Microchips lined with living human cells are no doubt a befitting winning project for Designs of the Year 2015. Organized by London's Design Museum, the annual competition reels in a fun mix of memorable and inventive designs coming from global brands to emerging entrepreneurs.
Starting out with 76 nominees, the jury narrowed down the competition pool to six Category Winners in Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product, and Transport. From those winners, the jury picked Product Category Winner "Human Organs-on-Chips" -- designed by Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute -- as the winner of the 2015 Designs of the Year Award.
Previous overall winners include the Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid Architects in 2014, the London 2012 Olympic Torch by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby in 2012, and Shepard Fairey's Barack Obama "Hope" poster in 2009.
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Gemma Curtin, Designs of the Year 2015 exhibition curator, said: ‘This winning design is a great example of how design is a collaborative practice embracing expertise and know how across disciplines. Its selection as Design of the Year 2015 also signifies a desire to recognise and award design that can significantly impact society now and in the future.’
The Human Organs-on-Chips were nominated by Paola Antonelli, MoMA's Senior Curator of Architecture & Design and Director of R&D, who called the project ‘the epitome of design innovation – elegantly beautiful form, arresting concept and pioneering application.’
Fabricated by Wyss Institute scientists Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh, Human-Organs-on-Chips are microchips lined with living human cells that have the ability to mimic the complex structures, functions, and mechanical motions of entire human organs. As a new method of testing and developing drugs, these pioneering microdevices are an emblem of cross-disciplinary design excellence that show great potential in advancing personalized medicine, accelerating drug discovery, and decreasing development costs.
The 2015 competition is over, but visitors can check out all of this year's nominees at a current exhibition in the Design Museum, running until March 31, 2016.
The 2015 Designs of the Year jury included: Anish Kapoor, Artist (Chair); Hilary Alexander, Writer and stylist; Alexis Georgacopoulos, Director of Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne; Farshid Moussavi, Architect and Professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design; and Richard Woolley, Studio Director, Land Rover Design Research & Special Vehicle Operations
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