Plastics played major roles in an interactive speech-production device, a rapid deployment flood wall and an electrosurgery unit tester, which were among gold award winners in the 2010 International Design Excellence Awards.
The Industrial Designers Society of America in Dulles, Va., organized the annual contest. John Barratt, president and CEO of Seattle design firm Teague (Walter Dorwin Teague Associates Inc.), chaired the 2010 panel, which had 18 design-oriented members. The panel selected winners of 38 gold, 65 silver and 88 bronze awards from among 408 finalists. The competition received 1,900 entries from 29 countries.
Here are plastics-related highlights of the gold award winners:
Ammunition LLC of San Francisco, Beats Electronics LLC of Santa Monica, Calif., and Monster Cable Products Inc. of Brisbane, Calif., won for lightweight, on-ear, Solo-brand headphones from Beats by Dr. Dre.
Dr. Dre, the stage name for Andre Romelle Young, is a U.S. record producer, rapper, actor and entrepreneur who initially introduced his brand of high-performance headphones in 2008. Materials in the current supra-aural model, which retails for $200, include injection molded nylon, ABS, molded rubber, cast stainless steel, stamped aluminum, formed and sewn scleroprotein and die-cut foam. Monster is the manufacturer. IDEA credits went to Ammunition's Robert Brunner and Gregoire Vandenbussche, Alloy Product Development's Chris Fruhauf, Monster's David Leung and Dr. Dre.
In another win for Ammunition, the agency teamed with Fuego North America LLC of San Francisco on a family of outdoor products under the Element by Fuego brand. Injection molded plastics, steel, iron and brass are among the materials in the product line. Credits went to Ammunition's Brunner and Martin Ruegg and Fuego's Alex Siow.
The Zune design team from Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp.'s entertainment and devices division and Astro Studios of San Francisco won for the 2.6-ounce Zune HD portable media player with an organic light-emitting-diode touch screen. Materials include a PC-ABS blend, aluminum, steel, magnesium and high-strength glass. A 64-gigabyte-capacity Zune HD lists for $350. Credits go to Zune designers Jeff Fong, Mark Gibson, Emily Ching, Eric Braff, Greg Jones, Lisa Hanson, Alec Ishihara, Oho Son, Anna Tahl and Steve Kaneko and Astro Studios.
The Rancho Dominguez, Calif., site of Samsung Group's electronics subsidiary won two gold awards. One, dubbed the Virus Doctor, is a personal ion generator that can remove 99.9 percent of the severe acute respiratory syndrome or H1N1 virus within a radius of 10 feet. Pearl paint is sprayed on colored and transparent ABS in the home-living device. Credits went to Sook Young Park and Soo Yong Jung of Samsung Electronics in South Korea.
Another Samsung award was for the G series of external hard disc drives incorporating halogen-free ABS with a light changeable leaf-based pattern. No painting or decorating process was used on the computer peripheral. IDSA juror Maaike Evers with design firm Mike and Maaike Inc. of San Francisco called the G series the best example of how a simple plastic product can look great without all the typical tricks of painted plastics or silver bling. Credits went to Seungho Lee, Junghun Lee and Seonghun Ahn with Samsung Electronics in Seoul, South Korea.
Meyerhoffer Inc. of Montara, Calif., won for a line of Thailand-manufactured surfboards with expanded polystyrene cores, epoxy resin skins and prices ranging from $755-$875. Historically, rigid PU foam has dominated the surfboard market. Blown EPS in a mold and computer numerical control processing gives shape to the Meyerhoffer core. The lightweight boards are finished and glassed by hand. The line sold out on introduction in August 2009 and is reportedly selling well in some of the more open-minded markets such as Australia, Southern California, Florida and France. Credit went to Thomas Meyerhoffer.
Crown Equipment Corp. of New Bremen, Ohio, and Formation Design Group Inc. of Atlanta won for Crown's ESR 5000 series of electric side-sit reach trucks.
Steel mostly recycled and ductile metals account for about 96 percent of the materials. In the polymer arena, Thieme GmbH & Co. KG of Teningen, Germany, makes the main interior covers by reaction injection molding Bayer Corp.'s impact-resistant Bayflex polyurethane thermoset elastomer. Hydac International GmbH of Sulzbach, Germany, mounts return and suction filters on the high density PE tank, and Hydac subcontractor KÃ¶ver GmbH & Co. KG of Buxtehude, Germany, rotational molds the tank.
Credits went to Crown's James Kraimer, Craig Rekow, Christoph Babel, Adam Ruppert and Ben Purrenhage and Formation Design's Robert Henshaw and Mark Londborg.
Hiemstra Product Development LLC of San Francisco and nonprofit Engineering World Health of Durham, N.C., won for an electrosurgery unit tester for developing countries. EWH may charge $15-$20 for an ESU tester kit going to an EWH chapter, an educational institution or a service organization. Typically, a used ESU commercial tester goes for $2,000, with new equipment costing more.
