The winners of this year's Brit Insurance Design Awards include a housing project designed for self-build expansion, Alexander McQueen's last spring/summer show, flexible bamboo furniture, a service that helps you print your own newspaper, eye-tracking software for drawing without hands, a foldable plug, and an electric airplane.
Architecture: Monterrey Housing, Mexico - ELEMENTAL S.A., Chile
From the award blog: "In the Chilean city of Iquique, Elemental were asked to settle a city-centre community of long-term squatters on a very limited budget. Their response, Quinta Monroy, was a development of half-finished prefabricated structures, designed to facilitate self-build expansion by a further 50 per cent at minimal cost."
Fashion: Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer '10 and Spring/Summer '10 Catwalk Presentation, France - Alexander McQueen
"Broadcast live over the internet by Nick Knight's SHOWstudio, the event was thrown open to everyone, not just the usual select group of industry insiders, celebrities and journalists. The broadcast proved so popular that the demand crashed the website. The popularity of the event has perhaps suggested the future direction of catwalk collection presentations."
Furniture: Grassworks, Netherlands - Jair Straschnow
"A dining chair that converts into an easy chair, a bookshelf that functions as a space divider, tables that extend, fold and collapse. The Grassworks collection is an attempt to make maximum use of the structural and flexible qualities of a single material [bamboo], as well as the physical space it occupies. The product is also designed to leave a minimal footprint on the world around us [because bamboo can be harvested again and again]."
Graphics: The Newspaper Club, UK - Ben Terrett
"The seemingly unstoppable rise of digital communication has seen many people predict the impending death of print. The Newspaper Club flies in the face of this, by enabling anyone to produce, not just their own newspaper, but anything that can be made with ink on newsprint. To keep costs as low as possible on print runs from five to 5000, The Newspaper Club utilises downtime at printing presses. Files can be uploaded to the website, enabling prompt printing and delivery, and there are even tools to help the enthusiastic amateur arrange text and images in attractive page layouts."
Interactive: The EyeWriter, USA - Developed by members of Free Art and Technology (F.A.T), openFrameworks, Graffiti Research Lab,The Ebeling Group and Tony Quan
From the designers: "The EyeWriter [...] is a pair of low-cost eye-tracking glasses & custom software that allows artists and graffiti writers with paralysis resulting from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to draw using only their eyes."
Product: Folding Plug, UK - Min-Kyu Choi
"Min-Kyu Choi's folding plug revisits the design of the standard UK electrical plug, which has remained largely unchanged since its introduction in 1947. Infuriated by having to carry around bulky UK plugs thicker than his laptop, Choi developed a system that folds down to a width of just 10mm."
Transport: E430 Electric Aircraft, China - Yuneec International
"While electric cars are becoming a common sight on the streets of our cities, electric aircraft are not yet publicly available. With the development of the E430, Yuneec hope to change that. The E430 is a twin seat, single engine, light sport aircraft designed to be simple to use, easy to fly and produce zero emissions."Reuse content