5 Designs To Blow Your Mind At Design Museum, Including A Pussyhat

Designs of the Year, Design Museum ★★★★☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 14 months ago

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5 Designs To Blow Your Mind At Design Museum, Including A Pussyhat Designs of the Year, Design Museum 4
Meet Graham. Image copyright Clemenger BBDO

The Design Museum is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its annual Designs of the Year exhibition, with over 60 shortlisted innovations on show. We're regular visitors and we think it's one of the best years yet for this exhibition, all housed within curvy walls made from recycled newspaper that make us feel like we're inside a giant mineral heap.

This year we've picked the designs that really grabbed us, whether it be for political, societal or environmental reasons — from the fun to the creepy:

A car crash of a design

Who wants extra ribs? Not when they look like this. Image copyright Clemenger BBDO.

What would a person need to be built like to survive a road accident? Meet Graham. He's got a reinforced skull, no neck, a second set of ribs and an extra joint in his legs. The result is a very creepy looking humanoid sculpture created by the Transport Accident Commission in Victoria, Australia. It's a powerful message on the need to drive safely and the death machines cars can become when handled improperly.

The sculpture remains in Australia but an interactive screen at the museum lets us find out all about his body modifications.

Where are all the women?

It's tricky to spot the one woman in this poster. Copyright IC4 Design.

Equal gender representation in the workplace is an issue across the globe, but particularly in Egypt where the workforce is only 23% female. Rather than just using the statistics, illustrators IC4 Design and market agency DDB created a Where's Wally style poster where we have to spot the one woman in the image. It's an inventive and clever way to bring home the lack of women in the workplace.

We're rubbish at Where's Wally and we struggled with this ourselves, so we've included a smaller section below where you may be able to spot her.*

How about in this one? Copyright IC4Design

Gotta catch 'em all

Image courtesy Niantic.

Pokemon flooded the streets of London in the augmented reality (AR) game Pokemon Go — it seemed like every other person with a phone out was playing the game, including a certain hooked Londonist writer. It wasn't the first mobile game to use AR technology and it was littered with flaws, but it captured the imagination of thousands in London and millions around the world.

It's still got a massive active user base even now and the game's creators Niantic are working on a Harry Potter version which is bound to be popular too. Wherever you stand on the scale of love to disdain for Pokemon Go, there is no doubt it has changed the face of gaming.

Universal Translator

Star Trek future here we come. Image courtest Waverly Labs.

In Star Trek, a device on the chest would instantly translate an alien language, so aliens and Captain Picard could understand one another. We're a lot closer to that with the Pilot translating earpiece made by Waverly Labs. This earpiece can pick up 15 different languages, use noise cancelling technology to drown it out and provide a translation into our ears — move over Google Translate, we've got some red shirts to send to their deaths.  

This Pussy(hat) grabs back

Image courtesy V&A.

A simple woollen hat with two ears, all in pink. Sounds innocuous enough but it became a powerful symbol of protest against US president Trump who thought that when it came to women he could "grab them by the pussy".  

By making the instructions to create your own available on their website, the Pussyhats were well represented in the women's march against Trump, one has been acquired by V&A, and we even saw one this weekend when walking through London.  

An item of clothing that's become an iconic symbol of defiance.

These are just our picks, but there are loads more in the exhibition itself and the overall winner will be announced on 25 January 2018, so there's a month left to get your vote in for your top pick.

Beazley Designs of the Year is at Design Museum until 18 February 2018, tickets are £10. Also still on at the museum is its  Ferrari spectacular.

* For those still struggling to spot her, look towards the far-left console just over halfway up the image - she's waving in a blue coat.

Last Updated 02 January 2018