By Heath Brown,  8.02.12

Known as ‘The Oscars of the Design World’ the The Design Museum’s Designs of the Year Awards showcase the most innovative and progressive talent worldwide, spanning seven categories: Architecture, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Digital, Transport and Product.

Cut It Out by Noma Bar

Fashion-wise, Matches favourites are well represented (well, we know good design when we see it).

Mary Kantrantzou stands out in the Fashion category and is a no-brainer nomination. “The collection deserves to be recognised as a high watermark of fashion” said US Vogue’s Sarah Mower (a judge for the awards). ‘Katrantzou is one of the most original young designers working today’

Mary Katrantzou Autumn Winter 2011 London Fashion Week

The house of Alexander McQueen, old and new, is represented, with New York’s Metropolitan Museum’s staging of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and today’s design chief, Sarah Burton both nominated – Burton for her design of the wedding dress for the Duchess of Cambridge.

Brit designer Phoebe Philo, who is Creative Director at Céline, is also up for a gong for her Céline Crombie inspired by a British menswear classic.

Céline Crosbie by Phoebe Philo

The grand Dame of British fashion, Vivienne Westwood, received a nomination for her Ethical Fashion Africa collection.

‘This project shows it is possible to provide wealth to poor communities through business.’ Said Alison Moloney of The British Council. ‘It promotes sustainable and fair trade practice, yet does not compromise Westwood’s iconic design aesthetic.’

Vivienne Westwood's Ethical Fashion Africa Collection

Yet another Matches favourite, Suno, is in the frame for their collection of gently billowing silhouettes that contain exciting layers of different patterned fabrics. See their latest collection at Matches.

An image from the latest Suno collection

Other fashion nominees include a boot-cum-flip-flop by Melissa & Gaetano Pesce, a cycling jacket by Brompton Bicycle Ltd, a film for Gareth Pugh by Ruth Hogben, a complex mathematically based collection by Issey Miyake called 132.5 and a concept boutique by Matches’ pop-up shop designer, Gary Card.

Mine Kafon by Massoud Hassani, Eindhoven, Netherlands

In the Product category check out Massoud Kaffon‘s amazing why-didn’t-someone-think-of-that-before design for land-mine clearing called Mine Kafon (above) – a huge dandelion-head sphere of bamboo and plastic that is run by wind power and let loose on minefields. Also of interest was The Hödving (below) – an airbag cycle helmet that can be deflated into a nifty collar round the neck

The Hödving Invisible Cycle Helmet. Malmö, Sweden

In Furniture The Crates collection by Naihin Li & Co, Beijing is made to be easily packed up and moved at a moment’s notice whilst more gorgeous ideas came from Yuya Ushida with his XXXX_Sofa, Ronan & Erwen Bouroullec with their Osso chair, The Earthquake Proof Table by Brutter & Bruno of Jerusalem and Moon Rock tables by Bethan Laura Wood.

THe Crates by Naihani Li & Co, Beijing, China

In Architecture our favourites are: the design for a new museum in Wakefield called The Hepworth, in honour of local lass Barbara Hepworth, designed by David Chipperfield; Spaceport America designed by Foster & Partners for Virgin Galactica as the first commercial space airport terminal and Moses Bridge by RO&AD in the Netherlands – a glorious sunken bridge that parts the water either side, Moses-style.

Moses Bridge by RO&AD, The Netherlands

In the Transport category,  beside an excellent redesign of the modern ambulance by a team from the Royal College of Art, most concerns were for green issues with 2 electric cars nominated, an electric aeroplane, the most fuel efficient jet liner from Boeing, the 787 Dreamliner, and Manifesto Architecture’s Bike Hanger that stacks city bikes up the side of buildings and skyscrapers mechanical hoisted, ironically by pedal power.

Bike Hanger, cycle storage solution by Manifesto Architecture

In the Digital section the BBC’s home webpage, The Guardian’s iPad edition and a range of cute toys linked to an app called Suwappu by Dentsu, were all included.

Suwappu by Dentsu, London

The Graphics category included the excellent Comedy Carpet on Blackpool’s promenade, by Gordon Young, a new font family for Nokia by Dalton Maag and a die-cutting art-making machine in the shape of a dog by Noma Bar (see picture at top of page).

All nominations are on show at The Design Museum in Shad Thames, London SE1 until the 15th of July with winners announced at an Awards Night on the 24th of April.

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