In terms of design, 2012 gave the UK the biggest Design Festival as well as a string of memorable moments (and people) along the way. We’re summing up the year by highlighting five top designers who have shined this year.
First and perhaps most evident is Thomas Heatherwick. Hailed as ‘the Leonardo da Vinci of our times’, Heatherwick was the mastermind behind the jaw-dropping Olympic Cauldron this year. Featuring 204 copper petals, each representing one of the competing nations which were brought to the stadium by each team as part of the athletes’ procession, the petals were then attached to long pipes in a ring at the centre of the arena.
Max Fraser compiled the newest edition 2012-2013 of London Design Guide, giving a fresh insight into the city’s contemporary and vintage retailers, as well as design galleries, museums and bookshops. All 140 new and established hotspots were reviewed by the indisputable design commentator.
We think Barber and Osgerby are rather fabulous too and this year saw the unveiling of their Olympic torch – the most symbolic design of the Games. Here, Jay Barber is pictured with his co-created bench ‘Western Façade’ for Established & Sons as part of the V&A’s London Design Festival installations.
Lee Broom is our next choice. His ‘crystal bulb’ was one of the must-have design items of 2012, and he even created a one-off version in bright yellow for the Maggie’s Joy of Living campaign, instigated by none other than Max Fraser. Maggie’s provide emotional, practical and social support to people with cancer so it was great cause, and proved what we already knew about Lee – that he’s a really nice fellow.
Last but never the least, Mini Moderns. Not only has Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire consistently produced gorgeous design items but they also took the time this year to take part in Boost. A mentoring and development initiative from the Southbank Centre, Boost offers advice and financial support for six new designers to help launch their product in the Southbank Centre shop.