Dezeen’s prime 10 design and know-how developments of 2019


For our review of 2019, deputy editor Augusta Pownall picks out ten developments which have preoccupied the design and know-how industries this 12 months, from the circular economy to the continued rise of China and a deal with privacy.

Accessories for the paranoid surveillance

Surveillance and privateness

Knowledge is without doubt one of the most profitable sources on the planet, however concern has mounted over defending digital privateness and the damaging results of on-line surveillance this 12 months.

Winston Privacy created a hardware filter that customers plug into their modem that forestalls on-line monitoring and the ensuing profiling throughout any sensible system in the home, while Accessories for the Paranoid generates pretend on-line information to blur your digital profile.

CounterBug is a playful tackle the theme that confuses information harvesting algorithms by giving digital assistants conflicting details about the person, talking about socially fascinating matters and “shouting” over set off phrases. Ewa Nowak’s answer – brass face-jewellery that confuses facial recognition cameras – is probably the most aesthetically pleasing, and will be worn in London’s King’s Cross space, which we learnt this 12 months is utilizing facial recognition to observe guests.

In the meantime, Facebook redesigned their site to “put privateness first” and opened a privacy cafe in 5 places throughout the UK the place guests may verify their privateness settings over a cup of espresso.

Folding telephones

This 12 months numerous corporations revealed telephones with folding screens. Samsung revealed the Galaxy Fold in February this 12 months, with a design that opens like a e book to disclose the folding display inside.

Huawei’s offering just a few days later flipped this concept on its head, with the display folding across the exterior of the folding telephone. Microsoft unveiled the Surface Duo in October, and Motorola gave its traditional Razr flip phone a revamp with a display on each inner planes. With Samsung suffering some problems with broken folding screens, it appears the know-how nonetheless has a option to go.

Toxic philanthropy hits architecture and design institutions

Local weather protest

Dezeen printed its first story on local weather change protest group Extinction Rebellion in April this 12 months. Our protection has since included the modular wooden boxes used at their protests, the acquisition by the V&A of flags, pamphlets and digital information, and the group’s boycott of the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year show on account of the sponsor, insurance coverage firm Beazley.

Our fractured relationship with the pure world has additionally been explored in numerous excessive profile exhibitions around the globe this 12 months as properly, together with Broken Nature, the Milan Triennale exhibition curated by Paola Antonelli, who additionally opened our inaugural Dezeen Day conference, Nature at Cooper Hewitt in New York, 24/7 at Somerset House and Eco-Visionaries on the RA.

Ellen MacArthur's Circular Design Programme

Round economic system

Tough to outline, however massively essential for the way forward for design, the circular economy was a giant subject this 12 months. Spherical-the-world sailor and circular-economy champion Ellen MacArthur stated switching to a circular economy was “absolutely vital” and is seeking to persuade 20 million designers to comply with her. Adidas’s innovation group added that it was “good for business”, whereas designer Richard Hutten believes that corporations that do not embrace a non-linear enterprise mannequin will go bust.

IKEA has pledged to develop into a circular business by 2030, and even London’s mayor called on property developers and architects to design for a round economic system.

Examples of those concepts being put into observe included clothes by made by Swedish firm Re:newcell made from Circulose, a brand new materials that makes use of recycled cotton garments, and Carlo Ratti’s orange juice bar that 3D prints a cup to drink from utilizing the fruit’s peel.

Cybertruck by Tesla


Electrical autos have been round for some time, however this 12 months noticed some uncommon additions, with supercars and Harleys being unveiled. Italian auto-maker Lamborghini claims its first hybrid production car, Sián, might be its quickest motor of all time, while the Lotus Evija is a powerful, fully electric supercar with the lifting dihedral doorways typical of such a design.

Electrical automobiles featured closely  at each the Shanghai and Geneva motor exhibits, and subsequent 12 months’s Olympics will see athletes transfer round within the autonomous, electrical e-Palette vehicle by Toyota. Extra surprisingly, Harley Davidson, the motorcycle firm related to Hells Angels and petrol-heads moved into the electrical market with two bikes suitable for urban commuters.

Tesla, in the meantime, went after the American pick-up truck market with its Cybertruck, and Dyson scrapped its electric vehicle project fully as “not commercially viable”.

