2020 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) Gold, Special Award Winners Revealed

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The top designs of 2020 rose to meet a variety of needs, increased accessibility for underserved populations, and brought delight amid a difficult year.

"Cultural context was present in our deliberations and put a spotlight on entries that were driving social impact."

Under normal circumstances, the 40th annual International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) Ceremony would have been held in a packed auditorium in Seattle, but this year had other plans. Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) brought the 2020 IDEA Ceremony online on Wednesday, Sept. 16, the day before the virtual International Design Conference (IDC), Sept. 17-18.

The placement of the Gold, Silver, and Bronze IDEA winners and the Special Award winners were revealed live during the virtual Ceremony, held over Zoom, with recipients accepting Gold and Special awards in video messages. See all of the 2020 winners in the IDEA Gallery: IDSA.org/awards/idea/gallery

Jonah Becker, IDSA, Senior Vice President of Design at Fitbit and the IDEA 2020 Jury Chair, was joined by Qin Li, IDSA, the Chair of IDSA’s Board of Directors and Vice President of Design at fuseproject, in presenting the IDEA-winning designs.

Li began by noting that 2020 marks both the end of an era for design and a time for new beginnings. "Our design community has been able to come together and find ways to innovate, all remotely and across new disciplines and industries," Li said. "The only way forward is to recognize and acknowledge these gaps that we have been operating and living in, and commit to continue to address these issues in every intersection. This is the time for us as designers to look closely at where changes can be made to better prepare us in the future and to prevent the same mistakes from repeating themselves."

She also commented on the inequities that continue to permeate the design industry, which Becker addressed as well in the introduction to his pick for the 2020 Jury Chair's Award. "The judging took place under unique circumstances: a pandemic that has disproportionately affected communities of color, and the Black Lives Matter movement that has fueled action against systemic racism in the United States," Becker said. "This cultural context was present in our deliberations and put a spotlight on entries that were driving social impact."

The jury selected the 2020 Gold, Silver, and Bronze IDEA winners from over 1,800 entries that came from 25 different countries and regions around the world. 124 of those entries were chosen for awards, and 20 were designated as Gold winners.

Each year, the jury reviews IDEA entries across five criteria: Design Innovation, Benefit to the User, Benefit to the Client, Benefit to Society, and Appropriate Aesthetics. These five criteria have remained unchanged during the 40-year history of IDEA and are part of what makes this program so unique among other design award programs.

See below for the list of 2020 IDEA Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners by category, followed by the 2020 Special Award winners. Details, designers, and photos of all the winners can be found at IDSA.org/awards/idea/gallery.

AUTOMOTIVE AND TRANSPORTATION
Gold

  •     Elroy Air Chaparral

Silver

  •     Bird Two
  •     VISION-S Prototype

Bronze

  •     EV Concepts
  •     Hyundai 45

BRANDING
Gold

  •     Forge Ahead

Silver

  •     The Serif Visual Identity System

Bronze

  •     The Sero Visual Identity System

CHILDREN’S PRODUCTS
Silver

  •      DidaCubes
  •     Yoto Player

Bronze

  •     Skiphop Sit-to-Step High Chair

COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL
Gold

  •     Hyundai Vest Exoskeleton (VEX)
  •     Leica BLK2GO, Wireless Handheld Laser Scanner

Silver

  •     Cisco Meraki MV Security Cameras
  •     Google Trekker
  •     Phantom Espresso

Bronze

  •     APX NEXT P25 All Band Smart Radio with XV Remote Speaker Microphone
  •     Bose Videobar VB1
  •     DCI TeraTrak R1
  •     M12 FUEL 3/8” and 1/2” Digital Torque Wrenches with ONE-KEY

CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY
Gold

  •     FUJIFILM PROJECTOR Z5000
  •     FUJINON TECHNO STABI TS-X 1440
  •     Sonos Amp

Silver

  •     Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K
  •     HoloLens 2
  •     Logitech G Adaptive Gaming Kit
  •     Q950TS, QLED 8K

Bronze

  •     Galaxy Fold
  •     Google Nest Hub Max
  •     Hoop
  •     HP Chromebook 11 G8 Education Edition
  •     HP Neverstop Laser MFP Printers with TRK
  •     Inclusive IoT
  •     Kodak ‘Smile’ Family of Instant Print Digital Cameras and Printers
  •     Logitech VR Ink Stylus
  •     VAVA 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector

DESIGN STRATEGY
Bronze

  •     Falck Global Innovation Strategy – Saving and improving even more lives and Hunterlab Photospectrometers

DIGITAL INTERACTION
Gold

  •     BESPOKE Family Hub UX

Silver

  •     MI Rearview Mirror System
  •     SentiAR

Bronze

  •     Airstar Bank, Fitbit Inspire HR UX
  •     Mintit UX: Used Mobile Phone Upcycling Service

