Every year we look forward to the Designs of the Year exhibition both for the innovative designs and for the affirmation we get from seeing how inventive people can be. This year’s selection is no different with 76 projects ranging across the fields of architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, products and transport.
Life-changing inventions include a syringe that should help stop the spread of infectious disease as it turns red once it’s been used, and a floating school in Nigeria that won’t be knocked out by flooding. There are practical designs for the Western world too including the CityMapper app and a tactile watch that allows blind people to tell the time.
Two environmentally friendly cars make it to this year’s selection and they couldn’t be more different, with the sleek Volkswagen XL1 a striking contrast to the aesthetically hideous, yet ecologically sound, ME:WE.
One of our favourites is Phonebloks where every component of a mobile phone is separate and replaceable, thus removing the need to upgrade an entire phone when one component ages of breaks down. We also enjoyed the use of LEGO to create an uploadable calendar that brings some fun into project management.
The layout of this exhibition is a significant improvement on previous years. It feels a lot less cluttered. Combined with a strong selection of finalists, this makes the show the best incarnation of Designs of the Year we’ve seen.
Designs of the Year 2014 is on at Design Museum, Shad Thames, SE1 2YD until 25 August. Tickets are £12.40 for adults, concessions available.