Design Museum Announces Award Winners

Tomer Hanuka’s jacket illustration for the Penguin Classics Deluxe version of Philosophy In The Boudoir by the Marquis de Sade
The category winners of the Design Museum’s Brit Insurance Design Awards have been announced with Penguin’s US Classics Deluxe editions winning in the graphics category and Haque’s Burble London installation taking the interactive prize

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Tomer Hanuka’s jacket illustration for the Penguin Classics Deluxe version of Philosophy In The Boudoir by the Marquis de Sade

The category winners of the Design Museum’s Brit Insurance Design Awards have been announced with Penguin’s US Classics Deluxe editions winning in the graphics category and Haque’s Burble London installation taking the interactive prize

The category winners were decided by a judging panel consisting of Vitra’s Rolf Fehlbaum, publisher Lars Müller and architect and designer Antonio Citterio.

The Penguin books, also known as the Graphic Classics, is a series of re-issued well-known books featuring special covers by the likes of Chris Ware (Candide, below)

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Lady Chatterley’s Lover illustrated by Chester Brown

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And The Portable Dorothy Parker by Seth

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In choosing them the judges commented (somewhat ungrammatically) “It’s a great achievement by its creative director Paul Buckley in commissioning a highly skilled group of illustrators and cartoonists whose creative visions have produced some fantastic atmospheric yet very individual covers with high artistic flair and design integrity.” For the rest of the graphics category (including two CR projects) see here

Burble London (above) comes out of a project originally commissioned for the Singapore Biennial 2006. Haque Design + Research, specialising in interactive architecture systems, created Open Burble a new version of which, Burble London, launched during London Fashion Week 2007. It’s a 70m tall structure consisting of 1000 extra-large helium balloons, supported by 140 carbon-fibre hexagonal units. Each of the balloons contains a micro-controller and coloured LEDs. The public actually composed the structure on the ground – the resulting matrix of balloons then being hoisted up to sway in the evening sky. The public, both audience and performer, could then control the coloured patterns and the shape of the Burble through their weight and movements, with an articulated handlebar. “Burble London is a real interactive experience rather than a virtual one with a wonderful sense of collectiveness and optimism about it. The understated simplicity is supported by a complex design and production process that embrace the high and low-tech to great effect,” said the judges.

Elsewhere, Herzog and De Meuron’s Beijing Olympics Stadium won the architecture prize (hard to imagine the London stadium winning anything). The judges claimed that the design “embodies the emergence of China as a modern state” which might be news to millions living in desperate poverty and the thousands of political prisoners who will be quietly forgotten during all the running and jumping this summer.

Less ethically contentious perhaps (although not without its critics) is Yves Béhar’s One Laptop Per Child which surprisingly edged out the iPhone to win in the product category.

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Next week there will be a dinner at the Design Museum to annouce an overall winner. Our money’s on the laptop.

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