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Last night saw the swank event for the National Design Awards, in which our own Bruce Nussbaum was a finalist for the Design Mind title. Winners included Google, for corporate achievement; Antenna Design, for product design (see also Matt Vella’s interview with Antenna from a while ago) and the designer of the View-Master, Charles Harrison, who got the nod for Lifetime Achievement.
One nice project that the Cooper-Hewitt runs alongside the prestigious program is the People’s Design Award, in which real live, everyday people can nominate and vote for their favorite designs from any era.
From the 276 nominees this year, the Zon hearing aid, shown, by Stuart Karten Design for Starkey Laboratories, scooped the top prize.
Truthfully, I'm not entirely sure what to make of the process, given that SKD nominated its own design and didn't spare the horses in trying to win (I must have received at least three separate emails asking me to go and vote for it online.)
As for the design itself, Zon costs between $1,500 and $3,000, which seems a bit steep to me, but then look at the picture of someone wearing it. It's really invisible. As someone with a family member who wears a hearing aid, I know full well that this isn't always the case. And judging by the comments on the site, those using it really like the experience, too, which is obviously the most important thing. So congratulations, SKD.
What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.