Zoe CraigExhibition Review: Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2011 @ Design Museum
The Brit Insurance Design Awards are the Oscars of the design world, celebrating the most innovative and creative designs from around the world in a competitive "design-off."
Pop along to the exhibition of this year's contenders at the Design Museum, and alongside every-day items like the ipad, the Fiat 500 and the Dyson Air Multiplier, you can ponder the design merits of a shiny black diamond-inspired coffin, energy-generating paving stones and an "intimaterider" – a device for "enhancing sexual mobility for those with limited or no lower body muscle control."
It's an eclectic show, as the seven different prize categories (architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics, interactive, product and transport) suggest. There can't be many other exhibitions in London at the moment where you can check out high street fashion (Jil Sander's work for Uniqlo) alongside sleek fire extinguishers designed to be easy on the eye and operated with one arm, think about the impact of Boris' bikes on London, and play Angry Birds on an ipad.
There are enough intriguing housing solutions to satisfy even the most dedicated follower of Kevin McCloud and his Grand Designs. As well as plenty of nods to how good design can enhance lives as well as entertain. If there is a theme to this year's shortlisted designs, it seems to be sustainability and efficiency. With a dose of interactivity thrown in.
With such a varied offering of gorgeous gizmos on display, we certainly don't envy the judges their task of choosing winners. But we do recommend you go and see this exhibition: there's bound to be something you'll enjoy pondering, playing with or participating in.