Whilst in London recently I took the opportunity of checking out the Brit Design Awards. Mostly I agreed with the selection that had been made and overall I was impressed.

“Endless” by Dirk Vander Kood is created from recycled fridges. Manufactured by a recycled robot sustainability run through the heart of this design. Dirk works with the robot to develop and refine each design, which is why he creates these fascinating pieces. Dirk found and created a new material to work with from something that we interact with on a daily basis. I wonder what other products we use that could be transformed into new materials? This forward, innovative and way outside of the box thinking is great to see.

 Although this entry may just look like a selection of stools and a table, don’t be fooled. These are created from a material called Plytube, created by Seongyong Lee. Using the same manufacturing principles of cardboard tubes Plytube are strong, rigid and hollow but can still be taken through many finishes and manufacturing processes. I tested one of the stools and I was extremely impressed. The weight of the product was incredible. About as heavy as a pound coin but still extremely strong. Seongyong made all these prototypes and is currently looking for a manufacturer to snap it up. I think that this material has a lot of potential.

There were two bikes displayed and being a keen Mountain biker I had to take a look. The first bike was “Yikebike”. I thought was brilliant. An electric solution that folds away into the size of the front wheel, with the back wheel being located in the hole you can see, it is ideal for any commuter.

However that’s not where to story ends. You may be thinking well it doesn’t looks like a bike, where’s the seat? This design has changed how you use a bike. The seat is the darker area above the curved bar, which happens to be the handlebars. Sounds weird? Well check out this video

Now your convinced right. This design is fantastic to see. Literally changing the way we view commuter-folding transportation.

However the other bike solution that can be seen below, Vanmoof No5, was not as convincing. Don’t get me wrong the principles behind the design are great. With integrated lights and lock it would suit many people. But with these very innovative features I feel that the overall design of the frame does not develop or challenge the bicycle industry. It has the same geometry and riding position as current bikes and standard parts could be used for most of the components. I would have liked to see the innovative lights and lock incorporated into a solution like the “Yikebike”, now that would have been a show stopper. Design should change the way we think and live; I feel this is just another standard bike but with a lock and lights incorporated, nothing special. But I am just one person and this design has won a Brit so ill let you come to you own verdict. Please let me know what you think.

On a more positive note there were various other designs at the show. This chair by Herman Miller is great, again challenging the use of materials to increase ergonomics.

On the second floor there was a display of graphic work by Wim Crouwel. Now these designs were from 1955 and to be honest they are still bang up to date. They still look fresh and modern even through they are over 50 years old.

Although a small exhibition there were some very interesting and forward thinking pieces within it. Defiantly worth a visit if you have not been.

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