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Tricycles, Transporters, and Rectal Thermometers, Oh My!

BusinessWeek announced this week the global winners of the Industrial Design Excellence Awards, sponsored by BW and run by the Industrial Designers Society of America. There are a whopping 158 winners, and we went through every single one so you don’t have to. (Actually, we sort of glazed over after no. 129, but we’re pretty sure it was just more iPod accessories and toilets so ergonomically designed they can go anywhere. Oh darling, let’s put the toilet between the divan and the club chair!) Anyway, we were inspired to give out a couple of awards of our own. Introducing… The Beigeness. Or something like that.

· The “Why Hasn’t Someone Thought of This Earlier?” Award
This was a tie between the Self-Watering Flowerpot and the SHIFT Concept Bicycle, which will all but eliminate the humiliating (but highly comical to onlookers) wobbly stage every kid must face when learning to ride a bike. (Which we’re kind of sad about. These kids already get free music, must they get everything handed to them?)

· The Creepiest Design Award
The Alienware ALX Desktop Computer is giving us the willies, and we certainly wouldn’t want it staring up at us from under the desk

· The Ugliest Design Award
No surprises here, it’s Nike. The Nike Considered Boot. We hate this boot. Also, your fucking swoosh is backwards.

· The Best Named Design
The BenQ LCD Monitor Crazy Arm, of course!

· The Best Design to Buy Our Boss for Christmas
The K2 T1 Boot with Boa Liner

· The Best Design to Break Out This Weekend
Another tie, between PerfectDraft, a home beer-brewing system, and the equally perfect Barrel Grill (which can hold BBQ accessories and function as a fireplace!)

· The Most Over-the-Top Commentary Award
Definitely Tucker Viemeister on the NetGear Platinum II: Imagine a Finnish housewife knitting an iPod-that would give you the idea of NetGear’s Platinum II. This is technology made human. The vent details make this product feel like some kind of embroidered plastic-an intersection of craft and high technology. The cool metal band presents the technology like a digital necklace. That info-graphic band shows that it’s active in an elegant way that would fit in a lavish men’s club or a trendy spa. Easy there, Tuck.

· The Dirtiest-Sounding Commentary Award
The Stanley FatMax Handsaw: The FatMax Hacksaw is a professional-grade high-tension hacksaw with a deep cutting capacity that can be used in tight, hard-to-reach areas. It replaces the need for both a deep throat and shallow throat saw through its unique arc shape that contains a sloping front and a deep throat in the rear. The design of the FatMax also allows for fast blade changing while maintaining the proper blade tension setting. Its I-beam metal structure conveys extreme strength and durability. With the FatMax, Stanley has been able to generate greater penetration and larger market share in the hacksaw market.

· The “These Are Like, SO, 1985″ Award
The Snap Bracelet Concept. Oh wait, that’s the SLAP bracelet.

· The “Ooh, Bugaboo, you got DISSED!” Award
The ZARA 3 stage transporter (aka a high-end baby stroller)

· We Didn’t Ask for Presents, But If You Simply Must…
The iXi Bike. iXi, we would never abandon you chained to a pole!

· Our Genuinely Most Favorite Design of the Year
The iRobot Roomba Discovery Floorvac. This really is a genius invention, and it combines two of our favorite things, robots and cleanliness! How could anything beat it?

· Most Unintentionally Hilarious Accompanying Artwork
The Vigital Digital Thermometer Family – Baby Rectal.

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