The Beazley Design of the Year 2018 shortlist has been announced by the Design Museum, London. Tapping into the global zeitgeist, the theme of sustainable design is prominent throughout the 87 nominees across six categories.
Among the categories which include Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport are 2018’s popular favourites like the costumes by Ruth E Carter for Marvel’s Black Panther film, Nike’s Nigeria National Football Team collection, Rihanna’s inclusive Fenty beauty line and Gucci’s Spring Summer 2018 digital campaign – but for us it’s the sustainable design which really stands out.
In the Architecture category, the MycoTree designers from Sustainable Construction (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) and Block Research Group (ETH Zürich) created a load-bearing architectural block made from mycelium which are the root-like fungal colonies that produce mushrooms. This is a big step forward for sustainable building construction.
In the Graphics category, LADbible’s campaign to highlight the severity of the ocean’s plastic problem features the creation of a ‘national identity’ including a flag and passport for the Great Pacific garbage island. In the same category, Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza created the world’s first plastic-free aisle with more than 700 products packages in recyclable material. Each is clearly marked with a logo by Made Thought. Lacoste’s viral ‘Save Our Species’ t-shirt logo campaign also makes an appearance.
In the Products category plastic alternatives are making their mark. Studio Klarenbeek & Dros at Atelier Luma have been working on Algae Lab, a factory line that 3D-prints using algae as an alternative to non-biodegradable plastic; designer Fernando Laposse is nominated for his use of native Mexican corn husks as a sustainable veneer for tiles and marquetry; Erez Nevi Pana has developed furniture grown from Dead Sea sea salt crystals and two designs which are tackling the pervasiveness of bottled water are the self-cooling Ceramic Tap Water Carafe by Lotte De Raadt and the JUST Water packaging made from fully-recyclable responsibly sourced paper and a sugarcane cap.
The Kalk Electric Motorbike is an off-road bike that makes very little noise and no harmful emissions. Designed by CAKE, it can also be charged with solar panels.
The Design Museum London will be exhibiting sketches, models, prototypes, videos and photography for all the nominations from September 12 – January 6, 2019. The winners will be announced on November 15, 2018. Visit their website here.