2002 Annual Design Review Consumer Products Design Distinction

Posted inID Mag


Russak called the MINI Cooper an “exciting transformation of a classic design icon with appropriate modern-day performance.” Introduced in 1959 to the British market, the original MINI quickly earned a reputation as a pop-culture symbol and a motorsport success. The revamp of this cheeky British classic, designed by bmw Group of Munich, Germany, and introduced to the U.S. market in spring 2002, takes cues from its predecessor’s quirky shape and colors, but with more technological bells and whistles, including six airbags and Dynamic Stability Control. Lovelady liked the car’s nostalgic, cult appeal. “We’re seeing a variety of character overlays to the product, and each gives it its own expression,” he said. “There’s humor to the car. I like the fact that they moved the branding to a prominence that revitalizes its impact.”

CLIENT|DESIGN BMW Group, Munich, Germany: BMW Design Team HARDWARE|SOFTWARE sketches and clay models; CAS/CAD virtual design

Mini Cooper
Mini Cooper


This high-performance, multimedia speaker system, by M3 Design of Round Rock, Texas, comprises six interconnected components: two front satellite speakers, one center speaker, two rear surround-sound satellite speakers and one subwoofer speaker. Designed for small rooms, the satellite speakers boast a friendly, animated aesthetic. The speaker housings’ organic form provides a tuned audio chamber, while ribbon-like metal feet elevate each satellite for controlled sound delivery. Jurors lauded the speakers’ maneuverability, stability and computer-system integration, but Lovelady noted it would be better as a wireless system. Russak said, “The base is no more and no less than it needs to be; it doesn’t add unnecessary weight or increase the footprint, and it’s an elegant design.”

CLIENT Dell Computer Corp., Round Rock, Texas DESIGN M3 Design Inc., Round Rock, Texas; Dell Industrial Design Team, Round Rock, Texas MATERIALS|FABRICATION die-cast and coated metal base; high-impact, injection-molded polystyrene speaker housings; perforated, formed sheet-metal speaker grilles HARDWARE|SOFTWARE Dell Precision, Ashlar-Vellum, Adobe Photoshop, Alias|Wavefront Studio, ProEngineer

Photocredit: Bill Albrecht

Dell ADA995 Altec Lansing
Dell ADA995 Altec Lansing


Moen’s consumer research showed that people wanted greater water flow and force from their showerheads, as well as spray options. So to create a unique water-delivery effect, Moen developed Revolution technology, which enhances the water’s feel by spinning each water droplet while simultaneously twisting the entire shower stream. The water stream contains larger drops moving at higher velocities, lending the perception of higher pressure. Judges applauded the innovation and execution. Russak noted, “Putting the controls below the spray of water was a unique way to change an old format.”

CLIENT Moen Inc., North Olmsted, Ohio: Dan Buchner, vice president, design and innovation; Tim McDonough, product manager; Tom Overberg, principal engineer; Eduardo Milrud and Chris Gilbert, senior designers

DESIGN DD Studio, Carlsbad, Calif.: Charles Curbbun, principal; Philips Design, Eugene, Ore.: Mark Snyker, materials and processes; Center for Creative Studies, Berkley, Mich.: Robert Rabinowitz, industrial designer; Design Continuum, Boston: Kevin Young, principal, industrial design; Gianfranco Zaccai, president and CEO

MATERIALS|FABRICATION co-injection molding, hot-plate welding; dial: non-slip material; laser-etched graphics and branding HARDWARE|SOFTWARE Windows NT WorkStation, ProEngineer, Adobe Photoshop

Moen Revolution Showerhead


Designed by New York-based Smart Design for OXO Intl., Good Grips Suction Cup Bathroom Accessories were created to solve a variety of organizational problems common in smaller spaces. The products—large and small soap dishes, a corner shelf, light- and heavy- duty hooks, an adjustable, fogless mirror and accessories for holding razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste—can attach to glass, tile and other smooth surfaces. Design features include soft, round edges, fun colors and super-strength suction cups. Lovelady liked the combination of materials and system approach, while Russak admired the unique integration of structural and tactile materials with color, noting that “suction-cup products have come a long way.”

CLIENT OXO Intl., New York DESIGN Smart Design, New York: Scott Henderson, director, industrial design/lead designer; Steve Vordenberg, Allen Zadeh and Arsenio Garcia, design team; OXO Intl., New York: Lorcan Geraghty, engineer

MATERIALS|FABRICATION injection-molded rigid PVC, injection over-molded soft PVC HARDWARE|SOFTWARE Windows NT, ProEngineer, ProDesigner, Ashlar-Vellum

OXO Good Grips Suction Cup Bathroom Accessories
OXO Good Grips Suction Cup Bathroom Accessories


According to designers at Kompan A/S of Olympia, Wash., Galaxy is a new way of creating a playground, where everything has a purpose and nothing is superfluous. Geared toward children ages 6-12, Galaxy features an open design that allows children to approach it from various angles and stimulates their creativity to plan new routes through the “constellations” every time. Mobile details are integrated throughout, allowing children to interact both with the equipment and with one another. Russak said the system’s attention to design would appeal to older children, while Lovelady commented that it’s “architecturally pleasing.”

