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nice things

Take a look at 10 of the most beautifully designed products in the world today

Everything from a retro-themed motorbike to a rubbish bin made out of rubbish.

FROM LUXURY HOUSEHOLD goods to the most utilitarian machinery, every year some of the top figures in world design get together to pick the cream of the crop from millions of new products.

For the 35th year, the winners of the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) have been assembled for everything from billion-euro transport systems to bottle openers.

The awards, run by the Industrial Designers Society of America, have featured over 1,700 entrants being whittled down to 81 gold and silver medal winners – although which recipients took what prize is being kept under wraps for a few more weeks.

Considered one of the world’s top design gongs, the IDEA awards cover both concepts which aren’t in production and items already on sale.

Here are 10 eye-catching products from this year’s winners:

10128_IKO Prosthetic

The student-designed IKO system of prosthetics for children, from the Umeå Institute of Design, uses interchangeable parts to transform a purely functional artificial limb into anything from a spaceship to a video-game controller.

10841_Husqvarna Motorcycles

While the machine isn’t available to buy, motorcycle-maker Husqvarna says its 401 VITPILEN (or white arrow) concept is a glimpse into the future of its street bikes – although it also harks back to its celebrated 1953 Silverpilen.

11678_August Smart Lock

The August Smart Lock uses a mobile phone app and encryption technology to give people keyless access to their homes, or to send unlock codes to friends and relatives. But it was the product’s packaging that caught the eye of judges, who praised it for its door-like design and for being “simple, sustainable and intuitive”.


Google Cardboard is virtual reality on a shoestring. A foldable cardboard case fits around a smartphone and works with Cardboard-compatible apps to show 3D imagery, with various third-party designers selling certified kits from around €20.

10753_IR D5

Korean appliance maker L’Equip got a nod for its IR D5 food dehydrator, which uses a near-infrared lamp to dry food in a similar fashion to the sun. It does, however, comes with a hefty pricetag, at nearly €500 each.


ApniCure’s Winx System treats sleep apnea without the standard facemask and air supply, instead using a mouthpiece to apply pressure and keep airways open while people catch some shut-eye.

12221_T2B Trash Bin

Another concept, the T2B Trash Bin lives up to its name – as well as holding rubbish, it is also made from 100% discarded paper. The designers say it will cost less than $5 to make and will stay waterproof for more than six hours.

11991_Edyn Garden Sensor 2

Edyn’s smart garden sensors feed real-time information to a connected app, which uses data on light, humidity, temperature and soil condition to suggest the best plants to grow in the conditions and how to plant them. The product started as a Kickstarter campaign, it now sells for about $100 (€90) in the US.

10735_Living Square

Swiss bathroom-design outfit Laufen’s Living Square washbasin is made out of a material called SaphirKeramik, which is strong enough to be suitable for use at thicknesses of only 1-2mm – a fraction of that possible with standard materials. The company says its bending strength is on par with that of steel.

11846_Craft Beer Glasses

And finally one for the craft beer fans. The Spiegelau craft beer glass collection comes in three different shapes, each designed for a different type of brew – India pale ale (IPA, American Wheat Beer and stout. They sell for around €40 as a set with a lager glass.

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