DesignApplause is honored to be a gia awards judge for the past 11 years, and i looked forward to selecting the best of the 2022 product design – thank you for submitting your product. the judges used the following criteria to select all submissions:
the gia awards criteria > appearance
> user benefits
> ecological responsibility
> market impact & positioning – note: this judge’s interpretation for example, if you’re making an ecological statement you’re letting the end-user know via the point-of-purchase (pop) packaging and/or product website – why? consumers are wanting planet saving products. how do we know for sure? give credit to the automobile industry’s dramatic shift to electric cars / if you’re making a design statement you might mention on the (pop) packaging, etc., that you’re entering your product and winning in other design competitions by displaying an award logo, i.e., a red dot award or german design award winner / if you mention that you’re product was mentioned in design-centric media, let your audience know because they want to make a statement too.
thirteen housewares suppliers ranging from well-established brands to first-time exhibitors were honored as global honorees of the iha global innovation awards (gia) for excellence in product design today. the global honorees in each of 13 categories were announced during the invitation-only gia dinner on the first evening of the inspired home show 2022, and the winners as well as the finalists were on display at the show. this is the first in-person gathering of the industry’s premier marketplace since 2019. the global winners are:
[ note: this post a work-in-progress as info comes in… ]
> bath + personal care:madesmart, drying stone™ toothbrush tray
designed to be used – and reused the new sky drinking bottle is available in both a stainless-steel version as well as in four elegant shades made from bpa-free tritan plastic: blue, pink, green, and gray. it is designed to be used time and time again, helping you limit the consumption of disposable bottles. designer: aurelien barbry
> tabletop:gourmet kitchen works llc, olipac filare
the 65 finalists in all categories are featured in the new product showcases in the buyers club in each show building and the 13 category global honorees are on display in the hall of product innovation in the grand concourse lobby in the north building.
above> ice dancers piper gilles and paul poirier wear the beijing 2022 opening ceremony uniform by lululemon
in the 80s i felt chicago and toronto had more differences than similarities: the size was comparable but toronto was cleaner and hipper – they have vidal sassoon you know. what i didn’t know then was that sassoon’s mix of style and performance made it the obvious choice as official hair consultant to the athletes participating in the los angeles olympic games in 1984. sassoon and his international team conducted months of research with 100 athletes to determine which haircuts performed best during different sporting activities. a huge campus salon was set up in the university of california to cut and care for the hair of 2,500 athletes. today, both cities seem equally clean and hip, so enough!, let’s talk about 2022 winter olympics fashion statements.
in october 2021 canada debuted it’s winter olympic uniforms and announced a six-year run with relative newcomer in athleisure lululemon. today, ralph lauren debuted its latest Olympic designs, the label an olympic mainstay in their uniforms since 2008, did the same. regarding style, lauren is known for and again presents a traditional statement. lululemon presents their familiar chic. but let’s not forget that we may only be looking at opening night(?) apparel and we’ll have to wait for the events uniforms which can be a little more aggressive – as they should be! opening ceremonies to be held on 4 february in beijing.
regarding style, lauren offers red white and blue buffalo plaid puffer jackets, parkas, american flag turtlenecks emblematic of ralph lauren, and fleece leggings or pants. lululemon offers an all-red or all-cream motif paying homage to the maple leaf that appears as a simple icon as well as an abstracted print which includes parkas, down jackets, joggers, trapper caps, bucket hats and zip-ups, with plenty of opportunities to modify: the parka can be zipped off into three different lengths, and the down jacket can be worn like a backpack if it gets too hot. lululemon also presents a transformer-like modular look including a vest that turns into a pillow or scarf.
we’re appreciative the brands made sustainable and technologic statements. lauren’s effort on sustainability is with recycled polyester made from plastic bottles, recycled down and responsible wool standard (rws) wool – the company press statement explains that the brand is committed to using 100% rws-certified or recycled wool by 2025. lauren also includes a tech-driven detail for their jackets which include a smart, honeycomb-like fabric layer built-in that expands or contracts in response to temperature changes — all without the use of a battery or wired technology. lululemon’s tech-driven effort is with smart textiles that are insulated, sweat-wicking, bacteria-inhibiting, breathable, resistant to water and wind, and light on seams.
