The Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2009 is an overview of the best and most interesting achievements in design and architecture over the past year. Nominated by industry experts in seven different categories, the public can vote for their favourites.
The Furniture category is full of delights. We can't resist the Lover's Chair from Spain. Made of recycled paper, it's an iron frame covered with chicken wire and covered with a paste of used paper. It's whimsical, organic, private and public.
The Cabbage Chair is from Japan and made from pleated paper, an unwanted by-product of the process of pleating fabric. Resin is added to give it inner strength and talk about primitive and ecological: it is shipped as a compact roll of paper.
The Venus Natural Crystal Chair, also from Japan, is made from natural crystals submerged in a water tank. The crystals grow while attached to a fibre structure and the shape of the chair evolves as the crystals multiply. It certainly "challenges the traditional notion of product design" and goodness knows what it is like to sit on it.
Under Architecture, we have to note Canada's contribution: the Spadina WaveDeck--a graceful looking public space in Toronto's Harbourfront. Made of wood and stainless steel, it's a timber deck for walking and sitting and looking at the water.
Bubbletecture H, from Japan, is an environmentally themed education centre, low maintenance and sustainable. The surface of the building is covered with moss and turf, changing with the weather. The interior is Japanese cedar, from the surrounding woodland, with photovoltaic power and a wind turbine.
Under Graphics the Obama Poster, designed by Shepard Fairey, a street artist, is nominated. The poster symbolised Obama's appeal to the young and was an example of how designers can get involved in political campaigns. Brit Insurance Designs of the Year
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Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2009