Forensic Architecture’s Counter Investigations wins Design of the Year

This year’s Beazley Design of the Year award goes to a Goldsmiths University research team that uses architectural analysis to fight crime and highlight human rights abuse

Forensic Architecture’s Counter Investigations exhibition was the winner in the digital category as well as recipient of the overall prize, chosen from 87 other design projects. The show, which was on display earlier this year, offered an overview of the team’s work, showing how it’s used satellite imaging, digital recordings and remote sensing technology to to help investigate legal cases. It focused on several recent projects, including investigations into the murder of a man in Germany, and the deaths of migrants.

Forensic Architecture’s work lives somewhere between art – it’s nominated for Tate Britain’s Turner Prize 2018 – and science. For its Maps of Defiance, which was shown at the London Design Biennale this year, the team trained members of the Yazidi community in northern Iraq in DIY surveying, mapping and documentation techniques, to capture information that can support investigations into ISIL’s war crimes. They collected a mix of aerial photographs taken by drones and images from satellites made from kites, which were then stitched together into a three-dimensional digital environment.

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