The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Oslo. Photography: Jens Passoth

Brit Insurance Designs of the Year is the Design Museum in London’s annual design award. Its aim is to explore “innovative, interesting and forward-looking new work in design of all kinds, from around the world.”

Over a 100 objects in 7 categories are presented and they’re picked by a group consisting of “respected design experts, curators, critics, practitioners, enthusiasts” and even the popular vote. The categories are architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics, interactive, product and transport. There’s then a winner in each category  and finally an overall winner who gets the ultimate award; the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2009.

Campaign logo for Barack Obama by Sender LLC and mo/de.

Now, what exactly is awarded? A lot of things, objects, design, advertising campaigns, basically anything that falls under the definition of “interesting.” And who picks the winner? Well, “enthusiasts” entitles quite a lot of people to decide. So when pretty much anything from “around the world” that anyone that is enthusiastic about “interesting” things can pick what is the worth of the award itself? What will the winner feel has been accomplished?

There are many awards that are picked by an elitist jury and can be questioned because of this; are their taste the correct taste? There are as many awards that are picked by the public, and these awards’ purposes are as easily questioned. The Brit Insurance Designs of the Year award is a marketing stunt, marketing Brit Insurance and giving the excellent Design Museum an exhibition of the year, guaranteeing revenue and visitors.

St Pancras International. Photography: LCR/Troika Photos

Will Sender LLC and mo/de be happy if they win for their magnificent campaign logo for Barack Obama. Will they or anyone consider it to be per definition better design than St Pancras International, Prada’s Spring/Summer collection or Oslo’s new Opera House by Snøhetta?

Can you pick an object from the 100 presented that you think is the best design of 2008?