Two lighting products designed by Yves Béhar—the Twist LED task light and the Ardea personal light—were on the winners’ list of the 2009 Good Design awards, sponsored by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Founded in 1950 by Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., the Good Design award criteria are based on function and aesthetics, with a contemporary emphasis for environmental concerns and green design. Categories include: electronics, medical equipment, transportation, furniture, textiles, energy systems, kitchen/appliances, floor covering, household products, and lighting.
Despite the economic downturn, the 2009 Good Design program was “the strongest program ever with the largest-ever amount of corporate participation and the best and most substantial design awarded,” according to Christian K. Narkiewicz-Laine, president of the Chicago Athenaeum and curator of the awards. “This might be the beginning that signals the start that corporations and designers are changing their direction toward more sustainable and cost-effective design and less the use of flash and extravagance and a new understanding that the global market for consumer products is highly competitive and that only the strong will survive.”