The 121 winning entries in the IDEA awards were sponsored by Business Week magazine and the Industrial Designers Society of America, IDSA, and were announced at the IDSA Conference in New York City. 

Entries were described as getting back to basics and every day problem solving. Trends noted by judges were the rise in eco-responsibility as well as an increase in client use of design research.

“Overall the IDEA submissions this year were pragmatic rather than experimental,” said Jury Chair Naomi Gornich.  

Gornich, Principal, Naomi Gornich Associates, said: “The overall mood in industry worldwide is one of caution. We are beginning to see some tentative design thought being given to ecological issues and the sustainable use of materials. 

“Generally, winning products include simple, clean aesthetics with some products achieving elegance.”

Other judges described a move toward solving everyday life issues, highlighting the sheer functionality of some products.

“These winners show that design is not about style but about problem solving and context,” said Juror Charles Burnette, of IDSA, Director, Industrial Design Program, The University of the Arts. 

Juror, Mike Laude, Design Director Bose Corporation, said “Winners are cleaner, a little more judicious with detail and less ornamentation.”

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Oliver Kratzer is the national vice-president of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) and managing director of Ideal Industrial, a Sydney-based design consultancy.

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