25th Annual EID Winners: Excellence Favors the Bold
Sleek forms and innovative functions characterized the winners of the 25th Annual Excellence in Design Awards.
We talk a lot about components in appliance DESIGN, so much so that every year around this time it’s a real treat to step back for a moment and appreciate the innovative products that our readers produce. If there’s a theme to the judges’ selections this year it was highlighting two design aspects: very clean lines, and the ability to incorporate some newish technology—especially sensors—to add functionality. This year’s Gold recipients demonstrated these traits most strongly. As you peruse the descriptions of our 2012 winners think of what kind of new technologies are out there now that you could incorporate into your next design.
Selection Process and Methodology
Entries were open from October last year through mid-February for design firms and companies to submit their products, including multiple photos and complete descriptions. This included a difficult answer form (probably more difficult than it needed to be) designed to make sure the products could be evaluated against each other on the same terms. Each entry had to submit a small fee to keep it to only serious contestants. Products had to be final consumer or industrial devices (not components) released after Jan. 1, 2011.
Three judges were then tasked with evaluating the products one by one, providing scores on a 10-point scale for the following factors: aesthetics, human factor (meaning how well it can be interfaced with), innovation, and technical function (meaning does it do what it’s supposed to). That score was then weighted depending on category, for example a small appliance for the consumer market would be weighted more toward aesthetics and human factor, while a medical appliance would be weighted more strongly by function. The scores could then be manipulated by editor’s discretion to fix any egregious errors that might occur; this was applied only to one product which fell just below the points cut-off but clearly deserved at least a bronze.
While the market categories of Electronics, HVAC, Lab & Test Equipment, Lighting, Commercial Appliances, Medical, Outdoor & Leisure, and Small Appliances (i.e. white goods) were used to weight factors, there was no categorical designation of awards as has been done in some years past. Rather any entry with a total weighted score of 75 or higher received bronze, 90 or higher received silver, and 115 or higher was awarded gold recognition.
For more information on this year’s competition, including judges’ comments and a slideshow of the recipients, visit www.appliancedesign.com/EID. On with the show:
Meet The Judges:
Jerome Caruso, independent consultant and director of Jerome Caruso Design studio Lake Forest, Ill. Caruso has a unique, virtual studio, with five decades of product design success for major companies. The efficiency and design continuity of his one-man studio has contributed to the brand strength of companies like Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Herman Miller. With his creative direction of product design strategy at Sub-Zero for 26 years, this company has become an American icon.
Jerome is the hands-on designer and employs the highest level of engineers, model makers, and researchers. The methodology of his studio is holistic, creative, and efficient because of the single-person contact with clients, concept creation, and product development.
Jerome practices and believes that the art of invention and innovation is key to long-term product success. His deep understanding of materials and manufacturing methods has made possible an efficient, proven development process. "A vision of what should be is my key to breakthroughs in aesthetics as well as functional products that represent progress." Contact him at email@example.com.
Tucker Viemeister, FIDSA, president of Viemeister Industries New York Tucker Viemeister builds design groups. He was a founder of Smart Design (famous for Oxo GoodGrips), opened Frog Design’s New York office, established Razorfish’s physical design capability group, and developed Springtime-USA. He recently served as lab chief at Rockwell Group, then built a small research and development team into a teeming interactive business and is now president of Viemeister Industries headquartered in NYC.
Clients include Apple, Coca-Cola, Cuisinart, Black & Decker, Remington, OXO, Viking, J&J, Timex, Levi’s, Phat Farm, Nestlé, Unilever, Motorola, Toshiba, Sharp, Seibu, Toyota, Nike, Knoll, Steelcase, Kate Spade, Cosmopolitan Casino, Yotel and the NYC Board of Education. His work is in MoMA and awards include the first Presidential Design Award. He taught at Pratt, Yale, Parsons and NYU. He is the Architectural League of New York’s vice president, Rowena Fund chair and an IDSA Fellow. He holds 32 US utility patents. Named after a car, he is a graduate of Pratt Institute. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Visser, IDSA, Purdue University West Lafayette, Ind. Steve Visser is a professor of industrial design at Purdue University and has been on faculty since 1989. In 1996 he served as a Fulbright professor at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. In 2007 he was named honorary professor at Nanjing University of Science and Technology in Nanjing China.
Before teaching, he worked as an industrial designer at Hari and Associates in Skokie, Ill. He received a master’s in fine arts in industrial design in 1988 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Visser has received six patents for designs he has worked on. Additionally, he has served as an expert witness on patent infringement cases involving a variety of companies, including 3M, Diebold, Fisher Price and Intex recreational products. Contact him at email@example.com.