Hiemstra created the basic product, which EWH released in late 2009 and supplied for use in Haiti's University and Educational Hospital during the Caribbean country's recovery from the Jan. 12, magnitude-7.0 earthquake and its aftershocks. The nonprofit AmeriCares organization invited EWH to assist with relief efforts. At HUEH in Port-au-Prince, technicians used a Hiemstra-designed tester to calibrate a donated ESU generator that a lack of test tools had kept out of service. EWH provided three testers and trained HUEH technicians on their use.
For the ESU tester, Illinois Tool Works Inc.'s Formex division in Addison, Ill., supplies sheets of GK-brand flame-retardant polypropylene that converter Fralock Corp. of Valencia, Calif., a division of Lockwood Industries Inc., die-cuts for the ESU housing. Sidco Labeling Systems of Santa Clara, Calif., supplies the adhesive-applied polyester label.
Credits went to Hiemstra's Scott Janis, Alissa Murphy and Leah Davis and Hiemstra engineering consultants Todd Murphy and Corey Drechsler.
San Francisco design firm fuseproject won three gold awards including one for the $99 open-wireless Jawbone Icon headset from consumer technology specialist Aliph Inc. of San Francisco. The Icon, the compact fifth-generation model in Aliph's earwear Jawbone line, has a skin contact microphone, incorporates NoiseAssassin 2.0 audio processing technology and uses Bluetooth version 2.1 and enhanced-data-rate upgrade. Credits went to fuseproject's Yves Behar, Qin Li, Noah Murphy Reinhertz, Gabe Lamb and Bret Recor.
Also, fuseproject won for an underwear line and packaging from environment-conscious PACT Apparel Inc. of Berkeley, Calif. The apparel is made with 5 percent elastane synthetic fiber and 95 percent organic cotton. The shipping bag is 100 percent compostable plastic. Credits went to fuseproject's Behar, Josh Morenstein, Nick Cronan, Sara Butorac and Angie Tadeo.
Geocell Systems Inc. of San Francisco and Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, Tenn., won for the design of a rapid-deployment flood wall that can replace standard sandbags. (See related story, Page 8.)
NewDealDesign LLC of San Francisco won for a $99 miniature wireless tracker from Fitbit Inc. of San Francisco. Racer Technology Pte. Ltd. of Singapore uses PC in a clear form for the tracker exterior, holster and base and opaque PC for the tracker inner component. The main clip-like device is ultrasonically welded. Mitsubishi's clear Acrypet polymethyl methacrylate is used in the packaging. The Fitbit Tracker can count steps taken, calories burned and quality of sleep. The data is conveyed in a blue glow on an organic light-emitting-diode display. Credits went to NewDealDesign's Gadi Amit, Yoshi Hoshino, Nichole Towler, Laura Bucholtz and Barbara Stettler.
Two other best-in-show and gold winners lacked significant polymer content. The nonprofit International Development Enterprises of Denver and associates won for the $30 Easy Latrine as an affordable third-world sanitation solution, and NewDealDesign of San Francisco and Sling Media Inc. of Foster City, Calif., won for the place-shifting-technology Slingbox 700U device.
Design firm Lunar of Palo Alto, Calif., and Ventus Medical Inc. of Belmont, Calif., won for the Provent sleep apnea device. The nasal device, characterized as a breakthrough therapy for obstructive sleep apnea, entered the commercial market in July 2008.
A Menomonie, Wis., injection molding facility of Phillips Plastics Corp. makes the polycarbonate valve. A hypoallergenic adhesive on a polyethylene foam substrate is used to attach the device to a person's nose. The portable, human-powered device contrasts starkly to the bulky tubing, mask and machine of the traditional therapy known as continuous-positive-airway-pressure.
Liberty Medical Supply Inc. of Port St. Lucie, Fla., distributes the device. Credits went to Lunar's Art Sandoval, Jeff Servaites, Matt Durack and Sandrine Lebas and Ventus Medical's Rajiv Doshi, Bryan Loomas, Ryan Pierce, Elliot Sather, Eric Meyer and Art Ferdinand.
The Ardea personal light from Herman Miller Inc. of Zeeland, Mich., logs the third 2010 gold award for fuseproject and Behar. Components are made of plastic, aluminum and steel and include fabric-sheathed joints. The body's innovative aluminum extrusion bends 90 degrees. The suggested price: $379.
A Covidien plc site in North Haven, Conn., won for a multiple-instrument-access SILS Port for laparoscopic surgeries through a single incision. Materials include a proprietary thermal plastic elastomer and injection molded glass-filled nylon. Tyco International Ltd. spun off Dublin-based Covidien in 2007. Credits go to Covidien's Paul Richard, Gene Stellon, Caren Necio, Elias Hartoumbekis, Tina Piselli, Sheila Salter, Joe Canavan, Rob Zott, Brian Marganski, Paul Kallart, Shane Behrle, Yee Chow, Tom Hughes, Donna Bircree and Danny Berry.
