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 helmet.


Digital Design: BOOK by FiftyThree

The Best Products of the Year, Chosen By Designers

Designed by FiftyThree Inc., Moleskine and Milkbooks

A Moleskine notebook is inevitably tucked into the back pocket of nearly every designer on the planet. But using this BOOK application in partnership with the Paper app on the iPad, designers can create and print their own Moleskine books with their drawings on them.


Research: DELTAIR - Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (S.C.B.A.)

Designed by Clint Mayhue, Mark Williamson, Barry Reece, Dave Haverty, John Baker, Craig Martin, James Wilcox, Jose Cruz and Doug Olsen of Avon Protection; and Philip Palermo, IDSA and Russell Kroll of Formation Design Group

Scientists have long attempted to update the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (S.C.B.A.) system that firefighters use to prevent smoke inhalation. This research team worked closely with veteran firefighters across the U.S., testing the new apparatus in different elevations, climates, and urban settings.


Home Furnishings: LG Air Washer

The Best Products of the Year, Chosen By Designers

Designed by Saehwan Bae, Chinsoo Hyon, Jinsu Kim, Miju Kim, Jaeyong Park and Yunseo Jang of LG Electronics

Humidifiers are no longer the hulking noisy plastic boxes in our bedrooms. The nearly silent and easy-to-operate Air Washer has an intuitive control system which uses natural vaporization and kills 99.9 percent of all bacteria.


Medical and Scientific: Identica Blue

The Best Products of the Year, Chosen By Designers

Designed by MinSung Kwon of Korea University

Yes, your dentist will soon be able to 3D scan and print your dental work. This 3D dental scanner uses the projection of light patterns to capture the highly detailed surface area of teeth, and bring the physical measurements into the computer.


Office and Productivity: Locale Office System

The Best Products of the Year, Chosen By Designers

Designed by Sam Hecht, Kim Colin, Philipp Von Lintel and Ippei Matsumoto of Industrial Facility for Herman Miller Inc.

Herman Miller's office furniture system designed for open-plan offices is made of of dozens of transformable pieces. Tables are adjustable to allow workers to move between conference and co-working settings, and small paddles help people signal to those around them if they're doing more focused work.


Sports, Leisure and Recreation: Brooks C17 Cambium Saddle

The Best Products of the Year, Chosen By Designers

Designed by IDEO and Brooks England Ltd. (Selle Royal Group)

Long seen as an innovator in the bike seat industry, Brooks has pushed its materials even further with this saddle made from vulcanized natural rubber, organic cotton and structural textile. The result is a seat that's already broken in (which can take months, normally) and is also waterproof.


Personal Accessories: Forefront Bicycle Helmet

The Best Products of the Year, Chosen By Designers

Designed by Drew Chilson, Mike Aaskov and Graham Sours of Smith Optics; and Piers Storey and James Rogers of Koroyd

This fully-ventilated helmet allows you to feel the wind on your head while also providing places for you to store your sunglasses, headlamp, or GoPro. The increased airflow also helps to prevent your glasses from getting fogged from sweat.


Communication Tools: Square Stand

The Best Products of the Year, Chosen By Designers

Designed by Troy Edwards, IDSA, Robert Brunner, IDSA, Timothy Tan, Jonas Lagerstedt and Howard Nuk of Square and Ammunition

The Square Stand has become pervasive in retail settings across the country for its ease in transforming an iPad into a point of sale device. Accessories like receipt printers, cash drawers and barcode scanners can also plug into the lazy Susan-like device via USB.


Commercial and Industrial Products: LBR iiwa Robot

The Best Products of the Year, Chosen By Designers

Designed by Mario Selic of Selic Industrial Design; and Achim Heinze, Andre Reekers, Dieter Schaab and Jorge Torres of KUKA AG

This adorable lightweight robot is almost intuitive: It can feel its way toward objects, allows itself be gently pushed away by the user, and withdraws completely if the user touches the robot directly. It's already being used to perform surgery in hospitals.


Social Impact Design: Zoom Jet Cookstove

The Best Products of the Year, Chosen By Designers

Designed by Diana Sierra and Fabio Rios of Diana Sierra LLC for Ecozoom

This is a high-efficiency charcoal cook stove that can help reduce fuel expenses by up to 60 percent. it also prevents harmful emissions and prevents burns, making it a great tool for a wide range of users in developing nations and beyond.