The end of the year is the perfect time for reflection. It might not seem like it, but creative products are a great way to consider the highs and lows of the last 365 days. From items born out of Kickstarter campaigns to celebrities being fashioned into dolls, we can see themes of who and what was important to us during the year 2021.
This year saw some of the biggest names in sports making headlines; not for their gameplay, but their commitment to speaking out about racial equality and mental health. In the summer of 2021, tennis star Naomi Osaka introduced her own Barbie Role Model doll. While the action figure is clad in tennis attire, holding a racket, the designer of the doll was inspired by how Osaka uses her voice to raise awareness on issues that affect everyone. Designer Carlyle Nuera says, “What I personally admire the most about Naomi Osaka is how she uses her platform, the spotlight on her and her voice, to raise awareness about social justice.”
Climate change is at the forefront of our lives; it cannot be ignored. As we work to mitigate the catastrophe, some designers are rethinking our consumption. Milan-based startup Krill Design is working to promote sustainable design with its Ohmie lamp that debuted this year. It’s made of recycled orange peels! Although it’s intended to be a long-lasting decor item, it can be discarded via composting. “We believe there should not be a distinction between ‘Sustainable Design’ and ‘Normal Design,’ but rather that Design should be sustainable by default,” Krill Design explains. “This is the first step toward a Design Revolution, to make practices conscious, materials restored and Sustainable Circular Design the norm.”
Scroll down to see some of the products that made their mark in 2021.
Check our picks for the best creative products of 2021.
1,000-Piece Mars Puzzle
9,090-Piece Titanic LEGO Set
Ohmie Orange Peel Lamp
Strawberry Fields Knit Blanket
Resin and Wood Cheese Boards
Snake Block Wood Toy
Guggenheim Museum Scale Model Kit
Birds on a Wire Mug
Oval Raw Meteorite Pendant Necklace
Raw Mineral Geode Planter
Friends Crochet Kits
Naomi Osaka Barbie
Dip Dye Candles
Basquiat Skull Tote Bag