Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2009


The second year of the Brit Insurance Designs Awards has sneaked up on us rather steathily and The Design Museum in London once again plays host to a wonderful collection of the past year's designs nominated in seven categories by the great and good of the design world. The overall 2009 award has been won, unsurprisingly, by Shepard Fairey for his already iconic poster designs that he made in support of Obama's election campaign.

Other winners include the Italian Vogue's "momentous" Black Edition in the fashion category, Konstantin Grcic's cantilevered MYTO chair in the furniture category and Oslo's new opera house, designed by Snøhetta won the architecture category. All worthy high profile winners of course, but plenty more inspiring projects are featured in the rest of the exhibition too.

The Indonesian Magno wooden radio by designer Singgih S Kartono, a sustainable product which happily won the product category and the people's choice award. The production of this radio provides a cottage industry for villagers in Kandangan, Central Java, retraining members of the community with new carpentry skills and reviving their local economy so villagers don't have to move to the city to look for work.


The Witness Flat Series by Studio Makkink + Bey is a collaboration between innovative dutch designer Jurgen Bey and his wife Rianne Makkink. Together they created a family of furniture made from off-cuts of Dutch wood and wool felt. We loved the sort of pixelated effect created by collaging the wood and felt pieces together and the simple unexpected beauty of the white felt chandelier.


Wonderland is another fascinating collaboration exploring concepts of sustainability in design. Fashion designer Helen Storey and polymer chemist Tony Ryan have been working together for three years creating disappearing dresses from biodegradable materials. A beautifully ethereal film by photographer Nick Knight and SHOWstudio explains the extraordinary chemical process that leads the fabrics to disintegrate.


James Frost's ground breaking video for Radiohead's House of Cards was a great nomination for the interactive category. Using a scanning and laser technologies instead of normal lights and cameras, Frost was able to capture extraordinary 3D images in a 360 degree radius. Not only are the images incredible, but viewers were able to manipulate the information and create their own versions of the video.

Brit Insurance Designs of the Year
14 June 2009
Design Museum in London
Shad Thames
London, SE1 map
tel. +44 20 7403 6933