ENVIRONMENTS
Gold

  •     Museum of Literature Ireland

Silver

  •     de Youngsters Studio
  •     lululemon Lincoln Park

Bronze

  •     Endangered Animals Graphic Archive
  •     Playcore Sensory Car Wash

FURNITURE AND LIGHTING
Silver

  •     Jya Cordless LED Desk Lamp

Bronze

  •     Glint Hero Lighting Fixture

HOME
Gold

  •     Miranda O3 Pulldown Kitchen Faucet
  •     Triple Care Dishwasher

Silver

  •     BESPOKE refrigerator
  •     Bottle Bath
  •     Milkpress
  •     Fellow Ode Brew Grinder

Bronze

  •     Coway Icon Air Purifier
  •     Electrolytic sterilizer (WCE-200)
  •     GROHE SmartControl Kitchen
  •     High-end foldable baseboard electric heater
  •     Illumiknobi
  •     Infinite Line Built-in Oven package
  •     Ivy Pour-Over
  •     Midea Wall-Mounted Mini Washing Machine
  •     SMART 360 Air Purifier Series
  •     Sunshine Series Human Body Induction Light
  •     Urbanity+ Shower Column

LIFESTYLE AND ACCESSORIES
Silver

  •     WellBeings CBD Nano Mist Inhaler

Bronze

  •     Surface Earbuds

MEDICAL AND HEALTH
Gold

  •     Easy, Affordable Vision Screening for Developing Countries
  •     REAL Immersive System

Silver

  •     AliveCor KardiaMobile 6L
  •     Welch Allyn RetinaVue 700 Imager by Hillrom

Bronze

  •     Ceribell Rapid Response EEG
  •     Cuddly Bird
  •     DR. BEI Portable Water Flosser F3
  •      Snoozeal

OFFICE AND ACCESSORIES
Gold

  •     C9

Silver

  •     Scotch Clip & Twist Tape Dispenser

Bronze

  •     Haworth Digital Knits
  •     LG LED Bloc (L.S.A.A), LG MAGNIT (L.S.A.B)

OUTDOOR AND GARDEN
Silver

  •     Instant Barbecue
  •     redminut portable drinking bottle

PACKAGING
Silver

  •     Samsung Upcycling Solution for TV Packaging
  •     Zero – E'conomy meal tray

Bronze

  •     Mountain tea – Song(宋)
  •     MOUNTAIN DEW A Can Has No Name

SERVICE DESIGN
Bronze

  •     Bewith-Lenovo Homecare Chronic Disease Management System

SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGN
Silver

  •     Easy, Affordable Vision Screening for Developing Countries
  •     Music: Not Impossible

Bronze

  •     ATLAS | Community-based telehealth for local veterans
  •     ElectionGuard Voting Machine

SPORTS, LEISURE, AND RECREATION
Gold

  •     Awake RÄVIK
  •     Tonal Strength Training System

Silver

  •     Tempo

Bronze

  •     GMX7 X1-PRO
  •     Theragun G3 Series

STUDENT DESIGNS
Gold

  •     Cairer – An AI-directed therapy tool to support dementia carers
  •     Dart Electric Rideshare Bike
  •     HanDo
  •     i’mnot – music instruments for non-musicians

Silver

  •     Core Patient Care System
  •     CYCLONE CATCHER
  •     Growth multifunctional buggy
  •     Hushh
  •     Illusory Material: transform material experience in everyday products
  •     INCUBE
  •     Shine LA
  •     T³ Monster: a set of hand training teaching aids
  •      Visual Land

Bronze

  •     Crop Protector
  •     Equality Leg
  •     Hanzi (汉字)
  •     Healing Buddies
  •     Logi ULTRA
  •     Play Together
  •     RElieve: Emergency Toilet Designed for Disaster Camps
  •     Rescue dog companion
  •     Santa's Giftbox
  •     symbio: intelligent, natural and comfortable exoskeleton for walking and rehabilitation
  •     T.E.A.R. Mask
  •     Tatami Table: Inspiring connection in a small space

2020 IDEA JURY CHAIR'S AWARD: Easy, Affordable Vision Screening for Developing Countries
2020 IDEA CURATOR'S CHOICE AWARD: i’mnot – music instruments for non-musicians
2020 IDEA PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD: Welch Allyn RetinaVue 700 Imager by Hillrom
2020 IDEA BEST IN SHOW: BESPOKE Refrigerator & Family Hub UX

Learn more about the annual IDEA program at IDSA.org/IDEA.
Learn more about the annual International Design Conference at InternationalDesignConference.com.

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Leah Pickett
Industrial Designers Society of America - IDSA
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