above/below > photos courtesy of ralph lauren
above> athlete jason brown (figure skating) / below> athlete hilary knight (ice hockey)
below > photos courtesy of lululemon
above> liam hickey wearing the uniform for on the podium
all-in-all DesignApplause likes lululemon’s design focus on function, such as multiple layered parkas. during the opening ceremonies, athletes can be on that journey for four to six hours or waiting to perform and the temperature can go from minus-10 degrees celsius to plus-10. the uniform is based on a dynamic dressing system, athletes will be able to shed – or add – individual pieces.
also the human-led design utilization where over an 18-month period lululemon takes athlete insights from a number of sports and creates an innovative nurture campaign so team canada olympic and paralympic athletes can feel their best to perform their best. the vancouver-based lululemon scanned the bodies of a number of athletes, consulted them for subjective feedback on aesthetics and comfort and also simulated beijing winter conditions. the design team studied areas of bodily heat loss and engineered appropriate compensations into the garment, through innovative 3d engineered knitting. read: q&a with the designer of the beijing 2022 olympic collection.
above> mca chicago’s virgil abloh 2019 retrospective “figures of speech”
social media best informs us of visibility and reach and virgil abloh‘s passing gave us a pretty clear picture of who he touched. he reached dizzying levels of cultural success in a dizzying short timespan. with engineering and architectural degrees, within a decade he created two fashion brands, pyrex vision and off-white, whose market was youth, hip-hop, “the street”, and grew to interning at luxury fashion pillars fendi to becoming the artistic director of louis vuitton.
in july 2021, lvmh, vuitton’s parent company, announced its acquisition of the off-white trademark in a landmark deal that gave abloh an unprecedented new role working across lvmh’s vast portfolio. though he started creating fashion he also dabbled with graphics with jay-z and kanye west and products via ikea, nike, mercedes-benz, and rimowa. but without question his biggest statement was the runway.
he also liked “words”, “isms”, a lot of quotation marks. he liked the word “readymade,” a term coined in 1915 by marcel duchamp, the french-american artist best known for taking found objects (most famously, a standard-issue urinal) and re-contextualizing them as art, which abloh interprets as a way to birth new ideas with recognizable parts.
his approach juxtaposes hip-hop and the omnesiac culture of the internet, where the past is impossible to forget; always just a few clicks away and open to constant referencing. “it’s called hip-hop, it’s called sampling. you take a record and you make this new format of music from these adjacencies,” he explains. “we don’t exist devoid of the artists and thinkers that came before us: mies van der rohe, rem koolhaas, kanye west, pharell, caravaggio. they give us soil,” he continues. “it’s dangerous when you start naming yourself as the oracle.”
this approach is illustrated by what he calls the “3 percent approach,” the notion that you only need to edit something three percent to make it seem at once familiar and completely new, a winning proposition for abloh. “you notice a lot in my work the referencing or taking a thought and adding a component,” he explains. “duchamp is my favorite. duchamp is my lawyer.”
he is described as a visionary, trailblazer, cross-generationist, rule breaker, and genre-bender. he gets compared to karl lagerfield.
abloh was often quoted saying that everything that he did was for the “17-year-old version of myself.” “i would sort of agree i’m not a designer; that term seems like it’s for traditionalists,” he says. “tbd the new title.”
on tuesday, 30 november 2021, he was expected to present a louis vuitton runway show in miami ahead of art basel to mark the opening of a dedicated men’s store. vuitton will present the show in his honor.
above> photography by delfino sisto
above/below> 2019 mca chicago – “figures of speech” offers an unprecedented survey of abloh’s creative work over nearly two decades and pulls back the curtain on his process. in the exhibition, prototypes are presented alongside finished artworks, product designs, and fashion to reveal his myriad inspirations – from centuries-old painting to commonplace signage at construction sites. running throughout the exhibition is an emphasis on dialogue, which abloh creates through his inventive use of language and quotation marks, turning the objects he designs and the people who wear his clothing into “figures of speech.” editor’s note: the takeaway from this installation – this guy is indeed special.
