (chair), the piston is used to alter the position of the backrest, on the round TABLE_M the piston makes the table top fold away. The large TABLE_XL has four synchronized telescopic pistons which allow the table top to be cranked up or down. The big boxes (CRATE) have pistons lifting the glass lid, the book SHELF incorporates pistons pushing wooden blocks like sprung bookends. All pieces are made out of tempered glass jointed together with silicone glue. The MAN MACHINE collection is produced in a limited edition of 8 pieces each. Source: www.konstantin-grcic.com.

 

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Current Table designed by Marjan van Aubel with Solaronix

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Whether its used at home or in a public library, this table is able to charge your phone or device by absorbing energy from daylight. The glass tabletop is formed of eight dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSC), an efficient type of thin-film photovoltic cell that replicates the ability of plants to photosynthesise. The dye in the cell absorbs light like the chlorophyll in green leaves. Unlike traditional solar cells, DSSC dont need direct sunlight to generate a current and still work indoors under diffused light. Source: Information board- designsoftheyear.

 

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Design responds to politcal and social change

Since the 70s environmental groups and consumers have lobbied government to introduce strategies for waste. The challenge today is how to retain the value of the recycled material either by processing it to food grade quality for reuse in food packaging or, as with this chair, to create desirable products. Source: information stand- designs of the year.

I like the way that the designer took items that people threw away and turned it into something desirable. 

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Dragonfly designed by Odo Fioravanti

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The design of this chair was derived from obervations of the anatomy of the drangonfly, an insect whose body is characterised by an imbalance in weight distribution between its front legs and its extended tail. The seeming 'imblance' inspired the idea of this cantilever chair, with all four legs joined on the front of the chair, leaving the seat apparently unsupported. 

Tubular metal legs support the front of the seat, while the ribbing on the back of the seat shell gives the polypropylene extra strength and stability. These ribs also lend the chair a dynamism that the italian designer Fioravanti compared to a car radiator in a direct reference to automative design. To trail the ambitious design, computer- based structural tests and plastics mouldflow analysis were conducted before the injection- moulding manufacturing process began. 

The dragonfly's playfulness of form continues the tradition of designers pushing the limits of construction and form to achieve innovation. Source: thedesignmuseum- designs of the year information stand. 

My work and Fioravanti's are quite similar. We both look at the aspect of structure and material to enhance properties and also take on heavy amounts of weight.

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