From the high-tech aerospace industries to manufacturers of consumer products designed for the tabletop, hundreds of the world's leading corporations and design offices from 40 nations-from Shanghai to Istanbul-vied in Chicago and New York for the world's oldest and most coveted GOOD DESIGN Award for 2009, which is conferred annually by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Founded in Chicago in 1950 by architects Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., GOOD DESIGN bestows international recognition upon the world's most prominent designers and manufacturers for advancing new, visionary, and innovative product concepts, invention and originality, and for stretching the envelope beyond what is considered ordinary product and consumer design.
For 2009 and despite the economic slowdown, a record number of submissions were received by The Chicago Athenaeum ranging from a Mars Landing Rover designed for a 2030 NASA Mars Space Mission to a simple water purification system for rural South African villages. Two European trains, luxury automobiles, futuristic motorcycles, state-of-the-art kitchens and appliances, tractors, high-tech packaging, advanced electronics, masterpiece time mechanisms, signature chairs and office furnishings, sleek computers and televisions, bold mobile phones, clothing, skiis, boats and yachts, first-class air travel seating, electric urban chargers for tomorrow's vehicles, bicycles, private jets, and telescopes to a pencil sharpener and NYC condoms were juried finally for the best new design for 2009.
This year, the world's most visionary corporations were awarded: 3M, Alessi, Apple, Assa Abloy, Armstrong World Companies, AT&T, B/E Aerospace, Bang & Olufsen, BMW, Bodum, BSH Home Appliance Corporation, The Bosch Group, Canal+, Continental Airlines, Daimler, Bombardier Transportation, Dassault Aviation, Decathlon S.A., Dell, Deutsche Post, Electrolux Major Appliances, Dyson, Festo, Fiat Automobiles, Fisher + Paykel, Fratelli Guzzini, General Electric Company, Grundig, Kardon Group, Herman Miller, Hewlett Packard Company, Hitachi, Indesit Company, Infocus, Intel, Japan Airlines International, JCDecaux, Kone, Knoll, Logitech, Mannington Commercial, Medion, Medronic, Melitta, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft Corporation, Miele & Cie, Moen Incorporated, Motorola, NASA, Nestle, New Holland Agriculture NA., Olympus Winter + Ibe, Qantas Airways, Porsche, Rado Watch, Robert Bosch Tool, Roche Diagnostics, Rockwell Collins, Royal Philips Electronics, Rosenthal, Samsung C&T., Samsung Electronics, Sanofi Aventis, SieMatic, Siemens, Siemens Gigaset Communications, Siemens Transportation Systems, Steelcase, Sub-Zero, Corporation, Terraillon France, TNT Holdings, United Technologies, Vestel Electronics, Viking Range, Vodafone, Volkswagen, Wall, Whirlpool Corporation, and hundreds other leading design companies synonymous with GOOD DESIGN.
Over 500 GOOD DESIGN Awards have been given in 2009, marking this year's program as the largest ever by country. A record number of submissions were sent by thousands of design firms and corporations. Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and The United States reigned in the number of awards given for the best new product and graphic design. There was a surprise showing for new high-design consumer products coming from Turkey and Brazil.
"GOOD DESIGN is a truly global program of phenomenal proportion," stated Christian K. Narkiewicz-Laine, Museum President/CEO, The Chicago Athenaeum. "Despite the downturn in the economy and more bleak predictions for the near future, the 2009 GOOD DESIGN program is the strongest program ever, with the largest-ever amount of corporate participation and the best and most substantial design awarded. This might be the beginning that signals the start that corporations and designers are changing their direction toward more sustainable and cost-effective design and less the use of flash and extravagance and a new understanding that the global market for consumer products is highly competitive and that only the strong and the best-designed will survive and succeed."
"GOOD DESIGN sense," he continues, "is the only way."
The 2009 awarded categories include the latest design innovation in electronics, medical equipment, transportation, furniture, textiles, industrial machinery, public environment, protective equipment, robotics/bionics, energy systems, hardware, tools, and accessories, kitchen/appliances, floor covering, tabletop, household products, personal, office products, children's products, sports and recreation, lighting, branding, advertising, packaging, and graphics-anything and everything from a "city to a spoon."
This year, GOOD DESIGN publicly acknowledges and elevates the best and finest new design and design innovation for products and graphics designed and/or manufactured between 2007 and 2009.
"GOOD DESIGN is the singular, international design awards program the entire design and corporate world waits for each year, " added Mr. Narkiewicz-Laine. "GOOD DESIGN says it all today-no more, no less-just as it had in 1950 and continues now for nearly 60 years. GOOD DESIGN has immediate public recognition for the best new design produced worldwide. For the public, it's THE seal of approval. Hundreds of leading winning manufacturers and FORTUNE 500 companies print the GOOD DESIGN logo for awarded their products on their packaging, marketing information, advertising, websites, corporate information, posters, billboards, and branding. You can hardly open a magazine in Europe or Asia without seeing the Museum's GOOD DESIGN logo positioned on advertising from automobiles to luxury personal products."
In 2010, GOOD DESIGN celebrates its 60-year anniversary as the world's oldest and most prestigious awards program for product and graphic design.
This year, The United States ranked as the leader in the number of awards with 378 awards in all categories and Germany as second with 250. Italy took the number three position with 116 awards followed by Denmark with 46 and Switzerland with 39. Canada won 22 awards. Brazil, Belgium, and Sweden won 19 awards, while Turkey and France received 18 awards. Austria won 16 awards followed by Spain with 15; Finland and The Netherlands 12; and Norway and Japan nine awards. Mexico won eight awards. New Zealand received seven, while the Czech Republic and Australia took five awards. Lebanon, Ireland, and Portugal received four awards each. The People's Republic of China were recognized with three awards. The jury gave two awards to Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, India, South Africa, Israel, and Liechtenstein. Peru and the Isle of Man were bestowed one award each.
