1. Modular Jacket

The question these designers asked was, “Can the same jacket be a different for everyone?” This is really powerful because if more designers thought that way, we could begin radically simplifying our lives. Also, I admire the level of inquisitiveness it must have taken to look at a jacket and wonder what could be done about it, seeing as a jacket is a seemingly simple, established object.

2. TinkerBots

This product combines the age-old concept of building blocks with the brand new technology of wireless electronics. In essence, these designers created a better building block, or at least one with infinitely more capabilities. I would be interested to see where this product could be implemented in a more real-world setting aside from the child’s play setting for which it was made.

3. CNC Whiskey on the Rocks

Though this is not necessarily a product, I found the unique application of the CNC process to be quite creative. Also, I found the exploration of material (i.e. ice) to be equally creative and exciting. I never would have experimented with ice and a laser, but I’m awfully glad these designers did. The outcome is novel, intriguing, and pleasurable. It sure would be fun to have in a glass, too!

4. Spritz

This software is so interesting to me. It begs so many questions. Will the world prefer this type of reading? How did they discover that the red letter method was more efficient? Would this be implemented in companies so that employees would waste less company time and therefore be more efficient while on paid time? Are there any negative cognitive effects that this software could have on the human brain?

5. Eco Tourism Cabin

The concept is perhaps the most creative aspect of this cabin. The idea is to have a small getaway that can be placed on any site and removed without any land disruption. In addition, the cabin offers add-on parts for more space if, say, the visitor would be staying for an extended period of time. The cabin also has four metal legs which are the only contact points between the cabin and the ground, making it suitable for rugged terrains if desired.

1. Star Wars with Staples

The material choice is the novel aspect of this design. I came to the realization that the designers took 3-dimensional objects and created a virtually 2-dimensional work of art. Also, the additive use of metal is something that is not normally seen, which makes this series intriguing.

2. Grillo Portable

This product seems simultaneously affordable and high-quality by the designers material choice and basic shape. The grill takes the form of a fold up lawn chair and an umbrella, both of which are readily available household items. The form also proposes a more exciting way of doing a normally mundane task. It also adds flair and accessibility to the previously bulky metal grills.

3. Simple Desk

I will be outright and say that I absolutely love this desk. This object goes to prove once and for all that all of the “things” we produce do not need to be overridden with gadgets and gizmos. Simplicity lends itself to the utmost functionality, if properly achieved. One material, simple cuts, a few hardware additions, and that’s it. Beautiful.

4. Beautiful School Furniture

I think I enjoy this line of products simply because I am, to this day, disgusted by much of the cheap school furniture I encounter so often. The furniture proposed in this product line is unobtrusive and maintains the same qualities that we “require” from our school furniture (stackability, mobility, functionality, ease of manufacturing, low cost, etc).

5. Simpler Faucet

The designers dematerialized the standard faucet and finally revealed the beautiful process that all faucets hide. Here, the designers revealed the pressurized water and allow us, the consumer, to witness the poetic process of watching the water breach the barrier and spill out into the sink. This product resembles a water spout, perhaps from a spring, well up out of the ground and spilling over abundantly.

1. Magnetic Bike Hubs

This product/idea is an example of a way that creativity can be instituted in areas other than aesthetic design. Creativity can be implemented in engineering and mechanical problem solving. This concept proves that creativity can be achieved by simply looking at a problem from a different perspective and applying a dissimilar concept to the problem at hand.

2. Solar-Powered Parasol

The designers of this product described their inspiration by saying that they did not want to create a piece that simply inhabited its environment, but one that reacted to what was happening around it. Though I struggle to accept the form as the pinnacle of what they could achieve, the technology and intent behind the design is certainly interesting and, in my opinion, should be applied more often.

3. School Lunch Case Study

I love that creative problem-solving methods are spilling into previously unchartered territories. In this case study, a group of designers are practicing empathy in order to better relate to the students and faculty they are designing a solution for. This is also worth a read because they break down the ways they applied their creativity and how those methods can be universally applied.

4. Modular, Shaped Shelving

Negative space. Oh yeah. This shelving unit can stand alone comfortably, and I think that is a challenge for all product designers: design something that needs not be put to use to be beautiful. Even when the purpose of this shelving unit is not fulfilled, it is interesting, intriguing, and aesthetically pleasing. Aside from that, though, it is modular…which is every nomad’s dream.

5. Latthammer

Again, an example of empathetic design that addresses a real issue. The hammer, which has nearly kept its original design for hundreds of years, was perhaps not in need of improvement. However, these designers found a way to refine the hammer in order to make it more user friendly (for a niche market of users). What they came up with is quite brilliant.

1. Dome Home

Built in 6 weeks with only $9,000, this home is one for the books (whoops, I used a cliché on a creativity blog…). The bulbous, playful shape paired with the vibrant colors, curvilinear rooms, and a multitude of window space, this house stands out as a creative piece of art. The unity of the interior finishes and the exterior landscaping complement the house itself well, giving a sense of unification and continuity to the whole plot.

2. Renovation with Concrete Pipes

This piece is creative in the way that the architects thought to use concrete pipes for a use unrelated to their intended purpose. Through repetition we are able to see a certain beauty about them that goes unnoticed when they are shoved underground. Regardless, these tubes create the perfect space for a window seat and a book, and appear to offer a certain warm, encompassing feeling to the inhabitant.

3. Nomadic Radiator

This is just fun. The bulbous form makes this nomadic, mobile radiator seem almost like a warm house pet. It’s about time to stray from those ugly, industrial, immovable radiators. This product feels almost interactive and invites you to grasp the wooden handle, spin the radiator around, and set it up right next to your cozy bed.

