The woman pushed the stroller to the curb, failed to lift the front wheels, and the baby shot forward out of the pushchair. In a Wired interview, Sam Pearce recalled that instant when he first asked, ‘Why can’t you put the suspension into the wheel?’ His clever, shock absorbing Loopwheels are now shortlisted for the 2015 Designs of the Year award.
Loopwheels has been nominated under the category ‘Transports’ – where you can also find the Google Self-Driving Car and D-air Street airbag, an airbag system that predicts motorbike crashes. This and other extraordinary projects can be seen at London’s Design Museum exhibition, until 23 August.
From bicycles to wheelchairs (on which users’ bodies typically absorb shock along with the chair), Loopwheels make wheels capable of flexibly rolling over bumps, instead of just rebounding. Pearce has been refining manufacturing techniques to get the price down to a few hundred dollars.
Designing the future
In its eighth edition, Designs of the Year ‘celebrates design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year’. A total of 76 studios and design practitioners, from over 30 countries and 5 continents, have been shortlisted for this year’s award.
The Designs of the Year award recognises creativity and design talent in architectural, digital, fashion, graphic, product and transport design, offering a snapshot of designers’ concerns and their works’ impact on the world. Each category’s winner will be announced on 4 May, and the overall winner, one month later.