Catalyst Winners Impact Business Performance and Daily Life

Catalyst Winners Impact Business Performance and Daily Life

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and BusinessWeek announced today that Bank of America's "Keep the Change" and Pangea Organics took top honors in the 2007 Design and Business Catalyst Award competition, with the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet, the Master Lock Titanium Series Padlock and LifePort Kidney Transporter earning honorable mentions.

The Catalyst Award goes a step further than traditional design competitions by recognizing the essential connection between design excellence and business, socioeconomic and ecological impact. Since 2002, Catalyst has rewarded the foresight of business managers who incorporate design as an essential component of business success. This year, four of the five Catalyst recipients are current or former winners of the International Design Excellence Award (IDEASM), also co-sponsored by IDSA and BusinessWeek.

A jury of three design/business leaders reviewed this year's entries, paying special attention to those that reached beyond aesthetic expression to impact financial and social objectives. "The awards often act as a beacon to celebrate the best and brightest, and provide insights into the potential trajectory of our immediate creative future," said Jury Chair John R. Hoke, III, IDSA, VP of Nike Footwear Design + Innovation. "The winners expressed a deep understanding of the complete human experience - the need for better things and richer experiences."

"These five stood out as important examples of how design can truly drive value," agreed juror Annette Schömmel, a partner at arthesia AG. "Design has been revolutionized and taken to new levels that go beyond creating forms and shapes of objects into influencing and designing processes from corporate strategy, planning, innovation, marketing and product design."

Pangea Organics IDEO

Pangea Organics -- Catalyst Award
Credit: IDEO and Pangea Organics
The design team at Pangea Organics developed a packaging and customer education solution to distinguish the company and its body-care products from the crowded field of competitors claiming to be "organic." The strategy relied on viral marketing, fueled by intensive product education at the point of sale. For example, the company employed an environmentally friendly screen-printing process rather than glue-on labels, typically derived from petroleum, and included information on the package itself to explain how this change reduced the product's environmental footprint. Since the relaunch of its line in October 2005, Pangea Organics' revenue has grown seven-fold and distribution has expanded exponentially. "This is a company that used design to create new consumers," observed juror Keith Yamashita, chairman of Stone Yamashita Partners, "while at the same time protecting Mother Earth."

Bank of America "Keep the Change" -- Catalyst Award
Credit: IDEO and Bank of America
Bank of America's "Keep the Change" program grew out of a research project that sought to understand how banks could improve service to women with children. The program rounds up purchases made with a Bank of America Visa debit card to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference to a savings account. The program attracted 2.5 million customers in less than one year to open more than 700,000 new checking accounts and one million new savings accounts. With a 95 percent retention rate, the program helps hundreds of thousands of customers build long term savings while ensuring a loyal customer base for Bank of America. "It's wonderful to see design deployed in the service of shaping human behavior," said Yamashita. "The Keep the Change program sprang from insights that the designing process unearthed."

Master Lock Titanium Series Padlock

Master Lock Titanium Series Padlock -- Catalyst Honorable Mention
Credit: Continuum and Master Lock
Master Lock created the Titanium Series - the first significant design change in 50 years - to combat a competitive threat from low-cost imports in the late 1990s. The design team understood that consumers care much less about the lock itself than they do about the valuables protected by it. This understanding led to a strategy of lifestyle segmentation that opened up new sales categories. Products in a variety of colors, sizes and bumper shapes allow the line to meet diverse practical and psychographic needs. Packaging replete with lifestyle imagery and coordinated color schemes help consumers associate Master Lock's products with their own interests. The winner of a Gold IDEA in 2002, the Titanium Series has helped Master Lock build and sustain a 75 percent share of the padlock market.

LifePort Kidney Transporter

LifePort Kidney Transporter -- Catalyst Honorable Mention
Credit: IDEO and Organ Recovery Systems
The LifePort Kidney Transporter, a high-tech alternative to the conventional method of organ storage and transportation, has given doctors and kidney patients increased hope. LifePort nearly doubles the ex vivo time between donor and recipient, allowing physicians to reach a greater number of patients and ensure a proper match. The design offers ease of use and safety in a platform that requires only basic clinical skills and minimal training, while communicating the importance of the cargo inside. LifePort is now used at more than 100 regional centers worldwide, including two-thirds of the US market. It has become the prevailing machine perfusion system in the world, substantially displacing all previous technologies.

Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet -- Catalyst Honorable Mention
Credit: IDEO and Eclipse Aviation
The Eclipse 500, the first very-light jet approved by the FAA, offers a unique combination of advanced instrumentation, a small size and an economical price tag. Because of its high performance and an industry-changing price model, the design of the interior and user interface had to be as innovative, functional and luxurious as the exterior in order to attract buyers and satisfy passengers. A multidisciplinary design team was brought in to validate what was already in place,optimizing and integrating the jet's instrument panel, lighting system, cockpit and cabin. They created a layout for the instrument panel that is more intuitive, less cluttered, less fatiguing and more motion efficient. This user-centered approach set the tone for Eclipse Aviation's ongoing design, manufacturing and marketing practices. Eclipse has sold more than 2,500 jets-worth a record-breaking $3.8 billion.

Industrial Designers and IDSA
Industrial Designers create satisfied customers by designing products, interfaces and services that are desirable, accessible, comfortable, ecologically responsible, innovative, safe and easy to use. In this way, industrial designers have a quiet but profound presence in almost everything people encounter during the day.

IDSA is the voice of industrial design, committed to advancing the profession through education, information, community and advocacy.

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