above/below> louis vuitton chicago flagship showroom during george floyd 2020 summer protests // million dollar glasses
above/below> 2021 mercedes-benz project gelandewagen unveiled – artistic, track-spec g-wagen with full race car cabin. the project that bears the name ‘geländewagen’ was supported by gorden wagener, the brand’s design director, in which despite being a conceptual creation that simulates a racing version, all the details of the suv were carefully thought out. abloh, in a statement to mercedes-benz, sees his contribution as a sculpture that meets the profile and habits of those who consume the brand and that is ready to hit the art market.
above> 2018 / off – white little black dress
above> 2018 / abloh’s first louis vuitton mens’s spring-summer 2019 collection
above> his final louis vuitton collection // editor’s video note: hip-hop befits vuitton indeed
at 232 pounds, the beautifully designed model eleven is the lightest full-suspension, dual motor scooter in the micro-mobility scooter space. and it’s smart!
while the scooter isn’t autonomous, with an onboard advanced driver assistance system (adas) just like a car, the scooter knows the difference between a stoplight, stop sign, person, car or inanimate object, and provides both audible warnings with its integrated audio system, as well as visual warnings on the display.
the round touchscreen display provides turn-by-turn navigation and with its integrated led ring that animates in different colors to alert battery, collision detection, lane departure warning, adas, signaling, and other functions. the audio system provides instructions and warnings during navigation and if you’re not using the gps navigation feature, riders can connect to the scooter via bluetooth to play music.
gps is also built into the scooter as a theft deterrent. if the motion-activated alarm doesn’t stop a thief, the gps tracker displays its location and riders can remotely lock the scooter via the scooter’s smartphone app.
the mechanical side of things – the frame, forks, and handlebars – boasts the first two-wheel object to use a space age material designed in switzerland called long carbon composite that allows molds and shapes traditional carbon fiber is incapable of.
the wheels are unique – the motors are integrated into each wheel-well and each tire is hot-swappable making replacement seamless. the tires are foam-filled and puncture resistant.
the version with an adas for object detection will be $2,500, while the simpler model starts at $2,100. both come with different color options including stealth black, electric yellow, a matte black, mint green, and desert sand.
it’s been almost a year since lemond introduced its revolutionary prolog ebike and throughout the year the reviews have been glowing. this recreational ebike sports quite a lot of carbon fiber technology and unlike almost all ebikes it doesn’t look like one and is really fun to ride. at 26 pounds it’s the lightest ebike on the road at this writing.
greg lamond is a well known former professional road racing cyclist, entrepreneur, and anti-doping advocate. a two-time winner of the road race world championship and a three-time winner of the tour de france (1986, 1989, and 1990), lemond is considered by many to be the greatest american cyclist of all time.
lamond also has a fascination for technology, especially carbon fiber where he made history in the 1991 tour de france when he and his teammates rode carbon fiber bikes built by craig calfee and were branded as lemond bikes. a short time later trek bicycles picked up the lemond brand and they released what would become one of the nation’s top road brands until parting ways in 2008. he also has a research and development company, lamond carbon. he holds licenses to two patented technologies which will irrevocably disrupt the industry.
for now greg is releasing the new dutch and prolog models of ebikes. as patents become formalized, heads up for road, gravel, mountain, and adventure models that will combine revolutionary components and prototypic lemond aesthetics. here’s the prolog:
above>monocoque carbon fiber cockpit / a monocoque carbon fiber handlebar and stem encase the headlight and creates a strong yet minimal form.
above/below>headlight / an always on integrated 500 lumen headlight within our monocoque handlebar-stem provides visibility for the road ahead // tailight / rear and side visible 70 lumen taillights ensure safety in groups and traffic. Both lights offer static and strobe settings.
above>carbon fiber frame and components / prolog’s carbon fiber frame, fork, fenders, seat post, and monocoque handlebar-stem makes it one of the lightest ebikes on the market.
above>integrated motor / a 250 watt rear hub motor powers prolog up to 20 mph and is part of the mahle x35+ smart ebike system embedded throughout the frame. at just 7.7 pounds, it’s one of the lightest systems on the market.
