I.D. Forty: Best Companies

…..Nike (portland, oregon)
A generation after Air Jordan, its trailblazing sneakers are unstoppable, and so are its advertising campaigns and R/GA-designed websites. Recent environmental initiatives propose a genuinely greener future for this sports gear giant

….. BMW (munich)
iDrive was a bust, and purists complain about the new body types, but design director Chris Bangle got the last laugh. Worldwide sales are way up

….. Maharam (new york)
This once staid company upended the textile business by bringing back modern classics while launching new ones by the likes of Hella Jongerius and Paul Smith

….. Whirlpool (benton harbor, michigan)
An international research initiative launched in 2000 has produced visionary scenarios such as Project F, an exploration of the future of fabric care, and in.kitchen, a designer’s dream of domestic space

….. Aveda (minneapolis)
The impeccably packaged grooming products are made from plant essences, but the culture is also rooted in sustainable practices. The company even got Maya Lin to design its New York offices

….. Interface (atlanta and lagrange, georgia)
This $1 billion flooring company shows how environmental responsibility starts under foot

….. OXO (new york)
Kitchen tools have rarely looked this good, or been so universally easy to use. And just when you think they’ve reached the end of the line, a new gadget hits the market

….. Humanscale (new york)
It may not be the largest contract furnishings manufacturer, but in the area of ergonomic design, it’s a giant

….. Iittala (helsinki)
Though its corporate umbrella has widened to embrace other brands, the Finnish housewares company that nurtured Aalto, Sarpaneva, and Wirkkala, continues to produce top-drawer design

….. Edra (perignano, italy)
From the Campanas’ Corallo chair to Peter Traag’s Sponge seat, its radical furniture designs qualify as sculpture. Still, who wouldn’t want to flop on Francesco Binfare’s Flap sofa?

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