Photo: The Telegraph
Should a cigarette packet beat an Anish Kapoor book design at this year’s Design Awards?Possibly the ugliest, perhaps the smallest, almost certainly among the cheapest items to be shortlisted for the prestigious Design Awards is the above olive green box (this dubious shade being least likely to make smokers part with their cash, according to market research).
It’s the only design on the annual list that doesn’t even have a designer name credited. Credit goes to the Australian Government Department for Health and Ageing, who commissioned the nation-wide cigarette packet following a law passed last year, which banned cigarette suppliers from using any distinctive branding.
It’s the ultimate anti-design – the irony being that if it wins, it will become as desirable and collectible as any brand design.
New Zealand has just announced that it will follow Australia’s example and, according to the press release, the UK is considering it too.
At the other end of the spectrum, in the ‘Graphics’ category, British sculptor Anish Kapoor – the artist who perhaps more than any other sits comfortably and unabashedly on the fence between art and design (think ArcelorMittal Orbit) – is on the list.
He’s co-nominated for his collaboration with design studio Brighten the Corners for a vibrant coffee table book containing facts about the year: the ultimate luxury item, but one that feels less obviously “2013” than the cigarette packet.
Meanwhile, other categories see a typically clever fusion of beauty, form and utility. In the Architecture category, for example, we see the macho new addition to London’s skyline, The Shard, next to a modest and homely little curio museum in Istanbul, The Museum of Innocence, based on a novel of the same name by Orhan Pamuk.
Yayoi Kusama’s handbags for Dior have made the ‘Fashion’ category, as have the costume designs for Anna Karenina.
The ‘Product’ category is surely a foregone conclusion: Heatherwick Studio’s Olympic Cauldron.
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