Brit Insurance Design Awards 2011: Category Winners

The Design Museum in London has announced the seven category winners in the Brit Insurance Design Awards. They include the Plumen lightbulb by Hulger and Sam Wilkinson in Product; Forsman & Bodenfors’ recipe book for Ikea in Graphics; and TFL’s Barclays Cycle Hire scheme in Transport

The Design Museum in London has announced the seven category winners in the Brit Insurance Design Awards. They include the Plumen lightbulb by Hulger and Sam Wilkinson in Product; Forsman & Bodenfors‘ recipe book for Ikea in Graphics; and TFL’s Barclays Cycle Hire scheme in Transport…

Also topping their respective categories were the Flipboard magazine iPad app by Mike McCue and Evan Doll in Interactive; the Branca chair designed by Industrial Facility in Furniture; Uniqlo’s A/W 2010 +J collection created with Jil Sander in Fashion; and Karo Architekten‘s Open Air Library in Magdeburg, Germany in Architecture.

The seven winners are now in contention to become the overall Brit Insurance Design of the Year 2011, which will be announced at the Design Museum on March 15.

Quite how these seven projects will be pitted against each other is the rather difficult conundrum facing this year’s judging panel. In previous years, the top award has gone to projects as diverse as Min-Kyu Choi’s Folding Plug; Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster; and Yves Béhar’s One Laptop Per Child scheme. And it’s perhaps surprising that the ubiquitous iPad hasn’t made more of a splash here in the 2011 list.

The winning entries along with the shortlisted designs will be on show at the Design Museum until August 7.

Here are the full details of the seven category winners, complete with comments from some of the judges:

Brit Insurance Architecture Award 2011
Open Air Library, Magdeburg. By Karo Architekten. Germany
“Thought-provoking creative re-use which energises a tired corner of an exhausted city. Cheap, flexible and dignified, the Magdeburg library presumes citizens are intelligent, interested and responsible. This may be unrealistic, but it’s nonetheless inspiring.”
Stephen Bayley, 2011 jury chair

Brit Insurance Fashion Award 2011
Uniqlo +J Autumn/Winter ’10. By Jil Sander for Uniqlo. Japan
“The +J collection epitomises that you can buy style, you can buy glamour, you can buy clothes that are well designed for a very reasonable amount of money, in fact it’s quite a democratic approach to fashion.”
Janice Blackburn, 2011 jury member

Brit Insurance Furniture Award 2011
Branca. By Industrial Facility, Sam Hecht, Kim Collin and Ippei Matsumoto. Italy
“There’s justified scepticism about whether the world needs yet another new chair, but this one is too good to dismiss. Ingenious production technology is, for once, turned to genuine advantage.”
Stephen Bayley, 2011 jury chair

Brit Insurance Graphics Award 2011
Homemade is Best. By Forsman & Bodenfors for Ikea. Sweden
“In Homemade is Best there’s something that’s new, that I haven’t seen before, there’s a completely and utterly different approach to a cookbook which is aesthetically very pleasing and playful, a deserved winner.”
Mark Farrow, 2011 jury member

Brit Insurance Interactive Award 2011
Flipboard. By Mike McCue and Evan Doll. USA
“This is one of the applications that literally frightened me silly; it’s a social experiment more than a magazine and I can just see the spark igniting what will be a massive industry.”
Simon Waterfall, 2011 jury member

Brit Insurance Product Award 2011
Plumen 001. By Hulger and Samuel Wilkinson. UK
“We like the Plumen light bulb, we like what it’s doing for low energy light bulbs, we acknowledge that low energy light bulbs are the way forward. We think the whole idea of the exposed glass and exposed element of the low energy light bulb can be used in an exciting way.  And we think Plumen are moving it in that direction. I think the general feeling is it that this is the start of something; it’s not the culmination.”
Will Self, 2011 jury member

Photo: Urban75 blog

Brit Insurance Transport Award 2011
Barclays Cycle Hire. By Transport for London. UK
“The fascinating thing about the ‘Boris Bike’ is that no one thought it was lovely, no one thought it was a gorgeous object – the Boris Bike was designed to be not covetable. It was designed to be disagreeable to ride and designed so that no one would want to steal it. And yet you know the scheme is useful. It’s a very intelligent idea; I think one of the definitions of excellence in design is that it’s something that evolves. Only things which can be defined as truly excellent are things which are capable of evolution. And that’s the Boris Bikes Scheme.”
Stephen Bayley, 2011 jury chair

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