Three projects focused on accessibility won accolades this year, including a lightweight magnesium and carbon fibre wheelchair, a wearable vibrator to help with erectile dysfunction and a wooden armchair for people with age-related disabilities.
London-based studio Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, artist Leo Villareal and lighting engineers Atelier Ten collaborated to design the LED installation that spans nine bridges on London's River Thames, winning them architectural lighting design of the year.
Entries were initially scored by our jury of 25 leading design industry professionals before the winners were decided by a master jury that met at One Hundred Shoreditch in September made up of Arrival chief design officer Jeremy Offer, V&A contemporary programme curator Meneesha Kellay, Lara Bohinc of Bohinc Studio and London Craft Week head of programme and content Naomi Davenport.
The 11 project winners will now compete to win overall design project of the year, which will be announced at the Dezeen Awards 2022 party in London on 29 November.
Read about the winning design projects on the Dezeen Awards website or continue below:
Furniture design of the year: Mother and Child by Adam and Arthur
The undulating monochromatic cabinet references the silhouette of a mother and child, a recurring motif in art history.
"Contemporary design is required to maintain craftmanship and this incredible piece of work demonstrates a fantastic use of ancient technique in a modern and sustainable way," said the design master jury. "The cabinet is also beautiful and extremely elaborate."
Seating design of the year: Lotte by Sarah Hossli Product Design
Lucerne-based designer Sarah Hossli created a chair with armrests ergonomically designed to provide leverage as elderly users raise themselves to a standing position.
"Lotte is an elegant design built for purpose, it is not just another chair," said the judges. "The design has a very rigorous research approach and its solving a design problem that will only become more acute with old age."
Lighting design of the year: High Profile by MVRDV
"High Profile is an ingenious use of discarded materials to create a very strong narrative," said the jury. "The lamp fits into a range of different aesthetics, whether you are going for pastel or metal."
Architectural lighting design of the year: Illuminated River by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Leo Villareal Studio
Illuminated River is a LED installation that spans nine bridges on the River Thames in London.
The light installation by artist Leo Villareal, architecture studio Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and lighting engineers Atelier Ten references colours use in Impressionist and English Romanticist paintings.
"The Illuminated River lighting design for the Thames is the project that is most generous for the public, illuminating where we work and live," said the judges. "The design brings the theatre of lighting to the every day."
Homeware design of the year: Oku by Kathleen Reilly
Scottish artist and metalworker Kathleen Reilly designed a knife that takes cues from traditional Japanese table settings while maintaining a recognisable knife form.
The knife's folded shape was informed by chopstick rests and designed to keep the blade off the table by hooking onto the rim of a plate or board.
"Oku has a certain humour to it while being beautiful and innovative," said the design panel. "The design has an elegant integration of form and function. It is a beautiful, honest and delicate design – the way the knife and the block work together has a kind of unified function that is expressed through the form of each."
Workplace design of the year: A Simple Machine by HeijltjesAkkaya
The furniture aims to promote active sitting by allowing parts to be manually wound up or down, inviting users to change positions while they work.
"A Simple Machine is an honest interpretation of engineering and materials," said the judges. "The collection uses engineering principles to elevate working. It celebrates the construction elements of the materials and you can immediately see the function – it wears it on its sleeve."
Wearable design of the year: Tenuto 2 by MysteryVibe
The wearable vibrator was designed by British sex toy company MysteryVibe as a more affordable, accessible alternative to erectile dysfunction (ED) medications.
Tenuto 2 can be slipped over the penis like a traditional constriction ring, providing localised vibrational therapy to improve circulation in the area and prevent blood from draining away.
"Tenuto is about technological and design innovation," said the judges. "By choosing this product as wearable design of the year we are having a different type of conversation and are trying to destigmatise conversations around sex and health."
Highly commended: Elvie Stride by Elvie
Elvie Stride is a medical-grade breast pump designed as a lighter alternative to traditional breast pumps. The pump is powered by a motor and is available as a single or double breast pump.
The device is designed to be used on the go and can be worn around the waist or inside a clothing pocket so that nursing mothers can use their hands and move around freely.
"Elvie has taken another leap forward with Elvie Stride and deserves recognition," said judges. "The breast pump offers mothers a breastfeeding solution which does not compromise comfort or mobility, minimising the day-to-day disruption which may be caused by breastfeeding."
Product design of the year: Wheeliy 2.0 by Quantum
Wheeliy 2.0 is a foldable wheelchair with reduced weight and simple mechanisms for the ease of users and those who support them.
The wheelchair is available in four colour options and features yellow accents that help those unfamiliar with wheelchairs to operate it intuitively. The coloured details act as visual cues, aiding users when holding, lifting or folding the chair.
The design master jury commended Quantum for creating a sophisticated and sensitive solution for wheelchair users.
"Wheeliy is a beautifully executed design and an elegant solution to a complex issue. It is an innovative statement that resonates with us, the studio is trying to integrate wheelchairs into everyday life as glasses are lightweight materially and sensitive, the function is its primary concern."
Graphic design of the year: Typotheque North American Syllabics by Typotheque
Dutch type foundry Typotheque created three new syllabic typefaces to make it easier for Canadian Indigenous communities to write digitally in their own languages.
The North American Syllabics project aimed to support the preservation of Indigenous languages in Canada and facilitate online communications for these populations.
"This project demonstrates the power of design as an aid for visual communication," said the judges. "The system of typefaces has huge implications for indigenous communities and the digitalisation of their language and culture. It's an incredibly worthy exercise."
Exhibition design of the year: Weird Sensation Feels Good: The World of ASMR by Ēter
Weird Sensation Feels Good displays a series of visual, auditory and tactile works all designed to provoke physical sensations, inviting visitors to explore the world of ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) – a physical sensation triggered through sound, touch or movement.
The space features interactive installations as well as winding serpent pillows where people can lay and watch a selection of ASMR works.
"Weird Sensation Feels Good is an interactive assault on the senses – in a good way!" said the jury. "The exhibition successfully translates a YouTube-generation phenomenon into a physical exhibition. It is a physical manifestation of a digital experience, making the digital tangible."
Installation design of the year: Bending Arc Sculpture by Studio Echelman
The barnacle-like mesh sculpture designed by Janet Echelman is a permanent installation suspended over a grassy park in Florida, USA.
The master jury liked how the installation was immersive and invited people to connect in an outdoor setting.
"Bending Arc Sculpture is about bringing people together. The installation is an amazing piece of art as well as an experience." They added: "It is a positive, beautiful contemporary moment as a memorial and is a generous gift to the public."