CLIENT|DESIGN Kompan A/S, Olympia, Wash., and Denmark: John Frank, director; Michael Laris, Karin Muller, Lani Wollwage, Claus Fink Isaksen, Hap Parker and Ulla Hansen, design team MATERIALS|FABRICATION posts: hot-dipped, galvanized steel; connector balls: high-strength, hot-pressed brass core with black polyurethane finish and polyamide plugs; triangle frames, grips and post tops: powder-coated, welded-steel core with vulcanized black polyurethane exterior; rocking tube and play shells: rotomolded, thick-walled, UV-stabilized polyethylene; climbing nets: steel-reinforced PA rope; net connectors: riveted, die-cast aluminum; rotating orb: roto-molded polyethylene seat, stainless-steel sleeve with exchangeable core of low-friction plastic around a threaded, stainless-steel tubeHARDWARE|SOFTWARE AutoCAD, Mechanical Desktop

Galaxy Playground Equipment
Galaxy Playground Equipment


Designed as a children’s toy, Bilibo is a simple plastic shell that can be used for a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities. It’s also useful as “furniture,” for sitting or storage. Designer Alex Hochstrasser Industrial Design of Zurich, Switzerland, chose nontoxic, durable, recyclable polyethylene because
it’s safe for children. Jurors liked the design’s simplicity, noting it would easily appeal to a child. “It’s refreshingly low-tech and versatile,” Russak said. “It really grows on you—it’s a discovery toy.” Lovelady added, “I was pleasantly surprised by the quality; it’s very well-executed.”

CLIENT|DESIGN Alex Hochstrasser Industrial Design, Zurich, Switzerland: Alex Hochstrasser, president MATERIALS|FABRICATION injection-molded, high-density polyethyleneHARDWARE|SOFTWARE Apple PowerBook G3, digital still and video cameras, Ashlar-Vellum, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator

Photocredit: Alex Hochstrasser



Designers at West Newton, Mass.-based Design Continuum created the Titanium series to bring padlock design into the 21st century—it had remained unchanged for 50 years—and to introduce new segment-specific products. Improvements include a rotary shackle with collar for added security against prying; overmolding to keep the lock from scratching what it’s protecting; keyhole covers that keep contaminants out; a front-facing keyhole for better ergonomics and single-handed operation; oval architecture for comfort; and easily changed parts that allow for aesthetic and functional tailoring to market segments. Jurors liked the product on all levels. “Form, functionality, aesthetics and marketability strike a successful balance,” Russak said.

CLIENT Master Lock Corp., Milwaukee DESIGN Design Continuum, West Newton, Mass.: Gianfranco Zaccai, president/CEO; Joseph Geringer, senior industrial designer; Roy Thompson, Noelle Dye, Harry West, Maryann Finiw, David Chastain and John Fiegner, design team

MATERIALS|FABRICATION lock components: titanium-reinforced steel; body: stainless steel; bumper: injection-molded ABS overmolded bumper made of low-durometer materials HARDWARE|SOFTWARE Windows NT, Ashlar-Vellum, ProEngineer, Zcorp 3D models

Photocredit: Michael Brzoza

Master Lock Titanium Series Padlock Line


Jurors said the Leatherman Juice, created by the in-house design team of Portland, Ore.-based Leatherman Tool Group, will give the Swiss Army Knife a run for its money. Available in various colors, this new line of pliers-based, multipurpose pocket tools consists of five contoured, compact tools, including scissors, pliers, corkscrews and screwdrivers. Designed to be more accessible to the commercial market, not just tool-heads, Juice is visually appealing and both lighter and smaller than its predecessor. Jurors felt the new line was a great improvement over the original. However, Russak noted that the packaging was confusing: “They need to do a better job of informing the consumer of the product’s capabilities and variety of models.”

CLIENT|DESIGN Leatherman Tool Group, Portland, Ore.: Tim Leatherman, president/co-founder; Ben Rivera, senior product design engineer

MATERIALS|FABRICATIONhandles: 5052-grade aluminum; frame: stainless steelHARDWARE|SOFTWARE PCs, AutoCAD, Windows, ELSA Gloria 3 video card

Leatherman Juice
Leatherman Juice


Apple’s MP3 player combines workhorse features—5 gigabytes of memory, or 1,000-song capacity—in a small package that maintains the company’s distinct design language. Songs can be downloaded at the rate of about 10 seconds per CD of music, and iPod automatically charges over the same FireWire cable when connected to a computer. Jurors especially liked iPod’s intuitive design. Russak praised its “attention to interactive design,” while Lovelady commended Apple’s design team for “consumerizing the hard disk.”

