Grand designs: Snapshot of the way we live now

Contenders for the Design of the Year awards will have you in a spin

Apple guru Steve Jobs dubbed design "the fundamental soul of a human-made creation", yet the company he co-founded is not even in the running for the Oscars of the design world this year.

Putting the absence of iGadgets aside, the 96 nominations for Design of the Year, which are announced tomorrow will provide a snapshot of the way we live now.

An international panel of industry figures has selected more than 90 designs from seven categories: architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product and transport.

Contenders include designs conceived more than 40 years ago, such as New York's Four Freedoms Park, and products of the future, such as the non-stick ketchup bottle.

They encompass everything from the practical, such as the gov.uk website designed by Ben Terrett, to the indulgent – Yayoi Kusama's handbag collection for Louis Vuitton.

Others in the running include the stunning London 2012 Olympic Cauldron; the Rain Room installation at The Barbican – where movement sensors mean you never get wet; The Shard; a solar-powered annual report – with ink that only appears when exposed to sunlight; and a bicycle that converts pedal power into electricity to power itself.

The nominated designs will be showcased at the Design Museum in an exhibition opening in March, with the winners announced in April.

Pete Collard, curator of Designs of the Year 2013, said: "The broad scope of nominations demonstrates the influence design has on our everyday lives, from the physical landscape to new cultural trends."

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