The Design Museum has announced the nominees for its annual Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition, which, according to the London-based museum, “provides a snapshot of the very best in innovative and contemporary design from the past year.” Now in its 10th year, the exhibition brings together over 60 global projects across categories, including Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport. Nominated by renowned academics, critics and designers, each short-listed project has been recognized for "its outstanding contribute to design."
The shortlist is largely dominated by politically-shared works, such as the "pussyhat" project, which centers on a pink knitted hat designed to depict solidarity among women and a sign in furtherance of women's rights in response to President Donald Trump's demeaning comments about women. Some of the shortlisted projects this year are less political examples of what the Design Museum considers to be "groundbreaking design." Pokemon Go, Nike's sporting hijab and the world's first 3D-printed self-driving bus have all made the shortlist.
As usual, the public vote will be open online from October 2017 and a jury of industry experts will decide on the award winners in January 2018 – in the fashion category are the following shortlisted works:
1. Pussyhat Project by Krista Suh, Jayna Zweiman, Kat Coyle and Aurora Lady: The pussyhat is a symbol of support and solidarity for women's rights and political resistance.
The Pussyhat Project instigated a social justice craftivist movement by organizing women all around the world to knit and wear the now iconic pink pussyhat for the Women's March on January 21, 2016. The project started with the aims to serve as a visual representation of unhappiness with the Trump residency. What started as a small project among friends at the Little Knittery in Atwater village has turned into a global affair meaning that women who are unable to attend the march can still show their support.
2. New Object Research ‘The Rite of Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter’ by Aitor Throup: A runway show which combined fashion with puppetry.
On the 12th of June 2016 during London Collections: Men, Aitor Throup presented his highly-anticipated 'New Object Research' collection, titled ‘The Rite of Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter’, on six life-size articulated sculptures. The articulated sculptures - acting as performing puppets during the show, aided by a team of London's best puppeteers - physically expressed the emotion and energy in Throup's autobiographical narrative. From the 14th June until the 6th of July 2016, Aitor Throup exhibited all six of the life-sized articulated sculptures from the runway show on the ground floor of Dover Street Market in London.
3. Ecoalf: The Upcycling the Oceans project aims to remove the marine waste from the bottom of The Mediterranean Sea to create a new 100% recycled material entirely manufactured in Spain.
Searching for the most efficient way of preserving the planet`s natural resources, ECOALF has embarked on an ambitious project to help clean the oceans of debris through fishermen. It’s a unique, complex and ground-breaking project which aims to transform the plastic debris found in the Mediterranean into thread to make fabric. The fabric is made of 43% recycled polyester from the Mediterranean Sea, 29% post-industrial linen, 22% Tencel, and 6% post-industrial cotton.
4. Life of Pablo merchandise and pop-up stores by Kanye West and Mat Vlasic for Bravado: A series of 21 pop-up stores in different cities worldwide selling products, including printed Gildan tees, to tie in with West’s latest album and tour.
From August 19th – 21st, 2016, Kanye West in partnership with Bravado, opened 21 pop-up shops in various locations around the world to sell products tied to West’s latest album, The Life of Pablo. This was the first simultaneous, global pop-up event, spanning the U.S, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. Each temporary store carried a broad line of Kanye’s Pablo merchandise as well as limited edition designs exclusive to that city. The venues were announced 24 hours before they opened in each city, with the British pop-up located in Old Street.
5. Levi’s® Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google: Collaboration between Levi’s and Google which adds touch and gesture interactivity into textiles.
In collaboration with Google Inc., Levi's has reimagined their iconic Trucker Jacket into an interactive, connected garment that allows wearers to access a variety of mobile services tailored to the needs of an urban commuter, such as music and ETA, by simply swiping or tapping the jacket sleeve. This allows fashion designers to embed digital interactivity and connectivity into the apparel as part of their natural design process, using standard industrial looms, making technology a new “material” for their creative expression.
6. Nike Pro Hijab by Rachel Henry, Baron Brandt and Megan Saalfeld for Nike: A performance hijab by Nike that could change the face of sport for Muslim women.
Nike has worked alongside a team of athletes to develop a single-layer stretchy Hijab inspired by Sarah Attar’s win for Saudi Arabia at the 2012 Olympics. It was unveiled two days before International Women’s Day.