Design Museum Awards, London, Categories, UK Architecture News

Design Museum Design Awards

Architectural Prize, London, England

page updated 9 Nov 2016 with new photos ; 18 May 2015

Design Museum Design Awards 2015

A Chilean university building by ELEMENTAL has won the architecture category of the Design Museum’s Design of the Year Award.

The top prize went to the UC Innovation Centre in Chile by ELEMENTAL.

UC Innovation Centre in Chile:
UC Innovation Centre in Chile

The Chilean firm’s university building in Santiago features walls of thermal mass surrounding internal open air squares. It was praised for creating ‘the right environment for knowledge-creation’.

Other contenders include the Philharmonic Hall in Poland by Barozzi Viega, Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris by Frank Gehry, House for Trees by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Rotterdam Market Hall by MVRDV and an Istanbul mosque by Emre Arolat Architects.

UC Innovation Centre:
UC Innovation Centre in Chile building

Now in its eighth year, the Designs of the Year award recognises ‘design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year’.

The six category winners plus all 70 nominated designs for 2015, are on display in an exhibition at the Design Museum, London which runs until 31 Mar 2016.

UC Innovation Centre Building by Website: ELEMENTAL:

UC Innovation Centre in Chile building by elemental

The overall winner will be revealed on 4 June.

Saw Swee Hock Building – O’Donnell + Tuomey’s London School of Economics’ student centre – was the only UK project to make it onto the prestigious list of nominees.

26 Jan 2012

Design Museum Design Awards 2012

This year’s Design Museum Design Awards has been likened to the Oscars of the design world. Showcasing the highlights of the year, the categories include: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Transport and Product, with the winners being announced in April.

Behind any design, never mind the potentially award-winning ones, there is inspiration. Design is influenced and inspired by the world around us, the issues that plague it and those who inhabit it. But what can the nominees teach us? Below are the cogitations of two architects and one product designer.

Sergison Bates designed a care home in Belgium, and is based in the UK. He contemplates the dangers of comfort on his website, saying it leads to a loss of sensation. He says that comfort is considered as a series of insulating layers, and as such, can cut us off from the world. Bates’ work provides these layers of protection, but he claims that these layers do not anaesthetise, they sharpen the senses.

Finsbury Park housing
photograph : Stefan Mueller

He says:

“The comfort is the comfort that comes from the recognition of the half-remembered dream, not from forgetting who or where we are.” Bates questions what comfort means to the modern world, stating that comfort once was referred to as a state of mind, whereas now it is a lot more focused on the physical body: “To be ‘comfortless’ was a state of sorrowfulness and melancholy, not of physical disequilibrium.”

The Iron Market in Haiti, designed by John McAslan and Partners, is also nominated under the architectural category. Their website underpins the importance of the wider perspective in relation to design – and give prominence to the city: “We believe that cities are about connections, transport, communications, public spaces and joy.”

Iron Market Haiti
image : Hufton & Crow

They also say that they are not easily influenced by fashion, but by extensive research, led by functionality. McAsian is testament to architecture as part of the changing world – grounded, objective and brave.

Lastly, but with no less to say, is Jasper Morrison, a product designer from London. On his website, he writes about how he feels uncomfortable within his industry, due to design permeating into everyday situations. He voices his worry about the assumptions of design being ‘inaccessible, overpriced and out of tune with the mass market’ becoming true.

He says that the goal to serve industry and making things easier and better to live with, has been side-tracked, describing it as ‘polluted’. This is because, he says, of glossy lifestyle magazines and marketing departments making it a competition for design to be noticeable.
He says that the most striking of beauty can be found in everyday situations. Morrison says that he is disinterested by luxury as it excludes other things and was designed to make people feel superior to others.

He says: “As a teenager I was travelling on a train one day, somewhere in France or Italy, and an old man got out his lunch and offered me a glass of wine and a piece of bread and cheese. That’s the kind of spirit design should offer, not conversation pieces for the dining table.”

For more information on the Design Museum Design Awards, visit

Design Museum Architecture Award 2013

• Architecture: TOUR BOIS-LE-PRÊTRE, PARIS – Designed by Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal

The Design Museum announces the seven category winners for the annual Designs of the Year Awards. The awards celebrate the best of international design from the last 12 months. The overall winner for the Design of The Year 2013 will be announced on Wednesday 16 April at an awards evening held at The Angler, South Place Hotel, London.

Location: Shad Thames, London, UK

Sir Terence Conran Design Museum Exhibition

The Way We Live Now, a season of events, celebrating Sir Terence Conran’s 80th birthday, will be launched with an evening at Tate Modern on Tuesday 20 September 2011, featuring a panel discussion with Stephen Bayley, Christopher Frayling and Fiona MacCarthy.

Sir Terence Conran celebrated his 80th birthday on 4 October this year. A major retrospective exhibition exploring his unique impact on contemporary life in Britain is on show at the Design Museum until 4 March 2012. Through his own design work, and also through his entrepreneurial flair, Conran has transformed the British way of life. The Way We Live Now examines Conran’s impact and legacy, whilst also showing his design approach and inspirations. The exhibition traces his career from post-war austerity through to the new sensibility of the Festival of Britain in the 1950s, the birth of the Independent Group and the Pop Culture of the 1960s, to the design boom of the 1980s and on to the present day. The exhibition is curated by Stafford Cliff and Deyan Sudjic.

Sir Terence Conran:
Terence Conran
photograph : Neil Wilder, John Parkinson Agency

Design Museum London

Design Museum – Links

Design Museum architects : Conran & Partners

Design Museum Building, Shad Thames, Bermondsey, southeast London
Design: Conran Roche – now Conran & Partners
Design Museum London
photo © Luke Hayes
Design Museum Building

Urban Africa – A photographic journey by David Adjaye
Design Museum David Adjaye Exhibition

David Chipperfield Architects Exhibition
Design Museum David Chipperfield Exhibition

Future Systems Exhibition
Jan kaplicky architect
Design Museum Jan Kaplicky Exhibition

Design Awards

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Brit Insurance Design Awards

Roses Design Awards

Stirling Prize

Student Health Design Award

Saatchi Gallery London

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