Automotive & Transportation

2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser

This tall-car in the small car segment is a hot rod with a sensible four-cylinder price that has garnered the highest ratings for "delight" and "emotional attachment" of any vehicle in the industry. Features like a removable shelf, which can double as a tabletop for impromptu tailgate parties, make the interior as unique as the exterior. Additional advantages include improved ingress/egress and generous leg and headroom even for rear seat passengers.

"Taking a small, proven, European people-mover package and giving it a modern hot-rod look was a stroke of genius that only the Americans can get away with-as they are the only ones who can reference their hot-rod roots. This approach may not work in other design disciplines, but in that branch of the profession known as "Car Design" such bold-stroke creations out of our visual heritage are not only appreciated, they are the fuel for the passion that keeps cars relevant in our thoughts and alive in our hearts. Brilliant!" -Chris Bangle, IDSA, BMW

Contact: David C. McKinnon,
Chrysler Group,

Designers: DaimlerChrysler Corp.

Capelli Stool

Client: Herman Miller

The Capelli Stool is an elegant variation on a theme with Japanese styling. The stool is an occasional, stable sitting piece within the home and limited commercial applications. Easily stored and shipped, the stool provides an element of beauty, sculpture and art.

Contact: Kelli Gierz,
Herman Miller,

Credit: Catalano Design

J3200 Catamaran, Moose Boats

The Moose J3200 proves that simple forming and design processes generate a functional and clean result. This aluminum boat, which is good looking and functional in the 30-foot size range, serves the recreational market and some commercial applications. The J3200 has a shallow draft with a catamaran hull design that uses a turbo diesel engine driving 2-stage water jets, leaving no propellers or appendages under water.

Contact: Roger Fleck, IDSA,
Moose Boats,

Credit: Moose Boats

AC Delco Rapid Jack

Client: Test Rite Products

Demonstrating its overall well thought out design, the AC Delco Rapid Jack is the only jack designed using a center of gravity. When the jack is picked up, it stays level, rather than flopping down. The grip areas are made of an over-molded Santoprene rubber for easy and safe gripping.

Contact: William C. Cesaroni, IDSA,
Cesaroni Design Associates, Inc.,

Credit: Cesaroni Design Assoc., Inc.

2002 Nissan Altima

Client: Nissan Design America

The 2002 Nissan Altima's design takes the car to a new class with clean lines and clean surface execution. Technical innovations for the Altima include: drive by wire throttle system, electronic brake force distribution, ABS brakes, front-seat side impact supplemental air bag, and front and rear head-curtain air bags.

Contact: Alfonso Albaisa,
Nissan Design America,

Credit: Nissan Design Center, Japan, and Nissan Design America


Re-thinking the home spa soaking bath, Kohler uses a clean architectural language, instead of a plumbing language, to describe its sok Overflowing Bath. This great soaker tub uses an effervescence water recirculation system, rather than pummeling water jets, to soothe the body.

"The architectural simplicity of this soaking tub belies its advanced technological concept. Human comfort and convenience is paramount without looking like a therapeutic device." -Niels Diffrient, FIDSA

Contact: Carter J. Thomas, IDSA,
Kohler Co.,
(920)457-4441 x72844;

Credit: Kohler Co.

KI Einstein Classroom Furniture

Client: KI

An exciting design for the traditionally unexciting educational furniture market, the KI Einstein line improves student performance by providing comfort, proper support and functionality. Chairs and desks are made in four sizes for use from preschoolers to adults. The modular units can be easily moved to enhance learning and are made of super tough materials to last at least 15 years.

"Simple direct classroom furniture that would appear to take any amount of abuse. Its robust construction is cleverly unified with its visual qualities." - Niels Diffrient, FIDSA

Contact: Kent Ritzel, IDSA,
Metaphase Design Group, Inc.,
(314)721-0700 x 147;

Credit: KI and Metaphase Design Group, Inc.


Client: Steelcase Inc.

The construction process is advanced and the overall design shows a very clever construction technique, while the design language displays rugged comfort, ease-of-use and flexibility. The four-legged, stackable side chair from the Cachet line features a balanced action rocker mechanism, allowing individuals to gently recline as the seat flexes. The chair's reclining ability relieves pressure on back discs and sitting bones. Comfort without adjusting a mechanism makes for easy use, stacking and storage.

"This design flies in the face of so much furniture, especially seating, that is based entirely on superficial appearance. Here is an honest design that expresses its function with no visual tricks. Without controls and adjustments it adapts to the user through a very clever mechanical motion." - Niels Diffrient, FIDSA

Contact: Bruce Smith, IDSA,
Steelcase Inc.,

Credit: Pearce Research and Design and Steelcase Inc.

AkroClean Janitor Cart

A unique example where function triumphed over form, the AkroClean Janitor cart is well thought out and its thoughtful features are extremely well organized. It offers building/mall cleaners and janitors a cart with more stability and comfort by putting the trash well in the middle and separating wet and dry areas. The cart's configuration is flexible and the storage area greater, maximizing cleaning output while minimizing cleaning time.

"This mobile work-station for maintenance personnel shows very thoughtful attention to work needs, use of material and compliance with circumstance." - Niels Diffrient, FIDSA

Contact: Randall Calmeise,

Credit: Akro-Mils

Xootr eX3 Electric Scooter

Client: Nova Cruz Products, LLC

The eX3 Electric Scooter solves all sorts of design and engineering problems, while still maintaining a sound, clean scooter look. The lightweight (19.8 lbs), foldable electric scooter targets urban commuters and recreationalists with a slim deck, small housing around the rear mounted motor and smooth handlebar controls.

"While there are other kick scooters, the eX3 Electric Scooters' function with regenerative capability on braking seems ideal, especially for such a light weight and flexible package. The flat deck is a very unique solution for the battery." - Thomas Gale, IDSA

Contact: Gerard A. Furbershaw, IDSA,
Lunar Design,

Credit: Lunar Design, Inc. and Nova Cruz Products, LLC