The Design Museum has announced the winners of its Design of the Year 2012 awards. Overall top prize went to the London 2012 Olympic Torch by Barber Osgerby, with category winners including Dalton Maag's Pure font for Nokia and the Microsoft Kinect control device.
The jury's reason for choosing the Torch was said to be that it is "not only a beautiful symbol of the Olympic Games but it also meets a demanding design brief. The aluminium made torch will be carried over 8,000 miles and is perforated with 8,000 circular holes, each representing a bearer who will run with the torch. Aside from being decorative, the holes also act to reduce the weight of the torch and prevent heat from the flame being conducted to the bearer’s hand."
"Nothing is harder to get right than designing for the Olympics, said Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum. "The lightness and simplicity of Barber Osgerby’s London 2012 Olympic Torch does just that. The torch not only captures the spirit of London as Olympic host city but also demonstrates how design can celebrate traditional ideas in a modern way’.
The graphics category was won by Dalton Maag's Pure font for Nokia, which is designed to be suitable for all forms of communication on mobile devices, and supports languages and script systems from around the world – including Arabic, Thai and Chinese. Read our interview with Bruno Maag about the continuing trials of designing Pure here.
The digital category gong went to Microsoft's Kinect input device, which as shown above has transcended being a mere gaming device to become a full-body gestural interface for anything from graphics manipulation to motion capture.
Another well-deserved winner was the redesigned Emergency Ambulance Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the vehicle design department at the Royal College of Art, picking up the Transport award. This redesigned the ambulance from the ground up to fix common issues, such as letting two paramedics work on a patient at once. Read a fascinating breakdown of the iterative design process for the redesigned Emergency Ambulance.
Other winners included the London 2012 Velodrome (Architecture), Issey Miyake's 132.5 collection (Fashion), and recent RCA graduate Kihyun Kim for his balsawood 1.3 Chair (Furniture).