Plastics-intensive products continued to bring in honors in the Industrial Design Excellence Awards 2011, taking two of the three Best of Show trophies and a special Curator's Choice award.
Most of the awards are announced in advance of the awards event, which is organized annually by the Industrial Designers Society of America and held during the group's annual conference. This year, the conference was held Sept. 14-17 in New Orleans. Best of Show and Curator's Choice are among those awards held back until the ceremony, however.
The Curator's Choice is selected by The Henry Ford, a Dearborn, Mich., museum that hosts the awards-selection event. For 2011, it picked the HydroPak by Hydration Technologies Inc. of Albany, Ore.
The HydroPak is a single-use pouch — created from polyester, polyethylene and a cellulose-based membrane — that purifies water through osmosis. The product was developed for use in disaster areas and regions without access to clean water.
Best of Show awards went to Seattle-based Boeing Co.'s new 787 Dreamliner aircraft and Bespoke Innovations Inc. of San Francisco.
The Dreamliner uses carbon fiber and other composites for more than 50 percent of its structure, while Bespoke created a custom-tailored leg cover for amputees. The cover uses plastic to closely mimic the surviving limb.