9 Contenders For the Best Design of the Year

Each year the People's Design Award honors a groundbreaking design that improves daily lives. Last year's winner, the Pack H20 Water Backpack, was a more efficient way for people to carry drinking water long distances. This year's nominees were just announced, and they include mushroom bricks, smart lighting, and… » 9/11/14 9:00am Thursday 9:00am

7 Smart New Inventions That We Should Have Had All Along

Every year, Dyson asks industrial designers, product designers, and engineers to submit their smart solution to a problem—any problem. It's an awesomely broad request, and it usually results in some pretty fascinating projects. Leading up to this year's Dyson Award, we took a look at just a tiny fraction of the… » 8/21/14 9:28am 8/21/14 9:28am

This Gorgeous Teapot Lets You Watch Your Tea Leaves Brew

Loose-leaf tea is a good investment, but not if you're going to cram it into a ball and hope it gets fully immersed in hot water. Far better are teapots that let your tea roam free, allowing the leaves to be properly steeped and achieve their full flavor potential. This new teapot by Joey Roth does that beautifully. » 7/16/14 5:00pm 7/16/14 5:00pm

The Best Products of the Year, Chosen By Designers

What were the best products designed this year? The IDSA, or Industrial Designers Society of America, has announced its International Design Excellence Awards, naming 176 winners across 23 categories. We picked a few of the most interesting and innovative winners, from a surgery-performing robot to a lightweight bike… » 7/02/14 9:00am 7/02/14 9:00am

The Designers Behind Beats Are Making Surfboards, Too

Buying a good surfboard is such an investment that you should also be able to hang it on your wall as art. Not a problem with these boards designed by Ammunition—the firm launched by Robert Brunner, ex-Apple industrial designer and the founding designer of Beats—in collaboration with Jason Tilley, a surfboard builder… » 6/26/14 5:00pm 6/26/14 5:00pm

All These Brilliant Objects Were Designed By No One In Particular

Everything made by man has been designed in some way. You've got your big ticket, big name stuff, and then there are the countless items—the utilitarian, the unsung, the so-mundane-you-wouldn't-give-them-a-second-thought—that haven't always received the same creative fanfare. One man has been collecting and… » 6/26/14 12:40pm 6/26/14 12:40pm

How a Better Food Tray Is Saving Virgin Atlantic Millions

Every ounce counts when you're hoisting several hundred tons of steel into the air and flying it across an ocean. So does every second flight attendants spend waiting on the people inside. Those ounces and seconds add up—and that's why Virgin Atlantic spent $168 million on a transformative redesign of its meal trays. » 6/10/14 12:00pm 6/10/14 12:00pm

Why Isn't the Guy Who Designed Beats Going to Work For Apple, Too?

When Apple bought Beats earlier this week, it also got two high-profile new employees. Dr. Dre is going to work for Apple. So is music mogul Jimmy Iovine. But there's one surprise: Robert Brunner, the industrial designer behind Beats, is not coming along for the ride. Maybe because he worked at Apple 25 years ago. » 5/29/14 3:10pm 5/29/14 3:10pm

What the Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U Tell Us About the Future of Consoles

Most pieces of technology—like smartphones, TVs, and even computers—are replaced by new models every six or twelve months. Game consoles, on the other hand, are meant to last for at least five years. Which means that every generation is a true milestone of UI, gaming, and industrial design. So what does the latest… » 11/26/13 12:00pm 11/26/13 12:00pm

Raymond Loewy, the Man Who Made the 20th Century Beautiful

You may have noticed the sepia-toned Google doodle today and clicked through to find out it’s a train designed by midcentury industrial designer Raymond Loewy, whose 120th birthday would've been today. Even if you don’t know Loewy, I can almost guarantee you’ve come in contact with his work—which decorates everything… » 11/05/13 9:57am 11/05/13 9:57am

The Planet's Most Elegant Street Furniture Was Designed 60 Years Ago

One of Britain's greatest industrial designers, David Mellor is probably best known for his sculptural cutlery, which was the first stainless steel flatware to be mass-produced in the UK. But even those who've added his spoons to their wedding registry might not know about the system of street furniture he designed,… » 9/03/13 12:44pm 9/03/13 12:44pm

Ive's Influence: Can a Great Product Designer Also Design Great UI?

With iOS 7 a little over a week away, it's worth taking stock of the fact that this is Jonathan Ive's first WWDC as Apple's Head of Human Interface (HI). But what does it mean for an industrial designer—someone who works with atoms in three dimensions—to be put in charge of a team that works with electrons in two… » 5/29/13 1:20pm 5/29/13 1:20pm