Since its inception in 1995, Core77 has served as a hub for creatives and designers of all ages and experience levels to get together and discuss their work as part of a global network. Core77 publishes articles, job listings, and portfolios online, hosts events and competitions, keeps an extensive design firm database, and organizes parties, lectures, and exhibits for design enthusiasts around the world to marvel in.
The company’s Design Awards were founded in 2011 with the aim of promoting innovation while simultaneously rewarding excellence. Participants can enter their projects into any of 14 categories, all of which are further broken up into “student” and “professional” classes. An international panel of design leaders selects the honorees and winners based on their use of integrity, insight, and intent in their respective fields.
The awards themselves were crafted by a design team in the form of functional molds. This way, the trophies can be used to make additional casts so that each member of the winning teams receives an individual honor for their efforts. The trophy is meant to embody the spirit of collaboration and team-based design.
This year, Core77 recruited 54 panelists from 15 countries to determine the award winners. These jurors were then divided into teams of three or four to vote amongst the 14 categories. The categories are as follows: Built Environment, Commercial Equipment, Consumer Product, Design Concept, Design Education Initiative, Design for Social Impact, Furniture and Lighting, Interaction, Open Design, Packaging, Service Design, Strategy and Research, Transportation, and Visual Communication. In each category, awards are given at the Student, Notable, Runner-Up, and Winner levels, though all the honorées are featured on the Core77 website.
Visual Communication Award: Google Wayfinding
Google’s Kirkland campus was set to undergo a dramatic expansion in 2016, and the new designs for their directory signs took home the Core77 Visual Communication Award for their reflection of the company’s belief that content should stimulate all five of the human senses. These textural and vibrant 4-D signs also utilize natural lighting to alter their appearance as the days and seasons go by.
Transportation Award: VOLTA
Pure Cycles has designed a revolutionary lightweight bicycle that can be used to traverse the bustle of inner cities. The bike can travel up to 40 miles on a single charge, reach a top speed of 20 mph, and boasts a clean, minimalist aesthetic that hides its electronic nature. Thanks to its integrated lights that switch on automatically when it’s dark out, intelligent brake signaling, and computerized display that indicates speed and charge level, the VOLTA is now the smartest e-bike on the market.
Built Environment Award: The Guesthouse Project
Last year, the Guesthouse Project was conducted in Melbourne, Australia to investigate the ways that design could influence social cohesion at the local level. Full-scale pop-up structures were designed and constructed for refugees to live and celebrate their native communities through music, food, and social gatherings in. The experiment proved to be a smash-hit and went on to win third place in the Austrailian Design Journal’s list of top seven projects of 2016.
Consumer Product Award: Suzy Snooze
Bleepbleeps is changing the way that traditional baby monitors watch over our little ones. The quirky “Suzy Snooze” device uses advanced digital technology to help both babies and parents get a better night’s sleep. Suzy plays comforting music to your baby when she hears them crying, doubles as a warm LED nightlight, and teaches toddlers to stay in bed with her innovative “sleep training” function. The best part is, all of Suzy’s features can be controlled through an easy-to-use app. Bleepbleeps is even developing technology that will eventually allow parents to monitor their child’s sleeping patterns!