Not too long ago, plastics were synonymous with disposability. Alessandro Mendini scathingly remarked in the late 1980s that his fellow designers dreamed of entire homes – an entire world – cast not in gold, but plastic.
The process of rethinking much-used products and challenging material conventions dominates this year’s selection of product designs, which includes the first reinvention of the pregnancy test in over thirty years, a table comprising pressed flowers suspended in black resin, and a series of tiles whose glazes are formed from the volcanic ash of Mount Etna.
A chair made of waste that will last for life
A glowing celebration of gems
A simple and affordable HIV test
A battery pack that charges when shaken
A quiet and hands-free breast pump
A tile made from mount Etna's ashes
A flora memento mori
A speaker system with personality
A discreet pregnancy test for a greener planet
A marine wall tile for combatting pollution
A political jewellery collection for asylum seekers
An add-on to make crutches more comfortable
A plastic made of plants
A curtain that reacts to light by changing colour
A rug for a post-Snapchat world
A hack to make IKEA furniture accessible
A clay water filter for Puerto Rico
Discover the most innovative designs across fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product and graphic design from the past 12 months, as nominated by design experts from around the world.