Something fascinating is created when one fuses form and function. Witness the finalists of the 2004 Idea Design Excellent Awards (IDEA).
My favourite is Farm Design’s Weight Forward Hammer. It has an elongated, smooth top makes it easier to less damaging to take out nails, while its continuous curved shape makes it easier to pound nails in with less effort. The fact that it looks like it travelled through a temporal distortion from the 24th century doesn’t hurt, either. It’s a simple concept, yet they managed to refine it into a higher level of usability.
Other winners include everything from a cardboard toilet (once it’s done, you can burn it for fuel!) to a cocoon-like kidney transporter to this really cool Umbra salad bowl. Amusingly, Apple seems to have pulled a Lord of the Rings and carried off a multitude of awards, including ones for the G5 and iPod Mini. [from engadget]