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'Recognising talent from 31 countries on six continents, from Greece to Guatemala'

The fourth edition of the Monocle Design Awards are here. This annual recognition of the industry's finest work features everything from leading architecture to the best in furniture production, community-building initiatives and top graphic works.

As in previous years, Monocle's team of editors and correspondents have met the people and visited the projects across the globe that are setting design benchmarks. There are 50 individual prizes (listed in no particular order), with the winners including a sleek fire extinguisher designed by a Swedish student, a new school in Baghdad, a community library in Tanzania and a bright and airy shop in Japan.

'At Monocle, our view has always been that good design improves quality of life,' says Monocle's design editor, Nic Monisse. 'So it's only natural that the Monocle Design Awards build on this outlook, with prizes highlighting the ways in which enjoyable, attractive and practical design can enhance our homes, offices and cities – and build communities too.'

This year's Monocle Design Awards recognise talent from 31 countries on six continents, from Greece to Guatemala, covering projects that put people first, enhance environmental and social qualities, and elevate the everyday.

The Award / Harry Thaler
This year, Bolzano-based designer Harry Thaler has reimagined the annual trophy-cum-paperweight using woodworking scraps. It's an appropriate, practical and environmentally-minded design, ensuring that the trophy embodies the values of the prize itself.

Furniture / Olaio 'ik', Portugal
Looking for an elegant solution for a folding chair? This easy-to-store perch by Portuguese design brand Olaio is available in lacquered ash and freijó wood, with a cane woven seat. Expect to see it in smart homes and in use by savvy cultural institutions.

Architecture / Zürich Hauptbahnhof
Zürich Hauptbahnhof is Switzerland's busiest train station – and a recent renovation of its oldest building, by Aebi & Vincent Architekten, has made it a grand entrance to its biggest city. It is a reminder of the power of a transit hub to reflect and serve its community.

Industrial design / Monopole No 1
Looking to enhance your commute? Then get in the saddle of a Monopole No 1. The first Swiss e-cargo bike made in Europe, this new brand's singular model is designed in Switzerland and manufactured in France, in a superlative marriage of design merit.

More information:
Monocle Design Awards

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