Yinka Ilori

Yinka Ilori and color

It was designer Yinka Ilori‘s 12 months. The British-Nigerian designer created The Colour Palace pavilion, which stood exterior the John Soane-designed Dulwich Image Gallery in south London. The multi-coloured construction was raised above the bottom on 4 bright-red, stocky legs, and made the designer’s mark as the final word maximalist.

Ilori’s signature saturated prints additionally adorned a playground for adults at Cannes Lions competition within the south of France, and guided guests across the Get Up Stand Up Now exhibition celebrating black British tradition at Somerset Home. Downtrodden commuters had been cheered up along with his eye-popping transformation of a railway bridge in London, whereas his work additionally discovered its method right into a Yorkshire stately home.

Repurposing supplies for installations

Designers have been addressing the problem of waste at festivals and exhibitions in two methods: by making installations from recycled supplies and by reusing the identical supplies from the 12 months earlier than.

Matter of Stuff repurposed 5,000 wooden dowels from their 2018 set up to create a bench, sculptures and screens for this 12 months’s LDF presentation, whereas the Eco-Visionaries exhibition at London’s Royal Academy reused dividing partitions and boards from earlier exhibits.

Martino Gamper’s Disco Carbonara at Coal Drops Yard in London was made with leftovers from the wooden veneer business, Paul Cocksedge’s undulating benches had been made out of scaffolding boards and Tarkett’s snowy mountain-scape at Stockholm Design Week was certain for show in different Nordic international locations earlier than discovering its house in a faculty.

Vitra x Virgil Abloh

Vogue designers tackle the house

Apparently trend is out of trend, as those that used to make garments are turning their palms to designing furnishings and homeware as an alternative. Belgian dressmaker Ann Demeulemeester launched her first collection of tableware, cutlery and glasses in Paris in September. In the meantime Rick Owens created a suitably gothic, monochrome assortment of seats for Carpenters Workshop Gallery, impressed by brutalism.

Virgil Abloh launched a collection with IKEA, confirmed his sinking Alaska chair in Venice, and on the RA in London, and even hacked the Vitra archive to create his imaginative and prescient of how we would dwell in 2035.

Designer Dion Lee worked with Australian brand DesignByThem on a collection of furniture utilizing leather-based, while trend home Loewe hosted Japanese basket-weaving workshops throughout London Craft Week. Roksanda Ilincic went one step additional and designed an entire apartment at Gasholders in London’s King’s Cross.

IKEA Förändring rice straw collection

Responses to air air pollution

The ocean plastic downside is well-known and continues to be a urgent situation, however this 12 months the business additionally turned its consideration to air air pollution.

Design studio NotAnotherOne created a personal air-quality tracker that clips on to a backpack, for metropolis dwellers to measure the air pollution within the air as they go about their day, whereas IKEA got here up with two merchandise that strategy the issue in several methods, the Gunrid purifying curtain and an Indian collection of homeware made from straw that may in any other case be burnt.

The air-pollution disaster in Delhi meant that when Space10 opened their second outpost, in the south of the city in November, they solely invited native journalists and designers to the opening weekend. Earlier within the 12 months, nevertheless, Dezeen reported that officers in Madrid had been planning to repeal the city’s low-emissions zone, as site visitors jams are a part of town’s “identification”.

Made in China

For years China was accused of copying the West, however that is altering. Designer Ruohong Wu deliberately subverted the idea by utilizing Chinese language mass-production methods to make a set of distinctive porcelain vessels, whereas Jun Jie Zhang looked to the traditional bamboo-weaving techniques used south of the Yangtze river for his irregular bamboo gentle shades.

Fritz Hansen selected town of Xi’an for its largest store anywhere in the world, on the similar time declaring its ambition to develop into the “greatest Danish model in Asia”, and home-grown model Stellar Works launched its latest collections as Design Shanghai relatively than taking them to the Milan furnishings honest.

Chinese designers took centre stage at international events equivalent to Stockholm Furnishings Truthful and IDS in Toronto, the place Neri&Hu had been friends of honour, and at Design Biennale Saint-Étienne in addition to Maison et Objet commerce honest in Paris the place six emerging Chinese designers, together with Mario Tsai had been named the skills of the longer term.