The Winners of Beazley's Designs of the Year

Beazley's Designs of the Year - Flat-packed refugee shelter named best design of 2016

Better Shelter is crowned the Beazley Design of the Year for its outstanding contribution towards the global issue of population displacement  

Other winners include a robotic surgeon and the design of David Bowie's last ever album.

Better Shelter designed by Johan Karlsson, Dennis Kanter, Christian Gustafsson, John van Leer, Tim de Haas, Nicolò Barlera, the IKEA Foundation and UNHCR has been named the Beazley Design of the Year. The annual award and exhibition curated and hosted by the Design Museum in London has included previous winners such as the London 2012 Olympic Torch and the Barack Obama Hope poster. Now in its ninth year, the award was presented inside the stunning central atrium at the Design Museum’s new home in Kensington. 

Selected as the winner of the Architecture category, the Better Shelter pipped the five other category winners to claim the overall prize.

Better Shelter is a social enterprise bringing design industry innovation to emergency and temporary shelter. The project has developed safer, more dignified homes for those who have been displaced due conflict and natural disasters. Featuring a lockable front door and a solar powered wall, the shelter utilises flat-pack technology used in furniture design and has repurposed it to create a shelter that can be easily assembled and transported. Flat-packed in a two-box kit along with all the required tools, the shelter is easily assembled in about four hours. The photovoltaic panel provides enough energy to power the supplied light or to charge a mobile phone. 30,000 Better Shelters’ are already in use around the world and the judges chose Better Shelter as a clear demonstration of scalable design that has the ability to make a worldwide impact.

Category winners:


Name: OpenSurgery

Designers: OpenSurgery was developed as a graduation project at the Design Interactions department of the Royal College of Art (London UK, 2015). The initial concept originated from the Healthcare Futures Workshop at the KYOTO Design Lab (D-Lab) at the Kyoto Institute for Technology (Kyoto JP, 2014).

OpenSurgery, created as a graduation project at the Royal College of Art, claimed the Beazley Digital Design of the Year. Selected for demonstrating 'a tipping point’ in our relationship with technology, the project was created in response to uninsured Americans posting videos on YouTube and performing minor operations and medical hacks on themselves and others. The Robotic Surgeon proposes an alternative do-it-yourself robot. By combining 3D printing with laser cutting technology hacked with surgical equipment bought online, the machine theoretically could be replicated at a fraction of the cost of professional surgical care. 


Name: Children vs. Fashion

Designers: A group aged 8 kids from CEIP La Rioja School, Madrid, Spain

In the Fashion category it was a video exploring advertising that won the award. Children vs Fashion asked a group of eight year olds in Madrid to provide their thoughts on an element of fashion advertising the portrayed gender imbalance. Offering the uninhibited viewpoint of a child, the project exposes the negative impact of a selection of advertisements and how the focus is removed from the clothes that they are intended to promote.


Name: ★ (pronounced Blackstar)

Designer: Jonathan Barnbrook at Barnbrook for David Bowie/Sony Entertainment Inc.

It was the iconic album cover of David Bowie's Blackstar album received the Beazley Graphic Design of the Year. Designed by Jonathan Barnbrook, the Unicode Blackstar symbol created a simplistic identity that let the music take centre stage but also created a design that’s easy-to-recognise and share. Designed using open source elements, the artwork for the album became open-sourced itself following Bowie's death enabling fans to engage and interact with the symbols. 


Name: Space Cup


Mark Weislogel: Innovator (IRPI LLC/Portland State University), Andrew Wollman: Designer (IRPI LLC),  John Graf: Co-Investigator (NASA Johnson Space Center), Donald Pettit: NASA Astronaut Innovator (NASA Johnson Space Center), Ryan Jenson: Sponsor (IRPI LLC)

A coffee cup used by astronauts was awarded the Beazley Product Design of the Year. The Space Cup was designed and developed using scientific results of experiments conducted aboard the International Space Station. The cup is designed to exploit passive capillary forces to replace the role of gravity to create an earth-like drinking experience in the low-gravity environment of space. Sealed drink bags are normally sipped through a straw to avoid spilling in space. The Space Cup however uses surface tension, fluid wetting properties, and a unique shape to drive the liquid toward the astronaut’s mouth whilst drinking from an open cup.


Name: Lumos - A Next Generation Bicycle Helmet with Integrated Lights, Brake, and Turn Signals

Designers: Eu-wen Ding - Co-Founder & CEO, Jeff Haoran Chen - Co-Founder & CTO

Lumos, the world's first smart bicycle helmet with integrated light signals, completed the category winners by being named the Beazley Transport Design of the Year. With a built in accelerometer Lumos detects when you're slowing down and automatically displays a brake light and turn signals. In August 2015, Lumos Helmet blew past its funding goal of $125,000 USD to raise over $800,000, making it the highest funded bicycle helmet campaign in crowdfunding history.

The six category winners along with the further 70 other nominations are on display at the Design Museum until 19 February. Find out more here.




Better Shelter is crowned the Beazley Design of the Year
Better Shelter is crowned the Beazley Design of the Year
Beazley Graphic Design of the Year.
Beazley Graphic Design of the Year - David Bowie's Blackstar album 
Beazley Digital Design of the Year
Beazley Digital Design of the Year - OpenSurgery. Developed as a graduation project at the Design Interactions department of the Royal College of Art
the Beazley Product Design of the Year. The Space Cup
The Beazley Product Design of the Year - The Space Cup