The jury report states: “Instead of concentrating on the object itself – its form and function – it appears that designers today are far more concerned with how their products affect a person’s quality of life.”

“The products we chose for these awards exemplify this idea. They reinforced for us the fact that design has become a central component in the dynamic development of contemporary culture…whether on a large scale like the funicular railway designed to carry visitors to Ljubljana Castle, or on the more modest scale of a sample book for a paper company.”
 

BIO is a comparative international exhibition and awards program for design, visual communications and design concepts. Established in 1964, it is one of the world’s oldest design events. The twenty-first biennial (BIO 21) and survey of international design was on view in October last year at the Architecture Museum of Ljubljana, home of the BIO secretariat.

Works from eighteen countries were chosen for the exhibition by an international jury panel of design leaders that was chaired by Victor Margolin.

The BIO awards were announced at the exhibition’s opening – with the bestowing of gold medals, good design awards and honorable mentions.

The gold medal-winning funicular railway, designed by Slovenian-based Ambient and manufactured by Garaventa, is a straight track up to Ljubljana Castle and rests on a minimal support structure with discreet pillars.

The glass cabin works like an elevator, and is operated by its passengers. The cabin floors are level with the entrance platform and provide easy access for children and people in wheelchairs. The cabin can hold thirty-three passengers, and people can exit and enter the cabin at the same time.

Gold-medal winner in the visual communications category, Booklet for 40ish sheets of paper, by Studio Cuculic, Croatia, was created for client Igepa Plana Papiri in collaboration with the poet Dubravko Mihanovic.

The paper catalogue features illustrations relating to the poems and shows the various paper styles.
Design concepts from nominees like the Eslimi hanger for t-shirts, the Soushi notebook, the Vision 1 constructible object and Alatka pastel crayons showed simplicity and playfulness, and a willingness to engage with people in everyday life.
 

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