Contenders for the 2013 Designs Of The Year Are Announced

DESIGNS Of The Year 2012 was one of Pillow Mag’s favourite exhibitions last year. 

The show displayed the best ideas and creations from all over the globe across seven categories including Architecture, Digital, Fashion and Furniture.

Last year the prestigious award was won by design studio BarberOsgerby for the London 2012 Olympic Torch.

The Design Museum has now announced the contenders for the sixth annual Designs of the Year.

The exhibition featuring all the nominations will open 20 March –  7 July 2013 with the winners from each category and one overall winner to be announced in April.

Have a look at some of our favourite contenders, below.


ANNA KARENINA COSTUMES – Designed by Jacqueline Durran

Two million dollars’ worth of Chanel diamonds and vintage Balenciagainspired dresses are just a few of the finishing touches costume designer Jacqueline Durran dreamt up for Keira Knightley’s fur-wrapped character in Joe Wright’s 2012 film adaptation of the 1877 Tolstoy novel.

A/W12 WOMENSWEAR – Designed by Giles Deacon

Made up of a number of gowns, each with their own intricate mood, Deacon combines ideas of death with the exuberance and decadence of life. Flowing skirts and tight restricted arms meet layers of what looks like torn ribbons of silk, built up into floor length dresses.

I WANT MUSCLE – Directed by Elisha Smith-Leverock

Witty and glamorous, I Want Muscle is a personal 2 minute portrait of female body-builder Kizzy Vaines. Focusing on the attitudes of others to the idea of female body building and the compulsion to push the body to extremes.

A/W12 COLLECTION – Designed by Craig Green

Playing with ideas of utility and function, the large wooden structures in this collection have connotations of religious pilgrimage. Inspired by luggage carriers, the huge structures dwarf the models and create abstract, almost menacing silhouettes. Each colour outfit has an exact replica outfit in black, which walks behind it as a ‘shadow’ on the catwalk.


MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), CLEVELAND – Designed by Farshid Moussavi Architects

The 34,000 sq ft structure, which is 44 percent larger than MOCA’s former rented space, is both environmentally and fiscal sustainable.

A ROOM FOR LONDON – Designed by David Kohn Architects in collaboration with artist Fiona Banner

Perched above Queen Elizabeth Hall at London’s Southbank Centre, the boat-shaped one bedroom installation offers guests a place of refuge and reflection amidst the flow of traffic surrounding its iconic location.


This single-storey building is draped in a stainless steel mesh blanket that fits precisely over its structure and merges with the district’s historic urban fabric of low-rise courtyard houses and dense network of small alleyways.


This mountain of bookshelves is contained by a glass-enclosed structure and a pyramid roof with a total surface area of 9,300 sq m. Corridors and platforms bordering the form are accessed by a network of stairs to allow visitors to browse the tiers of shelves. A continuous 480m route culminates at the peak’s reading room and cafe with panoramic views through the transparent roof.

THE SHARD, LONDON – Designed by Renzo Piano

The Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe, transforming the London skyline, the multi-use 310m vertical structure consists of offices, world-renowned restaurants, the 5-star Shangri-La hotel, exclusive residential apartments and the capital’s highest viewing gallery.

GALAXY SOHO, BEIJING – Designed by Zaha Hadid

Five continuous, flowing volumes coalesce to create an internal world of continuous open spaces within the Galaxy Soho building – a new office, retail and entertainment complex devoid of corners to create an immersive, enveloping experience in the heart of Beijing.

SUPERKILEN, NØRREBRO – Designed by BIG, TOPOTEK1 and Superflex

Superkilen is a kilometre-long park situated through an area just north of Copenhagen’s city centre, considered one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighbourhoods in the Danish capital. The large-scale project comes as a result of a competition initiated by the City of Copenhagen and the Realdania Foundation as a means of creating an urban space with a strong identity on a local and global scale.


RAIN ROOM – Designed by Random International

Random International’s largest and most ambitious installation yet, Rain Room is a 100 sq m field of falling water for visitors to walk through, experiencing how it might feel to control the rain. On entering visitors hear the sound of water and feel moisture in the air before discovering the thousands of falling droplets responding to their presence and movement to keep the visitor dry.

ENGLISH HEDGEROW PLATE – Designed by Andrew Tanner and Unanico for Royal Winton

British ceramic designer Andrew Tanner has developed ‘English Hedgerow’, a chintz wall plate for Royal Winton that is the world’s first to interface with augmented reality to create an animated world. An application developed by Jason Jameson and James Hall of Unanico group lets users of iOS devices watch as birds and field mice scurry among the brambles, flies buzz, and butterflies flutter through the flowers.


Digital Postcards give digital tracks a low cost physical form, with each postcard represents a unique track. The cards are docked in a Postcard Player and users can control the playback of the tracks by pressing buttons printed on the postcards.

ZOMBIES, RUN! APP – Designed by Six to Start

The Zombies, Run! fitness app is an interactive running game. The game guides you through zombie-apocalypse-themed missions with a variety of audio narrations. The application is capable of recording the distance, time, pace, and amount of calories burned per running mission via GPS.

FREE UNIVERSAL CONSTRUCTION KIT – Designed by Free Art and Technology Lab

The Free Universal Construction Kit is an online matrix of nearly 80 adapter bricks that can be 3D printed and allows any piece to join to any other, enabling the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities.

CANDLES IN THE WIND – Designed by Moritz Waldemeyer for Ingo Maurer

Candles in the Wind is a revolutionary new lighting concept, using modern LED technology to recreate the experience of light from a candle flame. The minimal design is a bare circuit board featuring the latest in micro-processor technology paired with 256 high quality LEDs to evoke the natural flow and flicker of a candle. 


FURNITURE THE SEA CHAIR – Designed by Studio Swine & Kieren Jones

Since the discovery of the Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, which is predicted to measure twice the size of Texas, five more have been found across the world’s oceans. The ‘Sea Chair’ is made entirely from plastic recovered from our oceans. In collaboration with Kieren Jones, Studio Swine has created devices to collect and develop marine debris into a series of stools.

LIQUID GLACIAL TABLE – Designed by Zaha Hadid

The Liquid Glacial design embeds surface complexity and refraction within a powerful fluid dynamic. The elementary geometry of the flat table top appears transformed from static to fluid by the subtle waves and ripples evident below the surface, while the table’s legs seem to pour from the horizontal in a vortex of frozen water.

GRAVITY STOOL – Designed by Jolan Van Der Wiel

Jolan Van Der Wiel developed a ‘magnet machine’, whereby he positions magnetic fields above and below a container of polarized material containing metal shavings. In order to form and determine the shapes of his furniture pieces, the hanging units are pulled down and then released, in which the substance follows, drawn upwards by magnetic force, letting gravity determine the shape of the stool.

RE-IMAGINED CHAIRS – Designed by Studiomama (Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama)

Re-imagined Chairs by London-based Studiomama is a project born out of questioning resourcefulness and attitudes towards waste. It builds on the interests in expediency and re-using the existing, and speaks of the ability to see the potential in the unwanted, by encouraging users to re-look at unwanted furniture.

CORNICHES – Designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra

The idea for Corniches arose from the need for small storage spaces to keep small items. Corniches are neither regular shelves nor simple horizontal surfaces, but rather individual, isolated protrusions in the environments that we create. Corniches are a new way to use the wall in living spaces.

FUTURE PRIMITIVES – Designed by Muller Van Severen

This collection of shelving units, in various heights and configurations, include deckchair shaped seating inserted into their frames, as well as standing and hanging lamps and separate chairs and loungers.

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