Designs of the Year Awards
category winners announced

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Design of the Year 2013 category winners

News: a folding wheel (above) and the UK Government's redesigned website are among the seven category winners of the Designs of the Year Awards announced today by London's Design Museum.

Design of the Year 2013 category winners

The seven winners include digital category winner Gov.uk (above), which brings together all the UK Government's webpages into a single site, and the Morph folding wheel, winner of the transport category.

Ben Terrett, head of design at Government Digital Service, explained the design principles behind Gov.uk in an interview with Dezeen filmed at Design Indaba in Cape Town last month.

Design of the Year 2013 category winners

The architecture category was won by Tour Bois-le-Prêtre (above), a refurbished 1960s tower block in Paris designed by Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal.

Design of the Year 2013 category winners

The winner in the furniture category is industrial designer Konstantin Grcic for his wooden Medici Chair (above) for Italian brand Mattiazzi, which he complemented this week in Milan with the launch of his Medici Stool and Table.

Design of the Year 2013 category winners

The Kit Yamoyo medicine container for developing countries (above) by ColaLife and PI Global won the product category, while John Morgan Studio's identity for the Venice Architecture Biennale (below) was named winner of the graphics category.

Design of the Year 2013 category winners

Director Lisa Immordino Vreeland was chosen in the fashion category for her documentary on influential fashion columnist and editor Diana Vreeland (below).

Design of the Year 2013 category winners

The overall winner will be announced on 16 April at an awards ceremony in London.

The Designs of the Year Awards are given annually by the Design Museum in London and all the shortlisted designs are on show at the museum until 7 July.

Past winners include the Olympic Torch by BarberOsgerby and the Plumen 001 light bulb by Hulger and Samuel Wilkinson.

Here's the press release from the Design Museum:


The Design Museum announces the seven category winners for the annual Designs of the Year Awards. The awards celebrate the best of international design from the last 12 months. The overall winner for the Design of The Year 2013 will be announced on Wednesday 16 April at an awards evening held at The Angler, South Place Hotel, London.

The seven category winners include GOV.UK, a new British government website which promises to revolutionise governmental online communications, bringing together different government websites into one single site making it a much easier and user friendly service. Other winners include the renovation and reimagining of a faded 1960s tower block in Paris, a landmark documentary an fashion icon Diana Vreeland, a reinvention of the wheel in the form of a unique folding wheel which can be applied to bicycles and wheelchairs and a chair constructed using the latest computer technology.

The Seven Category winners are:

» Architecture: Tour Bois-le-Prêtre, Paris - Designed by Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal

» Digital: GOV.UK website – Designed by Government Digital Service

» Fashion: Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel - Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland

» Furniture: Medici Chair - Designed by Konstantin Grcic for Mattiazzi

» Graphics: Venice Architecture Biennale identity – Designed by John Morgan Studio

» Products: Kit Yamoyo - Designed by ColaLife and PI Global

» Transport: Morph Folding Wheel - Designed by Vitamins for Maddak Inc.

Pete Collard, Curator of Designs of the Year comments: ‘Designs of the Year is the Design Museum’s authoritative review of the most innovative, forward-thinking and culturally relevant projects from the past twelve months. The work selected demonstrates the many ways in which design can transform our physical and cultural landscape.’

The seven winning designs will now compete for the overall Design of the Year 2013, to be announced on 16 April. The winning entries, along with all the shortlisted designs are on show at the Design Museum until 7 July.

  • beatrice

    Sorry, the bike wheel is ridiculous.

    • Paul

      Perhaps, perhaps not. What is ridiculous though is to make such a statement about someone’s work without any expansion on why.

      • beatrice

        Quite right.

        1. The amount of space you save is almost nothing compared to the normal wheel itself.

        2. To achieve this miraculous transformation from circle to identical-total space-elongated-ellipse it includes a load of mechanical addition, which would not be needed on a lightweight wheel. So it must be heavier.

        What exactly is the benefit? That it can go in a long bag rather than a wide bag? Bike or wheelchair, it really makes no sense.

    • Tom

      It’s not a bike wheel, it’s a wheelchair wheel.

      • beatrice

        Sorry, the wheelchair wheel is ridiculous.

  • P.whe

    Ever try to fit a wheelchair in the back of a SAAB, Beatrice? You probably would not think it was so ridiculous if you had.

    • beatrice

      No, not a SAAB. But I had to put my grandfather’s chair into his car and car boot many times.

      The problem was not the shape of the wheels, it was the whole chair. When you are folding up the chair you want as little aggro as possible. Taking the wheels off, flattening them into a marginally smaller shape, packing them seperately, and then repeating it all at the other end is just a waste of time.

      Exactly what is gained by a long ellipse (with additional material) rather than a lightweight circle? Please tell me, because I see nothing – the press photo used here handily has the photo of the folded wheel on edge! That’s cheating!

      It reminds me of James Dyson’s ridiculous effort at designing the kitchen equipment of the future:
      http://www.fastcompany.com/1277576/james-dyson-pa

      It all fits together in a big neat block! Genius! King of suck, exactly.

  • Thomas

    I am totally unconvinced by the wheel and if it wins it will only show that this award is becoming less and less relevant. It’s this year’s Mine Kafon. Also, it’s an iteration of a design from 2007!

    In order to be convinced of this product I would like to see a diagram of two folded wheelchairs: one with these folding wheels and one with good quality normal wheels to compare the dimensions.

    I would also like to know the weight compared with a standard wheel in the same price range.

    I would also like to know if it has passed all tests, standards and regulations.

    I look forward to seeing further information posted.

  • dromberg

    What anybody finds attractive in the Mattiazzi chair is totally beyond me. There would be no chance whatsoever for this design to win any prize if it wasn’t a Grcic.

  • beatrice

    The award previously went to a non-functioning concept for a folding 240 volt three pin UK plug. By the time this actually got into production it became a USB charger that was larger than those on the market already.

    Another year it was given to the Plumen lamp, a decorative and expensive disposable lightbulb.

    The next year, rather than award it to a new design of a car, a hospital bed, or an ecological solution for air travel, it was given to the London Olympic Torch.

    “this award is becoming less and less relevant” . Quite.

  • The award goes to whoever sucked up to Deyan Sudjic the most in the last 12 months.

    • beatrice

      That’s not true at all.

      The results in previous years have been too silly to fit that conspiracy theory.

      To me they look like the results of some confused judges, not some grand plan.

      The non-functioning folding plug sounded like they had the wool pulled over their eyes and thought it was a working production model.

      • beatrice

        But you might be right about the Olympic Torch.
        It was nice, but the best design in the whole wide world? I cannot believe that.

  • Floyd Gary Thacker

    If you re-design something that already works well, your design should work to purpose, improve upon the original and hopefully look aesthetically better.