The People’s Design Award competition was launched in 2006 as part of National Design Week, an annual celebration of design in which the Cooper-Hewitt offers free admission to the museum as well as lectures and workshops throughout the week. This year, the public was asked to cast its votes for nearly 200 nominated designs—and thousands of design enthusiasts followed through. The top vote-getter was the Trek Lime bike, a commuting and recreation bike built with a coasting system, designed with help from IDEO, that includes a three-speed automatic shift, push-back brakes, and pop-up seat to store your stuff.
Sustainability was clearly on the mind of voters, as two other finalist designs that made a run for the top spot were the CMYK Elektric Bike and website Re-nourish. The CMYK Elektric Bike, created by New York City–based design time Manuelsaez Ltd, is an electric folding bike designed to "complement public transportation," the company said in its nomination of the product. "Everyone can enjoy the emotion of riding a bike while its reduced size, ease of transportation, and storage are convenient benefits for the urban dweller."
Re-nourish, designed by Eric Benson, Yvette Perullo, and Jess Sand, is a site aimed to help graphic designers create their work in more sustainable ways, whether by changing papers and printers or by greening their studios. Through its user-friendly design, the site offers resources, case studies, and information for designers starting their careers as well as for those hoping to clean up their processes or check in for reminders and tips for eco-friendly designing.
Past winners have included the Zon Hearing Air, Toms Shoes, and Marianne Cusato, who designed the Katrina Cottage. National Design Week ends October 24, so if you’re in New York City, be sure to check it out. If not, visit the Cooper-Hewitts's website for its interactive "Design Across America" map of events around the country or visit our very own Events calendar by clicking here.