2004 Annual Design Review Consumer Products Design Distinction

Go-Pro Basketball Shooting System

A basketball’s requirements are basic. It must be round. It must bounce. How much room is left for improvement? A lot, if the ball is designed as a tool to help kids learn how to shoot. Nike’s Go-Pro Basketball features recessed rubber “shot dots” that serve as fingertip guides and a pattern of oblong yellow shapes that spin into a solid line when the ball is properly launched. Along with a training CD, the tactile and visual cues teach shooters to favor an effective grip and release that ideally continue to score points when users graduate to standard equipment. The jurors liked the educational approach. Patton foresaw a future of ordinary artifacts that incorporate teaching strategies as part of the equipment itself, and are not relegated to software or an instruction manual.

Client
Nike Inc., Beaverton, OR
Design
Nike Design Team: Pamela Hill, design director; Chris Page, product concept director; Greg Batch, writer; Bruce Potts, product developer; Kitty Lindstrom, design manager; Laura Hubler, producer; Scott Rose, product line manager; Edweard Cardimona, global creative director; John Woodman, global business director
Materials
Ball: rubber vulcanization, labels, six-color offset printing
Software
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Macromedia Flash MX, Rhino

Meta Plasma Cube Cabinetry

Dornbracht’s bathroom fixture isn’t metal, glass, or wood, but a proprietary luminescent acrylic called LISA that comes in a range of hot and cool colors and posseses an inner glow under natural lighting. Jurors liked the product’s “floating” quality and the fact that it represented a breath of innovation in the neglected mid-price range. “You have either IKEA or there’s high-end. There’s nothing in between for people who have a design sensibility,” Plat said. Patton questioned the desirability of plastic in a bathroom fixture, but Plat rose to its defense. “The quality of this plastic is different. It’s quite civilized.” Ten years ago, one may have similarly questioned the appeal of a plastic microwave, he pointed out. “It’s making a statement that’s going to lead to changes in the industry.”

Client
Dornbracht USA, Duluth, GA
Design
Sieger Design, Sassenberg, Germany
Materials
LISA acrylic

Tumi T3 Luggage

“Luggage is one of those categories where you have such boring stuff,” Plat announced. “This is more interesting.” The jurors were unanimously impressed with the T3’s handsome, understated profile: the soft, contoured styling, precision segmenting, inverted-seam construction, and anodized aluminum trim, all evoking the sensual interior of a luxury sedan. They praised the ergonomic flexibility of the sculptural handle, which has a patented mechanism to rotate and lock into left- or right-handed positions or maneuver freely in between. Unlike other mono-tube luggage designs, the T3 features a bar that supports a smaller bag on top, but users may not require it. Much can be packed into the smartly compartmentalized interior. Some competitors are more deceptive, Patton noted, “actually providing less storage capacity than they would appear to.”

Client
Tumi Inc., South Plainfield, NJ
Design
Tumi in-house design team: Timm Fenton, vice president of design; Paul Scicluna, senior product developer; Seymour Powell Associates, London: Dick Powell, principal
Materials
Molded ABS, variable-blend nylon/polyester fibers, solid steel
Software
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, ProEngineer

Dynamap

To prevent visual overload, maps are traditionally single-minded: They chart streets, subway lines, or points of interest, but not all three in any detail. Dynamap, designed by Ian White of Urban Mapping, overcomes these constraints with lenticular technology. Tilt the Manhattan map one way, it shows subway lines. Tilt it another, landmarks and neighborhoods. Still another way, streets. “It solves one of the biggest problems in using maps,” said Rojas. “Two maps of the same geographical area have different information, and it’s hard to overlay.” Jurors praised the relatively low-tech solution to an information-design puzzle, although they wondered about the medium’s transitory nature. “Why won’t someone do an electronic application?” asked Patton, to which Rojas responded, “We’re still at a point where a lot of people don’t want to whip out a PDA to figure out where the subway is.”

Client/Design
Urban Mapping LLC, New York: Ian White, principal
Materials
Paper backing, proprietary adhesives, lamination, die-cut backing
Software
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, ArcView, MapPublisher, QuarkXPress, proprietary interlacing software

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