On show from this week, the Design Museum's Designs of the Year 2013 features some of the more creative creations across the fields of architecture, digital, furniture, graphics, product, transport and fashion; nominated by a roll-call of judges (including Griff Rhys Jones). Many of the 90 products and architectural feats we've covered in the past, but here below are some of my personal highlights:
A Room For London, designed by David Kohn Architects in collaboration with the artist Fiona Banner, is one of the more unique places to rest your head in London. Situated on the South Bank atop the Great Elizabeth Hall, rooms are booked via a ballot for £300 a night.
The (free!) app Chirp allows you to send photos, links, and other data to a Chirp-using friend, using a cute piece of birdsong. So much more fun than just sending it over email or Bluetooth.
Zaha Hadid's Liquid Glacial table may cost north of £100,000, but that's the price you have to pay if you want your living room to look like it's about to be drenched by icy-cold water.
Rain Room, on show at the Barbican Art Gallery from October 2012 - March 2013, saw Random International's largest exhibition to date. Measuring 100 square metres, falling water responded to visitors' presence, with sound and moisture also playing large roles in the experience.
Jolan Van Der Wiel's Gravity Stools are created using a mix of iron and plastic, which are pulled into their crazy shapes with the power of...magnets! See the tool which creates these amazing pieces of furniture on the left.
Using one-piece knitted material for extra support and a precision fit, Nike's Flyknit more closely resembles a sock than a shoe. A running sock, if you will.
Located in the Netherlands town of Spijkenisse, MVRDV's Book Mountain library cost close to $40 million to build, but obviously the value of its contents (the books, innit) are much higher.
Ben Wilson's Donky bicycle is the best -- and greenest -- way to cart stuff about, with the bulk of the load being supported by the main frame of the bike, rather than the handlebars.
Uniform's Digital Player and Postcard is a novel idea which sees the user insert a piece of card which, when pressed on the play / pause / forward icons printed on the paper with conductive ink, actually controls the audio tinkling through the player's speaker.
LiquiGlide's video above is mesmerising. Showing a ketchup bottle, the inside of which has been coated with a "super slippery" substance, it's pretty obvious that shaking ketchup out of these bottles is much easier than anything you'd find on the shelves at Sainsbury's.
The London Olympics saw many daring design feats (Thomas Heatherwick's Olympic cauldron was another nomination for the awards), but for me, the signage (designed by TfL, Jedco and LOCOG) is particularly strong.
Get over to the Design Museum on London's south bank before July 7th to see the 90 nominations in the flesh, and keep your eyes out for the overall winner, which will be announced in April.