The Brit Insurance Designs of the Year, an initiative of London's Design Museum and Brit Insurance, is a new design award with a twist. First, a group of international experts drew up a worldwide shortlist of 100 projects in seven different categories. Then a winner was announced in each of the categories, then the overall prize winner. It was a strong field with lots of interesting entrants, and even the "losers" were winners. The overall winner was one of the year's most creative ideas: the One Laptop Per Child computer, created by MIT. This child-sized laptop is inexpensive and energy-efficient, and can be charged by solar power in rural villages. An excellent choice.
The winners in the other categories include the National Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, design by Herzog and deMeuron. Dubbed "the bird's nest," it is a 100,000-seat steel structure, which will be an instant landmark on the architectural scene. The winner in furniture is Martino Gamper's 100 chairs in 100 days project. This was his idea to create a chair per day for 100 days, made out of discarded, recycled, and donated bits of chairs. Penguin Classic Books were the winner in graphics for their excellent, quality graphics for a new deluxe edition. The fashion winner was Hussein Chalayan's dress consisting of crystals and 15,600 LED's flickering with light.
The winner in the transportation area was the Mex-x folding wheelchair for children. It is constructed so that it can accommodate a child's growth and be ergonomic as well. They can choose various guards on the wheels from a website, which make it a pretty cool looking chair. Next week, the so-called "losers"--a fascinating group including the congestion charge, Noir clothing and the East Beach Cafe. :: Design Museum