4. Surfboards & Marine Animals

I love the poetry in this collection. The designer unifies man and animal in the way he links the form of the marine animals and the human body. While simplifying the shapes of these marine animals, who gracefully pass through the water, he is considering the shape of the man aboard these surfboards whose purpose is to travel smoothly through the water. The linkage of purposes appears to be a previously unnoticed connection.

5. Balloon Chair

Balance, balance, balance. And a little bit of magic, it appears! The delicate balance of color and form is contested only by the levitating chair attached to the beautiful bouquet of balloons. The curves of the chair mirror the curves of the balloons that uphold it, which gives the piece an interesting, almost paradoxical unity. Usually, the feet of the chair uphold the seating unit and, traditionally, tend to be far more geometric than the actually seating area/cushion.

1. PullClean

This product shows real consideration for the lifestyle of doctors. The combination of steps that were previously contradictory (sanitizing hand, then opening door handle) into one cohesive and logical movement is quite genius. The aesthetic of the piece reflect a soft sterility that is nearly inviting, due to its blue teardrop accent that explains the presence of something else within the door handle.

2. Superbambi Chair

Holy cow, what a nice design. First off, it is highly functional and transforms the way we look at a simple chair. Second, the connections within this piece are just dreamy. Its adaptability is desirable, the colors clearly indicate a change or diversion from the whole, and each form within the form was given great consideration. Love this.

3. Ta Te Ti

Again, a beautiful reconsideration for traditional furniture design. This design allows facilitates far more interaction and rids us of the passivity we feel towards most furniture, especially benches. The design is balanced, simple, and inviting.

4. Flower Petal Sony Ad

As designers, we’re always stressing the importance of material choice. I find it interesting that in this Sony ad, the photographer also stressed that same importance. In order to show off the high definition of the product while also creating an interesting marketing campaign, the photographer decided to have thousands of flower petals exploded into the air. Interesting take on photographing seemingly boring images otherwise!

5. The Bottled Walkman

Wow. First of all, great product for such a niche market. A waterproof, wireless walkman with internal memory. What is even more impressive, though, is their marketing campaign. Want people to think your product is waterproof? I mean, really waterproof? Sell it in a bottle of water! Better yet, sell it where they’ll always see it but never expect to…a vending machine! Mind blown.

1. 3D Knitted Fabric

This product is unique because it joins two different worlds by utilizing a previously untouched process in the fabric industry. Though fabrics are considered 3-dimensional in nature, we often view them as 2-dimensional prints. By using 3D printing, these designers have opened the door to, potentially, a whole new sect of fabric design.

2. Laser Engraved Skateboard Decks

To this product I just have to say, “Finally.” Skateboarders are far past the color-popped graphics that tainted the underside of the beautifully crafted wooden decks. These designers realized the material had a lot more to offer and decided to display that beauty through laser engraving. Brilliant.

3. Korean Bent Walnut Furniture

The rhythm and flow of this product is what really catches the observers eye. The graceful lines capture the viewer’s attention and lead our eyes all around the product. The most impressive aspect of this design is the way functionality, art, and material work together. The product functions well as a seating unit, looks almost sculptural at first glance, and is made completely of bent walnut strips which defy the norm to create an aesthetically appealing installation.

4. Basalt Benches

The goal many designers have in mind when beginning a project is to design a product that defies the norm. If I could give an award for just that, this designer would have it in a minute. Gone are the days of coated metal benches. No longer to benches have to pollute the area they inhabit. Perhaps, one day, all benches could possess this same rugged yet refined sculptural balance and functional form.

5. Lumio Light

This designer must have thought, “Lanterns are pretty hard to stuff in your backpack” and gone forth from that. Through repeated page-like forms, this designer produced a “light book” that unfurls to create a pod shape that nearly mimics the bulb shape we are all familiar with. The really interesting thing about this product is its flexibility of form. The shape is somewhat deceptive, but this light can unfold completely, lay flat, press into a corner, etc. to change both its appearance and the user’s experience.

1. Primeknit

With this product, I appreciate the consideration for the process and the simplification of that process that Adidas sought to achieve. The combination of, basically, a tall sock, and the traditional football cleat makes for a one-of-a-kind fitted football boot. It’s a wonder this was never invented before.

2. Dyed Fish

This concept is astounding in that, like most carefully designed things, it allows us to gain an alternative perspective or insight that we would not have had otherwise. The dye reveals the beauty, intricacy, and often symmetry of living organisms. The idea is quite novel and perhaps even useful because it could allow for simpler observation of the internal makeup.

3. XchangE

This design advances the futuristic notion that we may someday have autonomous cars. The design gives surprising consideration to the details of human comfort and satisfaction, including swiveling chairs with a reclined position for relaxing and watching the televisions that are placed in the interior of the car. Though the technology is not quite there yet, the design proposes a sleek, futuristic car that would be quite desirable in reality.

4. Inhabit Hamster Wheel

This architectural installation gives a brand new meaning to the phrase “the daily cycle.” The balance and symmetry of the implied spaces works to create a fun and functional component to this oversized hamster wheel. It really makes me wonder if there is a functional future in this kind of living style.

5. Nomadic Interiors

The combination of wood and beige cloth effectively communicates the nomadic mindset that these designs sprung out of. The designs are functional and considerate of human factors while also being cozy, inviting, and stylistic. Their simplicity matches the minimalist theme found in a nomadic lifestyle.