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Brit Insurance Designs of the Year at Design Museum

This year's most innovative designs from architecture to fashion and interactive design to furniture have gone on display at the Design Museum.

Folding plug by Min-Kyu Choi
Folding plug by Min-Kyu Choi

For the third year the Design Museum is hosting this exhibition of shortlisted entries in the Brit Insurance Design Awards. Unsurprisingly sustainability and social responsibility figure strongly in this year's crop of nominations. I was particularly struck by the Kyoto Box – a cheap solar cooker made from cardboard boxes.

The inevitable inclusion of the Amazon Kindle provides a pointer to the future consumption of news and literature. Whilst the Kindle's screen is undoubtedly easy to read, the interface seems clunky to those used to multitouch devices like the iPhone.

A nice local touch is provided by the Newspaper Club, the innovative new enterprise which enables anyone to produce a newsprint publication with the minimum of fuss and expense. Southwark's own Ben Terrett is one of the leading players, and the free sample paper available in the gallery features a walk along the Bermondsey and Rotherhithe riverside written by James Bridle and a fascinating old map of the riverside from Pickle Herring Street in the west to Lavender Pond in the east.

Min-Kyo Choi's folding electrical plug deserves to succeed; it is elegant, robust and genuinely useful.

The best designs provide aesthetically pleasing solutions to real problems: PlantLock, which combines secure bicycle parking with an attractive tub for planting, can be seen outside the Garden Museum and in the new-look Great Suffolk Street shopping parade.

• The jury, chaired by Antony Gormley, will announce the winners in each category on 4 March with the overall winner to be revealed on 16 March.

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