Sixty-two nominations for the annual Beazley Design Awards go on show at the London Design Museum, with prominent themes including U.S. protests and the migrant crisis. David Doyle reports.
From Nike's hijab to Kanye West clothing, 62 products in the running for London's annual Beazley Design Award - the contenders on show at the city's Design Museum from Wednesday (October 18). It's not just a showcase for the latest trends and technological innovations, but also a mirror onto a year of political upheaval and social change. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BEAZLEY DESIGNS OF THE YEAR GUEST CURATOR GLENN ADAMSON, SAYING: "Protest design is a very strong theme in the show and that's not surprising because a lot of people have felt like there are a lot of things to protest in the past year. I'm an American and so I can tell you that the sense of street action and a sense of political consciousness and conflict is higher than at any point than I have experienced before. And there are some very prominent designs in the show, for example the Pussy Hat Project that was originated by a group of artists really, not fashion designers, but that's an example really of something going viral on the internet and spreading out through the digital sphere and having tremendous visibility as a result of that." The hats started as a response to a recording of Donald Trump talking about grabbing women by the genitals, and quickly became a global phenomenon. This is a drone that can detect migrant vessels in the Mediterranean and drop life jackets. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BEAZLEY DESIGNS OF THE YEAR GUEST CURATOR GLENN ADAMSON, SAYING: "Designers think of themselves as problem solvers and in the case of the refugee crisis you have a huge problem that's affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands even millions of people. Some designers have responded in what I would say is a very symbolic way, so for example the refugee flag designed by Yara Said for a Refugee Nation, that's based on her own experience of having herself been a migrant and having a a lifejacket on, and then arriving in Europe on the shores and seeing piles of lifejackets everywhere, and so that very simple emblem came out of that personal experience." But cutting edge tech is also on show, such as ink made from air pollution and a lighting system that can be rearranged to form different letters of the alphabet.