2012 IDEA® Winners Reflect the Best in Design

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) unveiled the winners of the 2012 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA®) program—a celebration of design excellence in products, sustainability, interaction design, packaging, strategy, research and concepts. Out of 660 finalists, 35 were honored with the Gold Award, while 71 received the Silver Award and 123 merited the Bronze Award. IDSA will reveal the Best in Show, Curator’s Choice, People’s Choice and the Sustainability Award at the IDEA ceremony on Aug. 18 at its 2012 International Conference in Boston.

The top corporate winners were Samsung claiming seven awards, Belkin securing four and Coway and LG Electronics receiving three each.

Among design firms: IDEO received 13 awards; Smart Design captured six awards; Teague, fuseproject, Nectar Inc. and NewDealDesign LLC earned four each; and frog, New, Ziba and Ammunition won three respectively. Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, Calif., topped this year’s list of college wins with eight awards.

“I believe the diversity of experts and opinions within this year’s jury shaped the debate and ultimately made a statement—not only about the best design of 2012, but also setting a clear direction for the future,” said IDEA’s 2012 Jury Chair Rhys Newman, head of advanced projects at Nokia. “This year's jury awarded products that brought together hardware, software, service and experience. While there are many well-designed, innovative products, the exciting future is in the convergence of disciplines and expertise that span the digital and physical divide, ultimately resulting in useful and beautiful products for people.”

“In deliberating on the Best in Show, the important bellwether for where the cutting-edge concerns of the profession are, we witnessed the jurors turn from products that demonstrated great experiences to those that combined all the elements of new digital experiences into solutions that can transform behavior,” said IDSA’s Chair George McCain.”

Comprising the IDEA 2012 jury, 19 international design experts from design consultancies, corporations and universities spent weeks previewing entries online and two-and-a-half days of face-to-face debate and hands-on evaluation of the entries at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Mich. Judging criteria focused on eight areas of industrial design excellence: innovation; benefit to the user; benefit to society; benefit to the client; visual appeal and appropriate aesthetics; usability, emotional factors and unmet needs for the design research category; and internal factors, methods, strategic value and implementation for the design strategy category.

The awards were chosen from the following industry and design categories:  bathroom, spa and wellness; commercial and industrial products; communication tools; computer equipment; design strategy; digital design; entertainment; environments; gardens and outdoor; kitchens; leisure and recreation; living room and bedroom; medical and scientific products; office and productivity; packaging and graphics; personal accessories; research; service design; social impact design; student designs and transportation. Entries came from 30 countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea (North), Korea (South), Liechtenstein, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

The partners and media sponsors for this year’s awards are Core 77, Curve magazine, facesofdesign.com, Microsoft and Yanko Design. This is the third year that The Henry Ford will house the IDEA winners in its permanent collection as it continues to tell the story of innovation.

For detailed descriptions, photos and contact information on this year’s IDEA winners, visit: www.idsa.org/idea-2012-gallery

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