China hospital and Stormzy vest up for design of the year

A Chinese hospital built in 12 days at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic and Stormzy’s stab-proof vest have been nominated for a major design award.

An overall winner will be announced by the Design Museum next month.

Objects in contention range from a DIY meal kit for growing gourmet mini steaks from human cells, to plasters for different skin tones.

A graphic of coronavirus – a speckled grey sphere with bright red spikes – commissioned by health authorities in the US to raise awareness of the pandemic, has also been chosen.

A customised stab-proof vest designed by Banksy and worn by Stormzy (
A customised stab-proof vest designed by Banksy and worn by Stormzy (Yui Mok/PA)

The image uses light, texture, contrast and colour to give the virus a “beautiful yet threatening form,” organisers of an exhibition featuring the designs said.

Other nominees include a suitcase created from second-hand shoes, a self-sanitising door handle and the edible drinks capsule made from seaweed and used in the London Marathon to cut down on plastic waste.

Stormzy’s stab-proof vest, designed by Banksy and worn when the star headlined Glastonbury, is one of the most recognisable objects in the exhibition.

The vest, which used a former police issue garment, made a fashion statement by “addressing structural racism”, exhibition organisers said.

Leishenshan Hospital, which was constructed in Wuhan by 10,000 workers in 12 days to treat patients suspected of contracting coronavirus, could also win.

The brick arches developed by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong to slow down police vehicles are also in the running.

The nominated designs are the subject of an exhibition at the Design Museum in London.

FAQ | London is now on COVID Alert Level 2, but you can still visit the museum. Find out the #safeandsound guidelines before planning your visit to the #Electronic, #BeazleyDesignsoftheYear and #MargaretCalvert exhibitions. More at https://t.co/Qlg44Ho2Alpic.twitter.com/V8hewzj9yw

— Design Museum (@DesignMuseum) October 20, 2020

Other designs include a school which can be quickly erected and dismantled in response to forced evictions of farming communities in India.

The house built for Oscar-winning film Parasite, technology used to make Robert De Niro and Al Pacino look younger in The Irishman, and the “soundscape” for TV drama Chernobyl are also in contention.

The Renegade, a dance choreographed by 14-year-old Jalaiah Harmon which went viral on TikTok, and a virtual library aimed at evading censorship in computer game Minecraft, are also nominees for Beazley Designs of the Year.

There are 74 nominations across six categories – architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, product and transport.

A winner will be unveiled in each category and an overall winner announced on November 26.

The exhibition opens at the Design Museum on Wednesday and runs until March 28.

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