above>11-speed drivetrain / an 11-speed shimano grx drivetrain provides the gearing and performance needed to traverse any terrain- with or without a motor.
above>custom fenders & tires / custom lemond carbon fenders and panaracer tires come standard.
above>upgrades — electronic shifting / the revolutionary shimano di2 shifting system solves the challenges drivetrains present to the power-delivery equation in cycling. di2 gives you instant, accurate, lighting-fast shifts the first and every time, at the push of a button. even in the most extreme conditions, shifting is precise and controlled. you can change gear even under heavy load while climbing or accelerating. with di2, you are in complete control.
above>upgrades — lemond lc30 carbon wheelset / the lemond lc30 rim is our new carbon fiber rim developed in partnership with munich composites, a german aerospace components manufacturer.
above/below>colors — blanc / matte finish with black decals // colors — noir / matte finish with silver decals // colors — rosa / matte finish with red decals
some experts predict the next two years could look like the last two months. through the summer and possibly into 2021 face masks will be required to get on a plane, walk into a grocery store, or move about within urban spaces. it’s for the public good. it’s also now bad mask etiquette without one.
yes, a mask offers protection in that it stops the spread. but the mask sometimes feels suffocating, fogs opticals, and makes us mumblers or screamers. i find myself storing my mask in a ziploc bag and then taking it in and out of my back pocket 5-6 times on an afternoon errand. what could be more inconvenient. a reusable shield is a game changer. i can put it on and leave it on until i reach the safety of my home.
right now there are probably 30 face shields being created by car manufacturers, engineering companies, architects and designers. this is all good but the shields look very much like ones that already exist. there are just now more of them. why can’t we make something better while at the same time more fashionable so more people will want to wear it ?
may we remind you that raymond loewy said that between two products equal in price, function and quality, the one with the most attractive exterior will win.
the face shield presented here is almost perfect. however, here are some ideas for consideration: incorporate a transitional lens for low light activities; shave the top to accommodate a hat for all-season wearability while also shedding weight; include a fashionable carry-case.
look, fashion is really quiet during these stay-at-home days. fashion producers are making medical gowns while fragrance houses are making hand sanitizer. in two months our creative community has gone only practical. it’s time to think about fun and fashion as well.
fashion is trendy, because the very nature of trends is to come and go. fashion can be practical too. from dresses to pants for ease of movement. from briefcases to backpacks for carrying things. from business attire to leggings and sweatpants for comfort. sweatpants! from sun glasses to face shields for protection.
the timing is ripe for a life-saving fashion accessory. kickstarter calling…
apple and google. masters of privacy. how is it even possible. here’s the concept.
apple and google just announced an unprecedented collaboration to leverage their smartphone technology to help trace and contain the spread of covid-19.
the collaboration will open up their mobile operating systems (!) to allow for the creation of advanced contact-tracing apps, which will run on iphones and android phones alike.
the apps would work by using bluetooth technology in mobile phones to keep track of every other phone a person comes into close contact with over the course of a day; if that person later finds out they have covid-19, they can use the same system to alert all those people, dating back to before they would have become infectious.
the idea is to help national governments roll out these contact-tracing apps to allow lockdowns to be lifted earlier, by letting authorities much more readily identify new clusters of infection. the technology would also help those who have been exposed to a person with covid-19 self-isolate before they themselves become infectious.
of course there are concerns. privacy for one. opting to use bluetooth rather than location services which are very secure.
“no contact-tracing app can be fully effective until there is widespread, free and quick testing and equitable access to healthcare,” jennifer granick, the surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at the aclu said. “people will only trust these systems if they protect privacy, remain voluntary, and store data on an individual’s device, not a centralized repository.”
privacy and civil liberties activists have warned that such apps need to be designed so governments cannot abuse them to track their citizens. apple and google said in a joint announcement that user privacy and security are baked into the design of their plan.
pam dixon, executive director of the world privacy forum, said she will be looking closely at the companies’ privacy assurances and for evidence that any health data they collect will be deleted once the emergency is over.
