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Beazley Designs of the Year 2019: Artificial Intelligence, stencil & more winners

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rum-roll, please! The overall winner of Beazley Designs of the Year is “Anatomy of an AI System” and Artificial Intelligence is under the microscope for this groundbreaking “anatomical case study of the Amazon Echo as an artificial intelligence system made of human labour, data and planetary resources.”

“You will never look at your smart home hub the same way again,” said chair of the judges and Royal College of Art vice-chancellor Paul Thompson of the project. 

“The consensus among climate scientists is that human activity is the root cause of an ongoing planetary crisis. The way in which everyday decisions and the devices we buy can add to this issue is sometimes difficult to comprehend. Taking a consumer’s conversation with Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated assistant, as its starting point, designers and researchers Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler created a map and essay to represent the impact of the creation, use and disposal of just one of the many Amazon Echo units that have been purchased to date.”

Whilst the “Anatomy of an AI System”  charts the birth, life and death of a voice assistant and its impact on our planet Pentagram's Sascha Lobe and his team won the Graphics award for Beazley Designs of the Year for their “clever way-finding system that uses pictograms designed for Amorepacific, one of the world’s largest cosmetic companies, operating over thirty health, beauty, and personal care brands including Etude House, Innisfree and Laneige. 

Sascha Lobe and his team have designed the architectural branding, environmental graphics, and signage for Amorepacific's new corporate headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.

Lobe's team worked closely with David Chipperfield Architects who designed the building. Reflecting the headquarters’ unique geometry, the team devised a matrix that uses Hangul-inspired pictograms to orientate visitors notes Pentagram

“Taking the form of a grid divided into nine sub-squares, level position is communicated through the middle square, with the framing eight squares providing information relative to position, as defined by the ‘corner number’ and ‘geographic location’ hierarchies.”

“Lobe and his team created a Hangul-inspired Latin typeface specifically for the Amorepacific Headquarters. As with the numerals and pictograms, the pared-back, stencilled font is constructed using the Hangul method, resulting in a balanced and consistent visual language”

“English, Chinese and Korean are all used throughout the building and presented a unique challenge for the designers. These systems each possess different complexities, and while Korean and Chinese scripts have some formal relation to one another, it is difficult to achieve a satisfactory integration of Latin characters with a line thickness and font size of similar appearance.”

“Since no typeface existed that would fulfill these criteria completely, Lobe and his team created a Hangul-inspired Latin typeface specifically for the Amorepacific Headquarters. As with the numerals and pictograms, the pared-back, stencilled font is constructed using the Hangul method, resulting in a balanced and consistent visual language throughout the space.”

A total of 76 innovative designs including clothing, buildings, apps, books, homewares and posters that have made a strong global impact were nominated for this year's award, which is given by London's Design Museum.

Following are all the winners of this year's competition.

Anatomy of an AI System from Design Museum on Vimeo.

Beazley Design of the Year Overall Winner: Anatomy of an AI System by Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler

Beazley Architecture Design of the Year: Maya Somaiya Library

Beazley Graphic Design of the Year: Amorepacific architectural branding by Pentagram and David Chipperfield Architects

Beazley Product Design of the Year: CATCH by Hans Ramzan

Beazley Fashion Design of the Year: Adidas Originals by Ji Won Choi

Beazley Transport Design of the Year: GACHA Self-driving Shuttle Bus by MUJI and Sensible 4

Beazley Digital Design of the Year: Anatomy of an AI System by Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler

Beazley Design of the Year - People's Choice: MySleeve by Marie Van den Broeck

Explore more Beazley Designs of the Year 2019 here.