Beazley Designs of the Year 2017

Beazley Designs of the Year 2017 Poster

I was excited to visit the Design museum this weekend and to see the annual Beazley Designs of the year exhibition. Now in its 10th year, the exhibition brings together over 60 global projects across six categories. This was my first visit and I was fascinated, inspired and moved by the intention and purpose that had led to so many clever and innovative products and ideas. The exhibition itself is simply and clearly presented and categories are separated by large curved grey walls made from a textured, recycled paper called Soundcel that easily allow you to navigate and move through the space.

As you would expect in today’s world there was a strong sustainable, political and ethical focus behind many of the designs and as visual merchandisers and retail designers the fashion, digital and product categories included ideas and products that resonated with me; here are a few of my highlights…

Spanish fashion & lifestyle brand Ecoalf produces all of its fabric and products from recycled materials ensuring the same quality and design as its non recycled alternatives. Their Up cycling the Oceans project transforms plastic debris and waste from the Mediterannean in to thread to make fabric. The project began in 2015 with 24 ports now up cycling in excess of 100 tonnes of waste a year. For their latest collection they have collaborated with designer Sybilla.

Ecoalf coat

Fashion activism has been particularly poignant in the past year and continues to be used as a global voice both ethically and politically. One of the most memorable examples of this is the ‘Pussyhat’ knitted and worn by women across the globe to show solidarity and support in the wake of the Trump presidency in January 2016.

Pussyhat Project Hat

Levis have teamed up with Google and reinvented their iconic combat trucker jacket with in built technology that allows the user to access a variety of mobile services by tapping or swiping the sleeve of the garment. Designers can build technology in to clothing during production using standard looms allowing the user to interact and connect whilst on the move taking fashion to another level!

Levis Commuter Trucker Jacket

To launch his new album ‘The Life of Pablo’ in 2016, Kanye West collaborated with Bravado to create the first simultaneous global pop up event. The locations of the 21 worldwide venues were announced 24 hours before the launch selling Pablo related merchandise and limited edition designs exclusive to each city. The British location was housed in Old Street.

Life of Pablo Shirts

Danish company BIG’s modular lighting system Alphabet of Light consists of wall-mounted letters that are formed from bent and straight elements of LED strip light joined together by magnets, making assembly easy for the user. The system’s entire innerworkings are concealed, leaving only a minimalist and elegant product on display. The light can be customised for any wall, ceiling or space within minutes.

Exit sign

A new breakthrough process in 3D printing Self Assembly Lab in conjunction with Steelcase have developed a process that physically draws in 3D space within a gel suspension and enables the creation of large scale, customised products such as furniture made of real-world materials in an instant.

Rapid Liquid Printing Exctrusion

I’m looking forward to visiting next year!

Andie Bartlett