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Top Designs Contend in Global Race

Thursday, March 28, 2013

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Architect Zaha Hadid’s Galaxy Soho building in Beijing and MIT’s innovative non-stick ketchup bottle are just two of the 90 designs facing off in a worldwide competition billed as “the Oscars of the design world.”

Hosted by the Design Museum London, the annual “Designs of the Year” exhibition and award program includes contenders across seven categories: architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product and transport.

Designs of 2013
Design Museum / Photo by Luke Hayes

The nominees in architecture and other categories are on display at the Design Museum London. A winner in each category and an overall winner will be named.

“Selected by a panel of distinguished nominators, the awards compile the most original and exciting designs, prototypes and designers in the world today,” according to a release from the museum.

The 2013 nominations are currently on display in the museum. A winner from each category, as well as an overall winner, will be named April 17. The exhibition closes July 7.

There are 17 nominations for architecture in the design contest; a few of the project details and photos are provided below. A complete list of the nominees in available here.

Hadid Nominations

Hadid’s recently completed Galaxy Soho building in Beijing stands out as a competitor. The office, retail and entertainment complex features five continuous, flowing volumes that combine to create an “internal world of continuous open spaces,” according to Hadid’s description of the project.

Galaxy Soho
Design Museum / Photo by Hufton and Crow

The Galaxy Soho building in Beijing is a re-invention of the classical Chinese courtyard.

Located in the heart of Beijing, the project is also described as a re-invention of the classical Chinese courtyard.

Hadid was also nominated in the furniture category for her Liquid Glacial Table design, which resembles running water.

Liquid Glacial Table
Design Museum / photo by Jacopo Spilimbergo

Hadid also received a nomination for her Liquid Glacial Table design.

London Honors: The Shard and A Room

Western Europe’s tallest building at more than 1,000 feet, The Shard, in London, has also earned a nomination in this year’s contest.

Designed by Renzo Piano, the giant slice of glass-clad steel made its formal debut on the global architecture stage in July 2012.

The Shard
Design Museum / photographer not indicated

At 1,000 feet, The Shard towers above the London skyline. The iconic design is in the running for Design of the Year.

The Shard houses offices, restaurants and a hotel with a viewing gallery at the summit that is expected to draw more than 1 million visitors a year, according to reports.

Another London design in the running is A Room for London, a new boutique boat-shaped hotel room by David Kohn Architect. The room was built by Living Architecture.

The boat’s design was inspired by the Roi des Belges, the vessel sailed by Joseph Conrad up the River Congo in the late 19th century, according to project details.

A room for London
Design Museum / Photo by Charles Hosea

A Room for London was inspired by Joseph Conrad's voyage up the River Congo in the late 19th century.

Priced at £300 ($454 U.S.) a night, the one-bedroom room perched on a roof high above the Thames River has proved to be a popular retreat, according to its owners. Guests are selected randomly in accordance with a ballot posted here.

FDR Park in NYC

Thousands of miles away stands another nominee: the recently completed Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, in New York City.

Designed by one of the iconic architects of the 20th century—the late Louis Kahn—the public space includes walkways lined with trees and a granite monument symbolizing the “Four Freedoms” described in FDR’s historic State of the Union speech on Jan. 6, 1941, according to the park’s website.

Four Freedoms Park
Design Museum / photo by Paul Warchol

Completed in late 2012, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is nominated in the global design contest. A monument honors the park's namesake presidential address.

The “Four Freedoms” are freedom of speech and expression; freedom of religion; freedom from want; and freedom from fear.

The park was first envisioned in 1973 and was completed in late 2012; it is the only memorial dedicated to the former President in his home state.

Other Emerging Prototypes, Designs

Other nominated designs include a Barbican installation called the Rain Room by Random International; a non-stick ketchup bottle invented by the Varanasi Research Group at MIT, which uses a special interior coating to keep the contents from clinging; a prototype pair of self-adjustable glasses for children without access to opticians by The Centre for Vision in the Developing World in Oxford; and a wheelchair that folds completely flat with its revolutionary collapsing wheels technology by Vitamins Design.

ketchup bottle
Design Museum / photo by Dave Smith

Researchers at MIT may win Design of the Year honors for their ketchup bottle.

Last year, the design studio BarberOsgerby won the competition with the London 2012 Olympic Torch.



Tagged categories: Architects; Architecture; Awards and honors; Color; Color + Design; Contests; Design

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