Last night Fast Company hosted their 2012 Innovation by Design Awards, celebrating the designers and companies who’ve done their part in revolutionizing the way we think of design in the past twelve months.
The business/design magazine hybrid announced the competition in spring of this year, with the hope “to place designers at their rightful place at the forefront of business innovation.” By the June deadline, they had received over 1700 entries, ranging from products and spaces to interfaces and services. And last night, they held a bash to celebrate just 11 honorees (presidential debate be damned!).
Here are a few of our favorite winners:
Softwalks (Winner, Student Design) – As slightly jaded New Yorkers, this is a design victory in our book. Parsons students Howard Chamers and Bland Hoke devised Softwalks as a remedy to the dark, vaguely sketchy sidewalk sheds that can linger for months under scaffolding. Their kit includes seats, counter space (for a latte and a book?), planters, an aesthetically-pleasing screen and a light. Dank, grimy sidewalk sheds be gone. You may just want to sit and stay a while.
Pain Squad (Winner, Interactive Design) – Designed by firm Cundari for the Hospital for Sick Children, Pain Squad taps into gaming as a means to help sick children. This data-collection tool works cleverly under the guise of a simple iPhone game, allowing kids to better explain their pain, and be treated accordingly.
Embrace Infant Warmer (Winner, Industrial Equipment) – This economically friendly incubator has the potential to minimize infant mortality rates around the world. Just a 30 minute charge offers enough warmth for a premature infant for up to six hours. While most incubators can cost thousands of dollars, Embrace’s innovative model is $200 making it a more feasible option in developing nations.
Facebook’s Prineville Data Center (Winner, Spaces) – Sheehan Partners’ latest Facebook campus in central Oregon is, as Fast Company puts it, a “massive airflow machine.” The building captures outside air and cools it with a pressurized mist, allowing the servers to be entirely self-cooled and significantly minimizing the space’s carbon footprint. This revolutionary fortress has already received LEED Gold certification and is 24% cheaper in upkeep than the average data center. Not to mention its chicly minimal good looks!