Designs from 40 nations were submitted for this year's program; 35 countries were recognized with GOOD DESIGN 2009.
2009 is the "Year of Electronics" with 103 awards given to the latest mobile phones, computers, communication equipment, laptops, scanners, navigation systems, audio and video-on-demand. German and U.S. companies continue their reign as the most formidable companies in the worldwide electronics industries. Texas-based Dell won twelve awards for new computers, laptops, mobile projectors, mobile printers, notebooks, desktops, and servers. California based Apple led by Jonathan Ives, was awarded with nine awards in the electronics category. The German company, Medion AG won ten awards for new televisions, telephones, notebooks, MP4 players, and a microwave oven. Hewlett-Packard Company, led by its rising star designer, Mark Solomon, won ten awards for servers, computers, printers, and avant-garde packaging, including HP's latest VOODOO Omen, Envy, and DNA. Sleek and sophisticated mobile and desk phones were awarded to Porsche Design Studio, Vodafone, and Siemens Gigaset Communications GmbH. The Germany Loewe Opta AG won two awards for their ultra dynamic flat screen televisions.
A surprising four awards went to the Turkish electronics firm of Vestel Electronics for sleek and sophisticated remote controls, thin LCD televisions, and state-of-the-art packaging.
In 2009, the category of transportation offered the most compelling and innovative examples of new cars, trains, planes, and industrial vehicles. Mercedes-Benz won three awards for their SLR Stirling Moss and two E-Class vehicles. Two awards went to Gemballa Automobiltechnik GmbH for the firm's forward-thinking Porsche conversions, which are especially attuned to design language and technical requirements. Marek Reichman's One-77 Sports Car, is styled to the ultimate expression of Aston Martin's aura and elegance and hits 220mph during top speed testing. The American firm, Confederate Motors, Inc. was awarded twice for its stunning and ultra-sleek B120 Wraith Motorcycle and P120 Renaissance Fighter. First Class Air Travel is even more elegant, refined, and comfortable with the awarded new breakthrough environments designed for Continental Airlines, Japan Airlines, and Qantas Airways. BMW Group Designworks USA's interior of the new Dessault Falcon 7X offers defining features, including uncompromising cabin comfort for temperature monitoring, thermal controls, and custom-crafted interior furnishings. The design for the 2010 NielPryde Sails for Windsurfing has been re-engineered from the ground up offering a new form, new function and new freedom for the joy of riding the surf.
BMW Group Designworks USA's Bavaria Cruiser 55 and Bavaria Deep Blue 46 Open Yacht are innovative and stunning works of new naval architecture. Bombardier Transportation's "Talent 2" Electrical Passenger Trains offers a unique state-of-the-art train concept with its impressive solution to modularity and flexibility and balanced by energy-savings technology and then counterbalanced with sleek detailing and design. Austrian National Railway's ÖBB Railjet combines high quality materials, state-of-the-art equipment, and outstanding comfort to this new rail vehicle. It's shape, color scheme, quality materials, state-of-the-art equipment, and outstanding comfort to this new rail vehicle associates dynamism and speed even before the passenger boards.
Perhaps the most expensive design submitted and awarded for 2009 is the Manned Mars Exploration Rover for the NASA Mars Mission of 2030 designed by the Chicago firm of Montgomery Design International and Ergonomic Systems Design in Santa Barbara, California. The rover in its bold, futuristic design goes no where land vehicles have gone before designed to work in the harsh conditions of Mars. The design is not only for transport but also as a life-support system for the working astronaut occupants.
Marcus Fischer of Germany's Festo AG again pushes the envelope for high design and high technology winning three GOOD DESIGN Awards in the robotics and bionics category with his futuristic machines: "Air Penquin" and the "Bionic Tripod with FinGripper" plus an Interactive Wall designed with Kas Oosterhuis, Hyperbody and Protospace, Delft University of Technology in Delft, Netherlands.
In terms of appliances, the German collaboration of Bosch and Siemens won the most GOOD DESIGN Awards-fifteen in all-for new refrigerators, cook tops, ovens, washers, and graphics. The Swedish Electrolux AB won seven awards for new refrigerators, vacuums, and dishwashers. The best designs for Electrolux arrived from the design studio in Brazil and for their South American clientele-stunning new design concepts with futuristic bravado for the most ordinary in everyday kitchen appliances we usually take for granted. The German kitchen firm SieMatic offers a futuristic kitchen design-the SieMatic S1-as the highest exponent of minimal, integrated design with flawless attention given to technology, craft, and detail.
World renowned architects usually more at home designing skyscrapers and cities also led in design and were awarded in 2009 for furniture, outdoor environments, bathroom fixtures, lighting, and tabletop designs. Those architects include Claesson Koivisot Rune (Sweden); Centerbrook Architects and Planners (USA); William Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox PC. (USA); Patrick Jouin (France); HOK (USA); Shelton, Mindel & Associates (USA) Matheo Thun (Italy); Wiel Arets (The Netherlands); Massimo Iosa Ghini (Italy); and Michele de Lucchi (Italy).
"All in all," said Mr. Narkiewicz-Laine, "this year's GOOD DESIGN program bestowed the coveted GOOD DESIGN Award to the most important and influential industrial and graphic designers in the world. This is the singular, international design awards program the entire design and corporate world waits for each year. GOOD DESIGN says it all today-no more, no less-just as it had in 1950 and now nearly for 60 years."