From the Apple Watch to ultralight eyeglasses and to a myoelectric-controlled prosthetic, the winners of this year’s International Forum (IF) Product Design Awards represent seminal advances in design that have materialized in everything from tech-y showpieces to more pragmatic products. The competition recognized 1,629 general winners from 4,783 entries representing 53 countries and was judged by an international panel of more than 50 architects and designers. Of this year’s winners, 75 products and concepts—including a handful of interior finishes and architectural elements—were singled out to receive the Gold Award, the competition’s top honor. We share a few of those items below.
Getting the right music where and when you want it is no easy feat. San Francisco studio Aether designed its Cone music player with voice control and learning technology to adapt its song selection to a user’s preferences. A minimalist geometric shell inspired by old speakers makes the player equally impactful on display.
Timba Table, PearsonLloyd Design for Bene
The Timba Table encourages collaboration with integrated power concealed beneath a solid-oak swivel plate at the unit's core. From PearsonLloyd Design in London for Bene, the table, along with complementing stools, is an alternative to typical system-based office furniture.
Swiss manufacturer Ribag designed this slender luminaire using OLED light source technology. With a 7mm-thick profile, Oviso is offered as a suspension (shown), wall-mounted, or table luminaire.
Kinesit, Lievore Altherr Molina for Arper
Arper collaborated with Barcelona-based studio Lievore Altherr Molina to design its streamlined Kinesit office chair with concealed ergonomic elements, including an adjustable lumbar support and a hidden mechanism for adjusting the seat height.
Luminária Ani, Pascali Semerdjian Arquitetos
This simple spotlight mounted on a wooden cube uses a simplified hardware system for adjusting from a perpendicular to horizontal position. Luminária Ani from Pascali Semerdjian Arquitetos in Sao Paulo is offered in various colors and is suited for accent and tasklighting.
Hem, UNStudio for CarpetConcept
Designed by UNStudio in Amsterdam and fabricated by CarpetConcept, Hem is inspired by the seemingly random composition of urban environments. Taking the form of colorful pixels, the range of graphical patterns looks different depending on the angle from which they are viewed.
Large glass panels are interrupted by slender, 34mm-wide thermally insulated aluminum breaks in Cero, which its German maker Solarlux bills as a near-frameless sliding window. The unit's frame and track are concealed in floor, walls, and ceiling, leaving clear expanses of glazing and views to the outdoors.
Erco designed its Lightscan LED outdoor floodlights with a minimal, contemporary profile and the ability to wash tall buildings and walls in either a warm or neutral white light. The series is offered in a range of beam distributions—narrow spot, spot, flood, wide flood, oval flood, and wallwash—to help lessen light pollution.
Asmara, Hase Kaminofenbau
This tall, slender fireplace is offered with a ceramic or soapstone shell and features a firebox positioned for easy loading. Designed by German firm Hase Kaminofenbau, Asmara measures 5.1 feet tall, 1.3 feet wide, and 1.4 feet deep. It is approved by the German Institute for Building Technology as a direct-vent stove.