Seoul National University, CA Plan Co. Ltd. and HyundaiCard Co. Ltd., all of Seoul, won for interactive over-scaled media in 12 bus shelters at a train station transfer center. The shelters each 26.4 feet by 8.3 feet have walls and ceilings with correlated moving digital images and displays.
Glas Platz GmbH & Co. KG of Wiehl, Germany, embedded about 36,400 LEDs on invisible circuit paths between pairs of glass panels that are laminated with transparent natural resin. There is a 4-inch gap between each pixel. Connected LEDs on an electrically conductive, thin-film, indium tin oxide coating generate perfectly transparent images. The internal glass surface diffuses the lights with ceramic dot printing and increases the electroluminescence.
CA Plan integrated and installed other electronic devices and the network system integration, and handled construction. The installation in Seoul was completed in about three months. An external unit provides electrical power via contacting stripes.
Credits went to the university's Chae Jung Woo and Choo Ho Nam, CA Plan's Ahn Seong Mo, Jung Seung Young, Kim Ae Rin, Kim Yong Hak, Park Jong Ho and Han Youn Sub and joint venture credit-card issuer HyundaiCard's brand planning team.
Haworth Inc. of Holland, Mich., won twice. One of the awards, won with Simon Desanta Industrial Design of Halle, Germany, involves the four-model Very seating family. The wire stacker shell, fixed shells, seminar shells, and conference shells are injection molded of 10 percent glass-fiber-reinforced polypropylene. Arms, glides, bushings and covers are molded in various forms with 10 percent GFR PP, 33 percent GFR nylon 6 and polyacetal.
Netshape Corp. of Grand Haven, Mich., produces the perforated back. Royal Technologies Corp. of Hudsonville, Mich., makes other seat shells and the one-piece wire stack shell. Anderson Technologies Inc. of Grand Haven molds the arms and miscellaneous components.
Haworth introduced the line in November 2008. List prices range from $180-$1,030. Credits go to Michael Welsh and Nicolai Czumaj-Bront of the Haworth design studio, and Desanta.
Another Haworth award was achieved with design firm Pablo of San Francisco for the multitask Light in Motion lighting family that was launched in September 2009 and has models ranging from $375-$600. The LIM design utilizes engineering thermoplastics for the magnetic assembly, lens and magnet cover. The magnetic and pivot platforms enable 180-degree rotation. Credits went to Pablo Pardo of Pablo designs and Ralph Reddig of Haworth.
Natural cleaning supply producer Method Products Inc. of San Francisco was a best-in-show and gold winner for the ease-of-use design of its laundry detergent packaging with Smartclean technology.
Poly-Tainer Inc. of Simi Valley, Calif., uses extrusion blow molding to make the bottle with 50 percent recycled high density PE. Injection molder Reike produces the clarified PP pump, and National Label Co. of Lafayette Hill, Pa., manufactures the shrink-sleeve labels using glycol-modified PET. Launched in January, the product line delivers detergent with a plant-based biodegradable formula. A 50-load container costs $15 and a 25-load unit is $8. Credits went to Method Products' Joshua Handy and Sally Clarke.
Rocketship Inc. of Provo, Utah, and CompleteSpeech of Orem, Utah, won for a biofeedback palatometer that allows a therapist to monitor real-time speech production for an individual struggling with articulation.
The interactive device includes an orthodontic-retainer-type SmartPalate with an array of 124 sensors and a thickness of less than 0.5 millimeter. A communications DataLink connects the SmartPalate and software leading to the display of tongue contact data on a computer screen. Atlanta-based QuickParts Inc. uses ABS in molding the DataLink and SmartPalate enclosures and magnetic lanyard housings, and a thermoplastic elastomer for overmolding the trim.
Test marketing and initial sales began in late 2009, and a formal product launch is planned soon. Design credits go to Rocketship's Michael Horito, John Omdahl, Lee Croy, Mark Schulte and Bryan Sparks, along with Andy May of CompleteSpeech, formerly operating as LogoMetrix Corp.
Students in design programs also won gold awards:
Aakash Dewan of DSK International School of Design of Pune, India, won for the concept of the Onedown humane rat trap. The trap rests horizontally on a circular foot. Bait inside lures a rodent, and the trap tips vertically upon the rat's entry. The rat can be released instead of killed. A metal insert is positioned in the base. An Australian firm may consider making the trap, possibly using molded plastics or liquid wood as a primary material.
Annika Luber of the University of Applied Science SchwÃ¤bisch Gmund in Germany won for the 980 Tatou shoe for the urban sport parkour, called freerunning by some. Materials include breathable neoprene as an inner shoe material and elasticized rubber for lacing bands and the sole.
Malin Grummas of UmeÃ¥ University's Institute of Design in UmeÃ¥, Sweden, won for a firefighters' compressed-air breathing mask with a transparent window and voice amplifier.
IDSA presented the 2010 IDEA awards Aug. 7 during the society's conference in Portland, Ore.
Sponsors of the design contest were publisher Fast Co. of New York, joint venture Dow Corning Corp. of Midland, Mich., and the Henry Ford national historic landmark in Dearborn, Mich.