CLIENT|DESIGN Apple, Cupertino, Calif.: Jonathan Ive, Bart Andra, Danny Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Richard Howarth, Duncan Kerr, Matt Rohrbach, Doug Satzger, Cal Seid, Christopher Stringer and Eugene Whang, industrial-design team

MATERIALS|FABRICATION injection-molded ABS/polycarbonate, stamped stainless steelHARDWARE|SOFTWARE Ashlar-Vellum, Alias|Wavefront Studio

Apple iPod


“It’s the perfect little sister to the Titanium,” Lovelady said of the 4.9-pound, 11.2×9.1×1.35-inch iBook. Designed to be compact yet durable, iBook’s features include a choice of optical drives—the combo drive allows users to watch DVD movies and listen to or burn CDs on the road—a super-high-resolution, 12.1-inch XGA display and a five-hour battery that indicates how much battery life is left. The computer’s integrated antennas allow wireless networking, polycarbonate construction offers impact-resistance, and breakable appendages have been removed to create a clutter-free surface. Russak noted that iBook was “a clearly sophisticated evolution of the original’s toy-like characteristic.” Lovelady added, “I like that they brought a high-end product into mass appeal. The expression and execution of material usage is a big part of what industrial design is all about.”

CLIENT|DESIGN Apple, Cupertino, Calif.: Jonathan Ive, Bart Andre, Danny Coster, Daniele De Iuliis, Richard Howarth, Duncan Kerr, Matt Rohrbach, Doug Satzger, Cal Seid, Christopher Stringer and Eugene Whang, industrial-design team

MATERIALS|FABRICATION injection-molded polycarbonate, die-cast magnesium HARDWARE|SOFTWARE Ashlar-Vellum, Adobe Illustrator, Alias|Wavefront Studio

Apple iBook
Apple iBook


Jurors noted that Palo Alto, Calif.-based IDEO’s design “carries” the Visor Edge, a sleek, metal-cased handheld organizer. Part of Handspring’s Visor line, the .44-inch-thick, 5-ounce Edge is designed to be portable and comfortable, as well as stylish (it comes in three colors). Other design features include the soft-sculpted stylus—which nests neatly into its slipper and clips onto the Edge’s side—and the detachable Springboard slot, which can be mounted for adding accessories such as a digital camera, cell phone or GPS receiver. “I love the minimal use of pure materials,” Lovelady commented. Russak said, “The thinness gives it sophistication.”

CLIENT Handspring Inc., Mountain View, Calif.: Jeff Hawkins, Peter Skillman, Mitch Huitema and Melissa Trott, design team

DESIGN IDEO, Palo Alto, Calif.: Martin Bone, Chris Flink, Dennis Boyle, Dana Nicholson, John Raff, Michael Chung and Scott Whitman, design team

MATERIALS|FABRICATION stamped aluminum, injection-molded plastic, die-cast zinc pen HARDWARE|SOFTWARE Adobe Photoshop, ProEngineer

Photocredit: Steve Moeder

Handspring Visor Edbe


Designers at Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike created the Triax S Series-Speed and Stamina—using Circadium curve-construction technology. Created for race day, Speed has a streamlined shape and tells swimmers what they need to know during race conditions, offering 43-lap memory and water-resistance up to
30 meters deep. Stamina boasts a countdown timer, split/lap display and event counter, as well as 100-lap memory and water-resistance to 50 meters. A power-save mode lets users set the watch to “fall asleep” during inactivity; the watch “wakes up” when the user pushes any button, extending battery life. Although neither juror was drawn to the watches’ inconsistency of shapes, Russak noted that they don’t detract from the design, though the face graphics appeared to be too arbitrary.

CLIENT|DESIGN Nike Inc., Beaverton, Ore.: Ed Boyd, creative director; Jack Wilson and Leo Frazier, senior CAD sculptors; Garth Morgan, developer; Ted Helprin, designer; Scott Wilson, creative director; Phil Frank, Aurlie Tu, Kamol Prateepmanowong, Jason Martin and Chris Robbinette, senior designers; One & Co., San Francisco: Joe Tan, lead designer; Jonah Becker and Catherine Bailey, industrial designers

MATERIALS|FABRICATION injection-molded plastic, stainless steel, scratch-resistant polycarbonate crystal, mineral glassHARDWARE|SOFTWARE Alias|Wavefront Studio, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator

Triax S Series


Designed to bring the look of contemporary, hand-blown glass to an affordable level, the nine-piece WOVO Serveware line includes kitchen items such as salad servers, a thermal carafe, ice bucket and serving tray. The collection’s original forms were first carved by hand and then recreated using digital sculpting for mass production. With its heavy construction, organic contours and unique finishes, the plastic serveware, designed by New York-based Smart Design for WOVO, mimics high-cost tableware without the high price. Lovelady said the product felt very substantial for the price range, noting that “the execution of the materials is very strong and the forms felt artistic and emotional.” Russak added, “It’s a great addition to the ‘high design for the masses’ trend.”

CLIENT WOVO, Woodridge, Ill.DESIGN Smart Design, New York: Scott Henderson, director, industrial/lead designer; Arsenio Garcia, designer

MATERIALS|FABRICATION injection-molded SAN, injection-molded clear ABSHARDWARE|SOFTWARE Windows NT, ProEngineer, ProDesigner, Ashlar-Vellum

Photocredit: Scott Henderson

WOVO Serveware
WOVO Serveware

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