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London’s Design Museum ‘Designs of the Year’ nominees announced

All the big names are here

National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC
The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.
Photo by André Chung

London’s Design Museum has announced the new nominees to its annual Beazley Designs of the Year Awards. Now in its 10th year, the competition spotlights 60 projects across six categories—architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, product, and transport—and the picks comprise many headline-makers over the past year.

Ikea’s wedge dowel joint.

Ikea, the overall winner of last year’s awards with its Better Shelter refugee shelter, made the list again. This time, it’s in the “Product” category, for its dramatically simplified wedge dowel joint, which snap together without tools or screws.

Designs responding to the global refugee crisis and other major social and political events do continue to make a strong showing on this year’s shortlist. For example, among the nominees are: the flag for The Refugee Nation at the Rio Olympics, designed by Syrian artist and refugee Yara Said; the Pussycat Project supporting women’s rights and political resistance; the Anti-Brexit poster campaign by artist Wolfgang Tillmans.

In the architecture category, major new projects like David Adjaye’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. and Zaha Hadid Architect’s Port House in Antwerp get more shine, along with smaller projects like People Architecture Office’s prefab “plug-ins” in Beijing.

Noted design-worshipper Kanye West should be delighted to find out he made the list in the “Fashion” category for his Life of Pablo tour merchandise. And then there is the wildly popular—but so last year?—mobile game Pokémon Go, a nominee in the “Digital” category.

An exhibition of these honorees will open at the newly opened Design Museum on October 18. Category winners as well as the overall winner will be announced in January 2018. Read more about all the nominees here.