10 Positively Inspiring Product Designs Win 2009 IDEA Awards

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) announced the winners of the 2009 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).  Of the 1631 entries, 150 products received the prestigious top honors; 31 were Gold Awards.  Emphasizing sustainability, functionality, aesthetics, and designs for underprivileged populations, all of the 2009 IDEA winners were deserving of their recognition. Here are 10 IDEA Gold Award winning product designs I think will inspire future product designers and manufacturers.


1.   IDEA Best In Show Award, Gold Award for Ecodesign: Nike Trash Talk

Credit:  Kasey Jarvis, Andreas Harlow, Fred Dojan and Dan Johnson of Nike Inc.



No, it's not just a sneaker, but a performance basketball shoe made entirely of leftovers; leftover natural and synthetic leathers, foam, and rubber.  Nike did it without compromising the performance of the shoe.  If Nike can produce a quality shoe made from waste, other manufacturers can repay their debt to the earth as well.


2.  IDEA Gold Award For Leisure & Recreation: LightLane

Credit:  Evan Gant, IDSA and Alex Tee of Altitude Inc.



Bike lanes are not always available to keep bikers in line and now, with the drastic cost cutting measures in place by local governments, they're not likely to start bike safety projects any time soon.  But what about the LightLane, which puts bike safety square on the biker's own seat?  Laser beams determine the biker's lane,  showing the driver behind him how much space the biker needs.  The LightLane may make night time biking safer than riding a bike during the day!   To see videos of the LightLane in use, visit LightLane.


3. IDEA Gold Award For Commercial and Industrial Products: Better Place Charge Spot

Credit:  Gadi Amit, IDSA, Mike Massucco, Chad Harber, Justin Porcano and Barbara Stettler of NewDealDesign and Nekuda DM Ltd.




There were several gold award winners in the Commercial and Industrial Products Category. The Better Place Charge Spot is a dual outlet design for electric vehicles that is intended to be connected directly to a power grid.  It can be placed in parking lots, on streets where parking is permitting, or in special docking stations located at rest stops along highways. If we're going to build electric cars, we need someplace to charge them, and the Better Place Charge Spot should inspire planners and developers to create spaces for them.