Design Museum Announces ‘Designs of the Year’ Shortlist

MOCA Cleveland, Konstantin Grcic’s Medici chair, and the 2012 Olympic Cauldron are among the Designs of the Year contenders.

Rare is the shortlist that includes the work of Renzo Piano, a zombie-apocalypse-themed smartphone app, and a non-stick ketchup bottle (straight out of MIT), but so it is with the 2013 Designs of the Year nominees, announced today by London’s Design Museum. The more than 90 contenders represent “the best designs from around the world in the last 12 months” across seven categories: architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product, and transport. Among the notable nods are Farshid Moussavi‘s smart and shiny Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, the Wind Map created by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, Front’s bubble-blowing Surface Tension Lamp (which kept crowds mesmerized last month at Design Miami), the Dior ready-to-wear debut of Raf Simons, and Irma Boom‘s new identity for the soon-to-reopen Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. An exhibition opening March 20 at the Design Museum will bring together all of the nominated designs in advance of the award announcements in April. In the meantime, pick your favorites from the complete shortlist (below).

LA TOUR BOIS-LE-PRÊTRE, PARIS – Designed by Druot, Lacaton and Vassal
The striking transformation of a run-down tower in northern Paris created an alternative approach to the physical and social redevelopment of decaying post-war housing.
CLAPHAM LIBRARY, LONDON – Designed by Studio Egret West
The £6.5m, 19,000 sq ft public library is located in the heart of Clapham, holding more than 20,000 books, it also provides a new performance space for local community groups, 136 private apartments and 44 affordable homes.
MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), CLEVELAND – Designed by Farshid Moussavi Architects
The 34,000 sq ft structure, which is 44 percent larger than MOCA’s former rented space, is both environmentally and fiscal sustainable.
METROPOLITAN ARTS CENTRE, BELFAST – Designed by Hackett Hall McKnight
The Metropolitan Arts Centre is wedged between two existing buildings on a hemmed-in corner plot that sits beside the city cathedral. The glazed tower sits atop the volcanic stone facade of this performing arts centre to create a beacon above the surrounding rooftops.
A ROOM FOR LONDON – Designed by David Kohn Architects in collaboration with artist Fiona Banner
Perched above Queen Elizabeth Hall at London’s Southbank Centre, the boat-shaped one bedroom installation offers guests a place of refuge and reflection amidst the flow of traffic surrounding its iconic location.
This single-storey building is draped in a stainless steel mesh blanket that fits precisely over its structure and merges with the district’s historic urban fabric of low-rise courtyard houses and dense network of small alleyways.
IKEA DISOBEDIENTS – Designed by Andrés Jaque Arquitectos
IKEA Disobedients, an architectural performance by Madrid-based Andrés Jaque Arquitectos, was premiered at MoMA PS1, part of the 9+1 Ways of Being Political exhibition and reveals how recent architectural practices use performance to engage audiences with architecture in a non-traditional way.
This mountain of bookshelves is contained by a glass-enclosed structure and a pyramid roof with a total surface area of 9,300 sq m. Corridors and platforms bordering the form are accessed by a network of stairs to allow visitors to browse the tiers of shelves. A continuous 480m route culminates at the peak’s reading room and cafe with panoramic views through the transparent roof.
THE SHARD, LONDON – Designed by Renzo Piano
The Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe, transforming the London skyline, the multi-use 310m vertical structure consists of offices, world-renowned restaurants, the 5-star Shangri-La hotel, exclusive
residential apartments and the capital’s highest viewing gallery.
THALIA THEATRE, LISBON – Designed by Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos & Barbas Lopes Arquitectos
Built in the 1840s, the Thalia Theatre has been in ruins almost ever since. The project reconverts it into a multipurpose space for conferences, exhibitions and events. In order to retain the old walls, the exterior is covered in concrete, while the interior remains in its original condition.
ASTLEY CASTLE, WARWICKSHIRE – Designed by Witherford Watson Mann
A sensitive renewal of this dilapidated castle in rural Warwickshire, the ancient shell forms a container for a dynamic series of interior contemporary spaces. The rebirth of Astley in this elegantly assured, thoughtful project presents a strong new idea for the future interactions with the old and new.
MUSEUM OF INNOCENCE, ISTANBUL – Designed by Orhan Pamuk with Ihsan Bilgin, Cem Yucel and Gregor Sunder Plassmann
The Museum of Innocence is a book by Orhan Pamuk, telling the story of the novel’s protagonist, Kemal in 1950s and 1960s Istanbul. Pamuk established an actual Museum of Innocence, based on the museum
described in the book, exhibiting everyday life and culture in Istanbul during the period in which the novel is set.
HOME FOR ALL – Designed by Akihisa Hirata, Sou Fujimoto, Kumiko Inui and Toyo Ito
Presented at the Venice 2012 Architecture Biennale, Home for All is the proposal to offer housing solutions for all the people who lost their homes in the Japan earthquake, 2011.
T-SITE, TOKYO – Designed by Klein Dytham
The T-Site project is a campus-like complex for Tsutaya, a giant in Japan’s book, music, and movie retail market. Located in Daikanyama, an up-market but relaxed Tokyo shopping district, it stands alongside a series of buildings designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki. The project’s ambition is to define a new vision for the future of retailing.
GALAXY SOHO, BEIJING – Designed by Zaha Hadid
Five continuous, flowing volumes coalesce to create an internal world of continuous open spaces within the Galaxy Soho building – a new office, retail and entertainment complex devoid of corners to create an immersive, enveloping experience in the heart of Beijing.
SUPERKILEN, NØRREBRO – Designed by BIG, TOPOTEK1 and Superflex
Superkilen is a kilometre-long park situated through an area just north of Copenhagen’s city centre, considered one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighbourhoods in the Danish capital. The large-scale project comes as a result of a competition initiated by the City of Copenhagen and the Realdania Foundation as a means of creating an urban space with a strong identity on a local and global scale.
FOUR FREEDOMS PARK, NEW YORK – Designed by Louis Kahn
In the late 1960s, during a period of national urban renewal, New York City Mayor John Lindsay proposed to reinvent Roosevelt Island (then called Welfare Island) into a vibrant, residential area. Louis Kahn, was announced as the architect of the project in 1973. Louis Kahn finished his work but died unexpectedly as the City of New York approached bankruptcy. On March 29, 2010, 38 years after its announcement, construction of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park began.