“people are dying. we have to save lives. everyone understands that,” she said. “but at some point, we’re going to have to understand the privacy consequences of this.”
security experts also note that technology alone cannot effectively track down and identify people who may have been infected by covid-19 carriers. such efforts will require other tools and teams of public healthcare workers to track people in the physical world, they say. in south korea and china, such efforts have included the use of credit card and public transit records.
given the great need for effective contact tracing, the companies will roll out their changes in two phases. in the first, they will release software in may that lets public health authorities release apps for both android and ios phones. in the coming months, they will also build this functionality directly into the underlying operating systems.
recently the companies released preliminary technical specifications for the effort, which they called privacy-preserving contact tracing.
we are grateful that this collaboration is being attempted to help subdue the coronavirus.
introducing the kickstarter funded grip on heat – isolator cup by rotterdam based studio lorier. made of porcelain, a highly temperature conductive and sometime slippery material, fins on the outside reduce heat and create a non-slip grip.
chicago designer craighton berman‘s coffeemaker nº4 is a pour over brewer that celebrates the ritual of slow coffee. designed to be a serious pour-over brewer as well as a beautiful countertop object, nº4 heightens the manual brewing experience.
originally launched on kickstarter 5 years ago (and boosted by uncrate), nº4 is the latest iteration of his signature coffeemaker. since this was the product that originally launched manual, he decided to create an anniversary edition to celebrate. the defining design gesture of the manual coffeemaker has always been the hand-crafted sculptural glass dome, so for this edition he created a new ceramic base—available in three colors. for the anniversary edition of Nº4, we are offering plates in matte black, matte white, and stoneware.
“i know in 2019 that a kickstarter campaign comes with some baggage—will it deliver? will it be any good? i have launched all manual products this way—this is actually my 12th kickstarter campaign—and i always deliver what i promise! coffeemaker n°4 is live as of monday, and is available at an early backer price of $80. after one week the price will move to $100, with a final retail cost of around $125.”
[ vitals ]
> you can make as little coffee as a 8oz cup (240 ml) or as much as 20oz (800 ml)—enough to share
> the coffeemaker does not use plastics (only glass and ceramic)
> packaging is 100% compostable (no foams to protect glass, only molded pulped paper)
> brewing process is 100% electricity-free—if water is heated on a gas stove
> low-waste in brewing, as the filter and grinds can be composted vs coffee pods, which are rarely recycled
lockdown cut-proof bag by travelon / home organization + storage / booth n6031
with features like safetex cut-proof strap and body material, sold brass lock and one-piece construction valuables are safe when on-the-go.
safetex material cannot be cut with knives, scissors or razor – nor can bolt cutters cut the strap. lockdown bags come in two sizes, one for essential items the other for larger iPad size items.
theft is a crime of opportunity and the travelon¨ anti-theft lockdown bag stops theft.
below> fledge – flip edge cutting board by dreamfarm / kitchen hand tools + cutlery / booth n8107
fledge is the world’s best cutting board. fledge has unique flip up edges that prevent food from falling or rolling off the sides when being transported to a pot, bowl or table for serving. both fledge and the double-sized big fledge (coming soon) have non-slip rubber feet and knife-friendly patterns on both sides, and a generous juice groove for carving on the underside. won’t warp in the dishwasher.
below> flex by joseph joseph / bath + personal care / booth n7900
the concept behind the head is appearing in a variety of products. what makes this product standout is the unique head design and elegant packaging that easily stores with its minimal footprint, even if you don’t have a utility storage room.
conventional toilet brushes hold dirt and liquid, making them messy and unhygienic to use and clean. also their bristles can distort and wear, meaning they need to be replaced regularly. flex™ is an innovative toilet brush designed to solve all these problems.
it features a flexible, d-shaped head that reaches all areas, even under the rim. it has widely spaced bristles that prevent dirt clogging, allowing liquid to drain quickly and minimising drips between cleaning and storing.
it also has durable bristles and comes with a slimline holder for neat storage.
dry your dishes right where you wash them. made with fda-approved silicone and reinforced with stainless steel rods, this simple, sturdy mat allows runoff from freshly washed items to drip directly into the sink. you can even use it to rinse and drain fruits and vegetables. roll up and put away when you’re done. that’s how to-do becomes ta-da.
