With a jury of twenty-four established designers who have ‘been there and done that’, taking home one of the 176 trophies in the annual IDSA IDEA Awards is certainly no easy feat.

Between Fifty-Three’s stylus and new start up PillPack’s innovative take on the prescription medication user experience (designed in partnership with IDEO), the IDEA awards consistently represent a new bar of excellence each year in the ever-changing landscape of product design.

While there were over 176 products in multiple categories, we rounded up a few of our favorites.

Pencil by FiftyThree Packaging

12_30_13_Pencil_1Designed by FiftyThree Inc.

Pencil by FiftyThree Packaging houses the Pencil stylus designed to work with the Paper application. Pencil’s natural and expressive features for drawing, sketching and writing are built to work harmoniously with the app. It blends smart structural engineering and playful design. A spare tip and eraser parts are included, with sealed storage for them built right inside the packaging.

Brooks C17 Cambium Saddle

Cambium-side-uomoDesigned by IDEO and Brooks

The Brooks C17 Cambium Saddle: Reinventing the Racing Saddle is made of vulcanized natural rubber, organic cotton and a thin layer of structural textile. It eliminates the months of breaking in typically required for this style of seat. The maintenance-free waterproof top follows the riders’ movements to deliver immediate comfort and ease of use from the get-go.

Zoom Jet Cookstove

CORE77_EcoZoom_Jet_HeroDesigned by Diana Sierra and Fabio Rios of Diana Sierra LLC for Ecozoom

The Zoom Jet Cookstove is a beautifully designed high-efficiency charcoal cook stove. It can reduce charcoal expenses by up to 60 percent. Besides saving fuel, the Zoom Jet also reduces harmful emissions and burn risks while providing a more durable alternative to traditional cook stoves.


PillPack_ShipmentDesigned by PillPack and IDEO

PillPack serves people with multiple medications. Every two weeks customers receive a personalized roll of presorted, labeled medications, along with a recyclable dispenser and any items that cannot be placed into packets, like liquids and inhalers. PillPack coordinates refills and guarantees shipping on time. Customers can track shipments, refills and co-pays online, and they can call a PillPack pharmacist at any time.

Making of Making App

nike-releases-making-app-to-help-designers-innovate-0Designed by Nike

Making of Making Powered by NIKE MSI (Materials Sustainability Index) is an app that ranks materials based on their environmental impact in four key areas: chemistry, energy, water and waste. The higher the score the smaller the environmental footprint of a given material. This tool is aimed at designers and creators to encourage sustainable product development in the apparel and footwear industries.

Kano Computer Kit

kano-diy-computer-kit-xlDesigned by MAP for Kano

The KANO COMPUTER KIT BY MAP was designed for people of all ages all over the world. It is simple and powerful. Users can make games, learn code and create the future. The kit includes a wireless coding and gaming keyboard, a Raspberry Pi, a customizable case, a speaker module, packaging and accessories.

Public Capsule Water Bottle

default_oniiedgvox0page1-02Designed by Jun Seo Lee of ecojun company

Public Capsule is a water bottle made of biodegradable plastic derived from corn starch and coffee grounds. This product is also associated with a campaign for Africa. Even now Malaria kills an African child every 30 seconds. For each purchase of Public Capsule, antimalaria pills will be provided to those in need.

Soma Water Filter

soma-xlDesigned by Soma and Radius Product Development

The compostable Soma Water Filter is designed for use in a glass pitcher. The plant-based filter casing contains sustainable materials, Malaysian coconut shell carbon and fine silk. Through Soma’s partnership with Charity: Water, each purchase of a filter helps bring clean, safe drinking water to those in need. Filters are delivered through a subscription service.

Gyroscopic Screwdriver

dewaltGyroscopicScrewdriverDesigned by Stanley Black and Decker

The Gyroscopic Screwdriver is an 8 volt precision tool with a design that blends technology and ergonomics. The screwdriver is designed to sense the user’s wrist motions to help tighten or loosen screws. It is compact and portable with precision speed control and an adjustable two-position handle for operation in either in-line or pistol-grip positions.

To take a look at all 176 winning designs ranging from apps to bicycle helmets and medical equipment to sketchbooks, head over to the IDSA IDEA 2014 Gallery.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.