The longlist for the fifth annual Designs of the Year competition is currently on show at the Design Museum and here are my speculative and almost certainly inaccurate predictions for who could be celebrating when the winners are announced on 24 April.
Architecture: the Olympic Velodrome by Hopkins Architects lost out to Zaha Hadid‘s Grace Academy at last year’s Stirling Prize but deserves recognition as an understated yet iconic champion of the upcoming Olympics.
Digital: this is a strong category this year but, for me the Homeplus Tesco Virtual Store in Seoul just edges it for the potential impact it could have on future consumer habits.
Fashion: another strong category, with outstanding entries from Gareth Pugh and Issey Miyake, but I’m giving it to Alexander McQueen and, of the two nominated projects featuring his name I’ll go for Sarah Burton’s frock for the Royal wedding over the excellent Savage Beauty show at New York’s Costume Institute.
Furniture: Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby‘s Tip Ton chair is the most innovative in this category.
Graphics: good to see the simple but beautiful identity by Spin for Matthew Hilton nominated but my pick is the expansive Comedy Carpet in Blackpool by Gordon Young and Why Not Associates.
Product: Markus Kayser‘s Solar Sinter has had exceptional press since it was presented at the RCA Show last summer and its original spin on a contemporary technology might just help it beat the more ‘worthy’ entrants in this category.
Transport: the focus is usually on sustainability in this category but a bit of common sense, beauty and luxury might just enable the 787 Dreamliner by Boeing to scoop the prize.
Overall: three of the previous four winners have come from the Product category but I think it could be the year of Architecture or Fashion and I’ll give it to the Olympic Velodrome as an enduring icon of intelligent Olympic architecture.