The category winners for the 2011 Brit Insurance Design Awards were announced today. Celebrating international design across a wide range of disciplines from the last 12 months, the seven categories winners come from across Sweden, Germany, Japan, Italy, USA and two from the UK. These seven winners will now contend to become the overall Brit Insurance Design of the Year 2011 which will be announced at the Design Museum on March 15.
The winners include Ikea’s intriguing take on baking with their Swedish recipe book, Homemade is Best (in the Graphics category). London’s TFL’s Barclays Cycle Hire scheme won the Transport category, a popular and familiar feature across the capital since its introduction in the summer of 2010. Retail outlet Uniqlo’s successful Jil Sander collaboration +J Autumn/Winter 2010 collection won the Fashion category.
The organisers say that innovative and accessible design was a recurring theme for the 2011 nominations, such as the Plumen low energy light bulb that took the Product award. The Flipboard app took the Interactive category. It impressed judges as the world’s first social magazine, fundamentally changing how people discover, view and share content across social networks. The elegant Branca chair designed by UK design practice Industrial Facility won the Furniture category and the community focused Open Air Library in Germany takes the Architecture award.
Stephen Bayley chair of the 2011 jury says that "anything that is made betrays the beliefs, preoccupations and fears of the people who made it. Never more than this year: there’s a strong sense of austerity, responsibility and realism here. I wouldn’t call it retrenchment, more consolidation. 2011 will be remembered for thoughtfulness rather than exuberance, but that’s no bad thing. The best definition of design is, after all, intelligence made visible."