K-Briq shortlisted in Beazley Designs of the Year


A recycled brick conceived by Heriot-Watt academics has been unveiled as one of this year’s Beazley Designs of the Year nominations.

The annual awards, organised by London's Design Museum, highlight projects that have made a real-world impact across a broad range of sectors including digital, fashion, transport and architecture. The projects shortlisted for 2020 show how design was evolving before the advent of COVID-19 and, organisers believe, could help reassess how design subsequently progresses in the post-pandemic era.

The recycled brick, named the K-Briq, is the first product from Heriot-Watt spin-out company Kenoteq which is led by Dr Sam Chapman and Professor Gabriela Medero.

Professor Medero explains: “It is incredible to see the K-Briq appearing in London’s Design Museum as part of such a prestigious exhibition.  We have spent more than a decade researching how to better utilise recycled construction and demolition materials to minimise environmental impact.

“Because it is unfired, the K-Briq produces a tenth of the CO2 emissions of a traditional fired clay brick and requires less than a tenth of the energy in its manufacture. We hope sustainable building materials will become standard in the years to come as the UK strives to reach its Net Zero targets.”

Alongside the K-Briq, other designs featured include the edible Ooho drinks capsules, which replaced plastic bottles at this year's London Marathon and an IKEA homeware collection made of rice straw.

The Design of the Year will be revealed on Thursday 26 November with winners in each of the six categories. The awards are decided by a panel of seven judges including artist Camille Walala, the Financial Times's architecture and design critic Edwin Heathcote and fashion designer Samuel Ross. Votes for the K-Briq to receive the public award can be made by clicking here.

This year's selected designs are on view in a dedicated exhibition until 28 March 2021.

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Annie Pugh