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Brit Insurance Design Awards at Design Museum

There are plenty of "I want one of those" moments as you stroll around this exhibition of practical, sustainable and efficient designs from the past year.

Troika - Cloud for Heathrow Terminal 5
Troika - Cloud for Heathrow Terminal 5

This is the second year of the Brit Insurance Design Awards which span architecture, fashion, furniture, graphic design, interactive design, product design and transport.

Last year's main winner was the One Laptop Per Child project which aims to bring affordable computing to the developing world. Whilst OLPC may not have had the impact that its founders hoped for, it has helped to shape the economic and environmental debates about computing.

The whimsical and the practical sit side-by-side at this inspriration exhibition.

In the interaction section I was particularly taken with Troika's Cloud installation for Heathrow Terminal Five which was inspired by the Solari departure boards that used to grace airports and railway stations. The 4638 black and silver flip-dots are computer-controlled to give Cloud a contstantly changing skin.

The transport shortlist includes several new concepts to promote enivronmentally-friendly travel, as well as built schemes such as High Speed One, the new rail link from London to the Channel Tunnel.

IDEO's Aquaduct concept vehicle for the developing world combines a tricycle with a water filtration and storage system. Whilst the rider is pedalling, water is pumped from a holding tank through a filter into a clean water tank.

The Stitch chair from Italy has been in development for the best part of a decade, but it's a brilliant new take on fold-away furniture and must surely have a potential market among city-dwellers living in small flats.

The seven category winners will be announced at the end of this month with the overall winner to be named on 18 March.

www.designsoftheyear.com

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