below> sensor mirror compact by simplehuman / personal electrics / booth n7735
a simple concept tweak creates a must-have travel companion. tru-lux light system simulates natural sunlight, allowing you to see full color variation, so you’ll know when your makeup is color-correct and flawless. the 3x magnification gives you a hyper-clear view of every detail. sensor turns light on automatically when taken out of the sensor pouch, and turns it off when put back in. the power button lets you toggle between 650 or 300 lux dual brightness settings. a fold-out ring handle is secure and comfortable in your hand, or can be used as a stand for hands-free viewing — and it comes with an attached button strap that keeps the mirror secure inside the pouch. the mirror is rechargeable, and one charge lasts up to 1 week with typical daily usage.
below> titan – trash compactor by joseph joseph / household + home electrics / booth n7900
titan is an innovative waste solution with a patented, hygienic compaction system. this allows it to hold up to three times more than a similar-sized household bin. compacting your rubbish means you empty your bin less often and use fewer liners. titan also features an anti-tear design that won’t stretch or pinch the liner and a replaceable odour filter to neutralise any unpleasant smells.
below> cuisnart venture portable gas grill submitted by the fulham group / cook + bakeware / booth s1672
the cuisinart venture portable gas grill is not your average “tailgating” gas grill. the sleek and modern aesthetic, with store ‘n go design inspires adventure and helps couples enjoy those intimate moments. perfect for the date night picnic or small group gatherings. the wooden lid doubles as a chopping board; simply remove the cutting board from the top to prepare your meal or use it for cheese and crackers to enjoy while sipping a glass of wine. the grill grates are porcelain enameled cast iron, giving off more heat and holds heat longer than steel. a simple, complete, and compact portable grilling system.
below> globe watering can – jet and shower watering can by eva solo / home décor * gifts / booth8324
globe watering can allows the user to select between a jet watering or shower watering with a simple turn of the spout. practical hole in the side for easy filling. perfectly balanced for easy pouring.
below> messy mutts travel water bottle and bowl by jascor / pets/ booth s1217
perfect for your thirsty mutt on the go! just fold up the silicone bowl and press the quick release button. unused water drains back into the 700ml or 24 oz stainless steel bottle after use and the bowl folds back over the bottle for easy portability.
care > disassemble and hand wash with warm water and mild soap or place in dishwasher. hand wash recommended. do not microwave. silicone bowl can be removed from cap. bpa and pvc free.
below> cubit by plott / smart home products / booth L14000
cubit is the first tool that can bring your dimensional data to your smart device and also extract it back into the real world after you have manipulated it. this means that after you measure your space and arrange it to your liking in the app, cubit will then guide you to make your design a reality bringing your project to life. editor’s and gia judge note: with regard to category strength the smart home products category contained quite a few exceptional products and a shame we couldn’t have had a tie amongst two or three products.
thawthat! deluxe defrosts meat right on the countertop without any external heat or power source for a gentle, even thaw in less than half the time of traditional countertop thawing.
dissipates cold and draws ambient warmth to the surface / eco-friendly / rugged anodized aluminum, abs, polypropylene construction / cleaner than soaking and gentler than microwaving / faster (up to 2.5x) than traditional countertop thawing / concave surface directs melted liquid / green – no wires or batteries required / hand wash recommended
promeco has created tempcontrol® technology which keeps dinnerware warm or cold for more than 30 minutes.
this technology is presented via the calido onyx black dinner plate by sanodegusto, offering the perfect backdrop for a culinary tour de force. the anti-scratch structure ensures multiple use without devaluing the design. moreover, the integrated revolutionary tempcontrol® technology makes sure any dish stays warm for at least 30 minutes. sanodegusto is a division of promeco.
[ gia global innovation awards – product design ] the iha innovation awards have honored the best in product design at the international home + housewares show for the past four years. the award’s name and tagline have now changed to the iha global innovation awards (gia), honoring product design excellence.
all products entered into the new product showcase will have a chance at winning. innovative products will be judged by a panel of experts that includes designers, retailers and news media.
product finalists selected by the judges were announced prior to the show and will be featured in each buyers club and at the iha global innovation awards display in the lakeside center lobby.
editor’s note: ron kovach has been a judge since inception of this award.