Design Week’s favorite festive projects of 2022

By | December 22, 2022

From an AI-powered Christmas cracker to a regenerative Christmas tree, here are our festive project picks this year.

Artificial Intell-a-joke D25, by Dentsu Creative UK

As many creative conversations this year have orbited around the topic of AI and advances in systems such as Midjourney and DALL-E 2, its fitting that Dentsu Creative UK opted for an AI Christmas cracker rather than the traditional Christmas card this year. The digital cracker can be accessed through a link, where users will then be asked to input their name and choose their preferred level of cheesiness for the joke – ranging from mild to stinking. As it begins to conjure up a joke, the cracker morphs into different festive forms, such as a cluster of baubles and a cracker-shaped gingerbread man, before exploding into confetti and revealing an AI-generated Christmas joke.

Through terribly cheesy AI jokes, the project seeks to highlight that the best humor comes from human minds and is in aid of charity Mind UK, which provides advice and support for those experiencing a mental health problem.


Stock animation Christmas card, by AKQA

Digital design agency AKQA launched its 2022 Christmas card which was created with Ukrainian production designer and artist Mariia Shub and her brother, animation director Rodion Shub. The siblings were both evacuated to the UK with Mariia’s two children in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Christmas card is inspired by the Ukrainian folk song Little Wings, more commonly known as Carol of the Bells, and seeks to spread both hope and awareness of how people’s lives have been impacted by the war in Ukraine. Originally written by Mykola Leontovych over one hundred years ago, the traditional Ukrainian folk song about the arrival of spring tells the story of Shchedryk. The song’s title is derived from the Ukrainian word “shchedryj”, meaning bountiful and, in the lyrics, a swallow flies between households telling families of the abundant year to come. AKQA’s Christmas card follows the journey of the swallow and is accompanied by the Shchedryk melody, using Ukrainian culture and creativity as an inspiration for the animation.

One of Ukraine’s most recognized youth musical ensembles Kyiv Children’s Choir Shchedryk provides the soundtrack, led by artistic director and chief conductor, Marianna Sablina. The film features sound design by composer, producer and international DJ, Damon Baxter.


Zero-waste Christmas tree, by House Collective and Editecture

Swire Hotels’ luxury hotel brand The House Collective commissioned Hong Kong-based architecture and multidisciplinary design studio Editecture to create a tree made from 100% upcycled materials. Named the Tree That Lives On, the structure was designed to be deconstructed after the festive season, when it will be repurposed into 21 custom furniture pieces, such as lamps, tables, stools and chairs. This repurposing will be the third lifecycle for the materials as the 3.6-metre-tall tree is made from 38,600 discarded plastic bottles and upcycled glass, rescued from landfills and waterways. After being shredded and melted, the waste was made into orb-shaped ornaments.

All proceeds from the sale of the furniture will go to the local Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council, which supports underprivileged families living in subdivided flats. The zero-waste, regenerative approach aims to encourage eco-consciousness over the holiday period.


Budget-friendly coded digital Christmas cards, by Oliver

Creative agency Oliver opted for a budget-friendly approach to its Christmas cards this year, donating the savings to the World Food Program charity instead.

The agency says the design required no expensive photoshoot, tech build or photoshop, instead using the ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) to create minimalistic and brightly colored digital greetings cards. ASCII computer text art is created using the code and its 95 characters to produce images, from simple emoticons to more elaborate works. Oliver’s card depicts words such as Happy Holidays in illustrative styles as well as an image of a US bank note and a snowman.

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