Designs of the Year 2012

18th June 2012
Mikhal Fernandez-Islam

Design awards Designs of the Year 2012

The London 2012 Olympic Torch, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. Photographer Luke Hayes

The Design Museum’s Design Awards, considered ‘the Oscars of the design world’, showcase the most innovative and progressive designs from around the world, in seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Product and Transport. The exhibition explores the best design ideas from around the world.

British design studio Barber Osgerby won the Design of the Year 2012 for their stunning design of the London 2012 Olympic Torch. The Torch along with the other shortlisted designs are currently on show at the Designs of the Year exhibition at the Design Museum.


Hopkins Architects won the Architecture Award with the London 2012 Velodrome.

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London 2012 Velodrome, Hopkins Architects

The founders, Sir Michael and Lady Patricia Hopkins, were awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects Royal Gold Medal in 1994 and Michael Hopkins was awarded the CBE and knighted for services to architecture. Its first building outside of the UK was the headquarters for GEK in Athens in 2003, followed by Tokyo’s Shin-Marunouchi Tower in 2007. In addition to its London base in Marylebone the practice has an office in Dubai as well as a presence in China.


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132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE Miyake Design Studio. Image by Luke Hayes

The Miyake Design Studio win with 132 5. Issey Miyake.

Described by Vicky Richardson as having ‘both a sensory and an intellectual appeal. Each garment is constructed as a single piece of fabric that works both as a two-dimensional folded object and as a three-dimensional garment. Made out of recycled plastic by Miyake’s Reality Lab research team, the garments were inspired by a series of mathematical experiments carried out by a Japanese academic. 132.5 is an inspiring project that demonstrates how an original idea can take years of dedicated thought.’




The Microsoft Game Studios takes home the digital award with the Kinect and its SDK.

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Microsoft Kinect and Kinect SDK Microsoft Games Studios, Microsoft Research and Xbox, UK and USA

It was nominated for being a remarkable piece of interface technology. However in most cases, the improvised adaptations of the Kinect created by artists, designers and technologists are more impressive than the commercial software developed for the interface. Microsoft chose to recognise this, legitimising and encouraging the scene with the release of the Kinect Software Development Kit (SDK).


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1.3 Chair, Balsa Furniture, Kihyun Kim. Image by Luke Hayes

Kihyun Kim wins the furniture category with his 1.3 Chair.

Nominated by Gareth Williams ‘Balsa wood has never before been used to make furniture because it is considered too soft. For his Royal College of Art graduation project, Kihyun Kim developed a process of simultaneously laminating and moulding furniture components from balsa. The veneer shell gives the wood structural integrity, while the furniture retains its lightweight properties. Kihyun Kim’s contender weighs in at just 1.3kg, which is a very impressive feat. His chair demonstrates the great potential of this material, which could bring great benefits if used in product and vehicle design, or even in architecture.’



dalton maag 233x300 Designs of the Year 2012

Nokia Pure Font, London, UK Dalton Maag. Image by Luke Hayes

UK Dalton Maag and the Nokia Pure Font.

The independent font foundry with offices in London and Porto Alegre, Brazil, designs fonts for use in corporate identities, logos, and other text. He has a library of 22 retail fonts and offers custom font creation and modification services to its clients. It is designed for all communication platforms and media from the smallest digital screens to the biggest billboards.




ambulance 200x300 Designs of the Year 2012

Re-design for Emergency Ambulance, London, UK Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and Vehicle Design Department. Image by Luke Hayes

The UK Helen Hamlyn center for design and vehicle department win with their re-design of the emergency ambulance.

The centre is endowed by the Helen Hamlyn Trust with a remit to encourage design that improves people’s lives. Founded in 1991, It became a fully- fledged research centre in 1999, widening its focus from design for ageing population to design to improve people’s lives across a range of social needs. The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design works with four design communities – students, new graduates, professionals in industry and academics and is the largest and longest-running centre for design research at the Royal College of Art.