The nominations are selected by the museum’s "global pool" of tastemakers, including architects, academics, journalists, writers, and design tutors. Curator Pete Collard noted how this year’s choices have a focus on open source design and possess a distinct do-it-yourself spirit.
Collard says, "It’s now possible for people to manufacture their own designs, bypassing the traditional chain of mass manufacture to shop to consumer."
This approach is demonstrated by nominees in the product category such as Relplicator 2; an affordable 3D printer by Makerbot, and also, Ekso Bionics’ Magic Arms; a 3D-printed, wearable plastic jacket that functions as an exoskeleton for small children with musculoskeletal disabilities.
Choosing an overall winner from this diverse collection is no small feat. How do you compare Zaha Hadid's impressive $160,000 Liquid Glacial table with ColaLife’s cleverly packaged anti-diarrhea kits that are helping to save children’s lives in rural Africa? The decision lies with seven judges chaired by renowned designer and Head of Department at Academy Eindhoven, Ilse Crawford, who will be debating the result with the panel over the coming days and announcing the winners in April.
The Designs of the Year nominations will be on show at the Design Museum until July 7, 2013.
Ali Morris is the Interiors trends editor at WGSN and the co-owner of online design store and blog Lin-Morris. Previously she has worked for Wallpaper* magazine, ID magazine in New York City, Dezeen, textile designer Donna Wilson and for London-based design manufacturer and retailer SCP.