2012 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) Winners

by . August 30th, 2012

The International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) is an international award program that promotes business and public understanding of how excellent industrial design can improve the economy and the quality of life of many people. In the design community, it is known as “The Oscars of Design” with its winners representing a who’s who of design greatness. The award is sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and has been running for the past thirteen years.

This year, another batch of exceptional designs have been recognized by IDEA’s jury for being the epitome of quality industrial design that are visually appealing, innovative and at the same time provides value to the economy. Here are some of the winners of this year’s awards (Gold awards to be specific).


Gira Dora Foot-Powered Washing Machine and Spin Dryer



Balde-a-Balde portable faucet brings running water from any container



Although strangely looking, Digifi is a high fidelity audio system meant to revitalize interest and celebrate the future of spacial audio in homes, theaters, vehicles and in events.



Designed by Sheng-Hung Lee and Yu-Lin Chen, this first aid kit is not only stylish but also fully functional.



The Discovery IGS 730 is a laser-guided robotic interventional X-ray system.



Samsung XGEO GU60 and GC80 are x-ray machines that lower radiation exposure and at the same time improves the efficiency and productivity of taking x-ray scans through improved ergonomics.

This medical toolkit for Surface-mount Micro Dialysis consists of a package containing tubes, connectors, introducers, and a pump which are most useful for patients, surgeons and nurses working in Surface-mount Micro dialysis (SMD) cases. For surgeons and nurses, as it streamlines the number of procedures that need to be carried out during surgery and monitoring phases.
The Campus Mini Velo utility bike was designed with college students in mind. The bike has a funky design, interchangeable attachments like a collapsible cargo rack, cup holders and lights which can be conveniently added or removed from the bike using a clever system of lockable drop pins without the need of using any special tools.
The smart squeeze jacket is a type of garment created for individuals with autism. The jacket is equipped with inflatables that simulate the sensation of a person giving a hug which provides a sort of deep pressure therapy to create a sensory calming effect.
The C-thru Smoke helmet is a head gear designed for firefighters. The helmet features a head-mounted projection display, optical thermal camera, cloud computing, selective active noise cancellation and target acquisition, all of which are very useful in fire rescue operations.
The Horizon LED task light offers consumers a versatile lamp that has several settings for adjusting light intensity depending on the users needs. The design of the lamp also allows for variable adjustments in all axes and height which allow the users to position the lamp to provide light where it is most needed.
SleepTOO is a revolutionary, fully-renewable seating system that can be transformed into a variety of furniture types. It was originally designed for use in hospitals to provide family members a comfortable way of staying in the hospital to help their family members with the healing process. The furniture can be transformed into a sofa, a twin size bed and a seating solution with an integrated table.
The Cocoon open MRI chair is a design concept dedicated to providing a more efficient and less daunting process of taking MRI scans. Unlike today’s MRI machines, the Cocoon Open MRI chair’s smaller footprint allows for scans to be taken inside a small room. It’s cocoon shape also gives a less threatening and more welcoming feeling when patients enter the exam room, which is especially helpful for individuals suffering from claustrophobia.
The Embrace infant warmer provides a more affordable option for families who give birth to premature and low-birth-weight babies. Instead of using an expensive incubator, the Embrace infant warmer can provide warmth with a heated pouch placed inside the warmer. The heated pouch can remain at a temperature of 98.6 degrees for at least four hours.
This transparent LED bulb simulates the warm light produced by an incandescent bulb. By providing the same warm light that incandescent light bulbs produce, Panasonic (the makers of this bulb) hopes to increase the adoption of much economical LED light fixtures.
The Tools at Schools (TAS) collection is a set of school furniture that was created based on the design of eighth-grade students who were asked to redesign a classroom in hopes that the activity would instill design thinking and creativity as a tool for developing real-world solutions. The result of the project was incorporated into a singular and collaborative vision for the locker, table and chair.
The OXO Tot Seedling booster seat was an improved version of the booster seat that was designed to help toddlers have a smooth transition from high chair to a big chair. The design of this booster seat fit well into any interiors and offers the best height to enable kids to easily reach meals on the table and their feet to dangle comfortably over the cushion’s rounded front edge.
The Nike + FuelBand provides an athletic measurement of daily physical movement in time, calories and steps that integrates with the iphone and social media networks for sharing.
The Samsung Induction hob is a compact one-burner induction hob that features soft-round edges, recessed controls and a translucent body. The hob comes in different colors that ensures it fits harmoniously with any kitchen finish or decor.

The Beats Wireless headphones and the Beats Mixr are two headphones from the Beats by Dr. Dre line that provide excellent sound quality without the expense of looks and style.
Propellerhead Balance is a new two-in by two-out audio interface designed with musicians in mind. It has separate controls for monitors and headphones plus it has eight connections for electronic musical instruments. The balance allows users to make music without the hassle of cable swapping and confusing software controls.
Crown’s RM 6000S received a gold IDEA award primarily due to its innovative Monolift mast that provides unprecedented strength and a clear view of the warehouse environment for the driver.
The easy to grip Nook simple touch from Barnes and Noble is an e-reader designed to emulate a paperback book. The device has a touch interface, wireless connectivity, and the ability to purchase, download and store digital reading material in a simple and flexible format.
The B/E Aerospace Essence Inserts collection is a set of appliances designed for airlines. The designers of the Essence Inserts hope to help airlines by providing a set of appliances that are both visually appealing and practical.
Ecologic Brand’s paper bottle design provides a solution for containing liquids in an environmentally friendly container. The bottle is made out of paper lined with a thin layer of plastic. The outer shell of the battle is made from 100 percent post-consumer paper fiber.
The Nokia Lumia 800 and 900 are the top two Windows Phone devices from Nokia’s smartphone lineup. Both are made up polycarbonate unibody stretched around the phones’ Gorilla glass displays. Furthermore, the body is molded using a pigment that provides inherent color through and through which serve to hide any scratches or dings on the phone.

 “Great design begins and ends with a deep understanding of people’s innermost needs and desires with a responsibility to society. When designers are successful at this, it creates tremendous economic value and makes life and the world a better place.” 

Davin Stowell.
CEO, Smart Design
IDEA 2011 Jury Chair

And there you have it. This year’s winners of the International Design Excellence Awards have already been announced, if you’re an industrial designer, there’s another competition next year. And if you want to submit an entry you can visit their website using this link.

If any of the designs listed above caught your eye, tell us why you think it’s the most innovative and most deserving of the bunch by leaving a comment below. You can also hit us up on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ if you have other comments and suggestions. Our RSS feeds are also available for subscription, so if you want to get the latest and freshest design news and features from the world of designers, we’re just a click away.