Designs of the Year 2015

The Design Museum is a wonderful place – multiple floors of the greatest design and culture the world can muster, matched only by its unrelentingly tempting gift shop full of trinkets of all shapes and sizes to make you wish you had money to spend on them.

Though at any one time there are various exhibitions running in the museum (and currently there is a very important show about women’s fashion and the powerful women who wear it which I’ll go into another day), but right now all eyes are on the Designs of the Year exhibit, running from the 25th March to the 23rd August 2015.

Obligatory wall of Helvetica

Obligatory wall of Helvetica

The Design Museum has been showing off the greatest feats of design for 8 years now, and the 2015 exhibition hosts 76 pieces from 6 different categories, including digital, fashion and architecture. Though I can’t go in-depth to all of these entries, here are the ones which have stuck with me. Admittedly, chairs and fashion don’t excite me the way print, digital pieces or car design do, so this is a little skewed.

BMW i8

This is the first time I’ve ever been up-close and personal with this machine. It is, quite frankly, awesome. And for once, this isn’t hyperbole. Every line seems to have purpose, every curve is calculated. It’s futuristic, but it doesn’t seem arbitrary. BMW have done an incredible job with this car, and they know it. The press sure-as-hell know it, and the Design Museum know it – giving the car pride of place in the middle of the exhibition, allowing visitors to view the machine from all angles (and there are a fair few of those!)

BMW i8 at the Designs Of The Year 2015

Monument Valley

I caught onto the Monument Valley wave fairly early, and it’s amazing to see the game get as much attention as it has been – Frank Underwood playing the game in season 3 of House of Cards was pretty awesome! I’ve always loved games of all kinds, and regularly play games on my iPad. It’s hard to find something to play which has truly been designed for touch devices, however. Too many games rely on archaic and unsuitable control schemes. Monument Valley is one of the first that I’ve played which you just couldn’t imagine working on a keyboard/mouse combo or gamepad.

This is one of the deepest, most beautiful and mindful games I’ve ever played. It reminds me mostly of Journey, the PlayStation 3 game featuring a faceless nomad on his/her way to a mysterious mountain. Both games are designed spectacularly, offer little exposition in order to let the player get stuck in, and neither last very long. That last point is one of the best parts, though. A game shouldn’t have to last for 20 hours to be worth it.

Play this game now. I assure you, you’ll thank me later. Buy it now on iOS!

No Man’s Sky

This is a bit of a weird one, to be honest. On one hand, I’m so super-psyched about this title that I’ve been salivating nerd-juice all over everything since it was announced. The gorgeous visuals based on classic 60’s and 70’s sci-fi novels and near-infinite universe sound so goddamn good to me. Exactly what I’ve been looking for in this age of grey and brown and more grey. On the other hand, surprisingly little detail has actually been talked about by the tiny UK-based development team. What do we know already?

We know that you will be able to jump in a spaceship, choose a star in the sky and fly to it. Any one of them. We know that everything in the game is procedurally-generated based on an incredibly complex set of rules that governs the planets you’ll be landing on (and the creatures you’ll meet once you’re there). We also know that the last game that had this kind of ambition – Will Wright’s Spore – was a bit of a let-down, to understate it a little. No Man’s Sky looks incredible and I can’t wait to play it, however how can a game nobody’s played be in a prestigious Designs of the Year exhibition? Let me know your thoughts – and watch the trailer below.

Reposte

I fucking love print. There – I said it. Having a well-crafted book or magazine in my hands is one of my favourite things. The tactile nature of print is so much more personal than the slippery screens and disconnected keyboards of the digital age. Reposte magazine is one of the most beautiful printed works I’ve ever seen.

Designed as a “smart magazine for women”, the journal features gorgeous full-page artwork and great in-depth interviews and honest features with and about awesome, successful women. Don’t let the tag line put you off, though. We’re all just people, right? Get this magazine, no matter your gender. There’s definitely something there for everyone.

Reposte Magazine - Designs of the Year 2015

There’s a tonne moreā€¦

Honestly, it’s impossible to talk about just a few of the pieces on show at the Designs of the Year Exhibition without feeling guilty about not mentioning the others. Just to be featured in the show is to be at the very top of the game, and I urge you all to head down there and take it all in yourself. You can pre-purchase tickets at the Design Museum website (I recommend you get there early, as by midday it gets hella busy).

Have you been to the Designs of the Year exhibition? Do you think there’s anything that’s been missed, or do the pieces featured make you concerned about what’s considered great design? Let us know in the comments!

Author: Thomas Wood

Tom Wood is a graphic designer based in Bournemouth in the UK and also has a BA in something-or-other from that Arts University Bournemouth - but it doesn't really matter any more. With a passion for being a huge nerd and making pretty things, he decided to combine them somehow and tell everybody about it. That's what this whole deal is. Keep it creative, and live the geek life!

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