What do you consider to be the most well-designed products in recent history? Perhaps you might think of important inventions like the smartphone or the 3-D printer. But there are countless other lesser-known products created during this time that share the hallmarks of good design.
Since 1950, many of these have been recognized by the world’s oldest and most important industrial design program, the GOOD DESIGN® Awards. And for 2020, the program’s 70th year, we are pleased to announce that a product we designed right here in Idaho has received this prestigious international award.
Designed in Boise, Recognized Internationally
Meet the JetGo 900, which won the Good Design Award in the program’s Transportation category. This product provides auxiliary power for corporate jets when on the ground, and was designed for our client AERO Specialties, a company that provides complete aircraft and airport ground support equipment (GSE) solutions to corporate, FBO, MRO, military, airline and general aviation customers worldwide.
Beginning in 2018, the JetGo underwent a redesign to accommodate a larger and more efficient diesel engine (referred to as a “Tier 4” and required by new environmental regulations). To maintain its sleek, unconventional look, the update also needed to be beautiful, functional, and extremely rugged — distinctions that contribute to its reputation as a market differentiator. Our redesign met these expectations and, roughly 14 months after the start of the project, production units of the JetGo 900 were ready for sale. The product is now launched and generating revenue for our client.
In 2020, over 3,000 designers and companies from over 50 countries entered the competition, but only 900 products —including the JetGo 900 — were selected and awarded.
“From the thousands of designers and manufacturers who participated this year, the winners of Good Design for 2020 have proved that they have created excellent products worthy of winning an award. The products won over the jury not only through their aesthetic, but also thanks to their incomparable functionality. With their designs, the award winners are setting the highest standards in their industry,” says Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, architecture critic and the Museum’s chief curator of Good Design.
What Is “Good Design”?
As we reflect on what it entails for a product to be well-designed (it’s about more than look and feel, despite what some may think), we recall the prolific industrial designer Dieter Rams’ and his Ten Principles of Good Design. These principles are as follows. Good design:
- Is innovative.
- Makes a product useful.
- Is aesthetic.
- Makes a product understandable.
- Is unobtrusive.
- Is honest.
- Is long-lasting.
- Is thorough down to the last detail.
- Is environmentally-friendly.
- Is as little design as possible.
At SGW Designworks, we strive to keep these principles in mind as we develop products that improve human existence. It really is no exaggeration to say that good design can change the world.
“Good Design celebrates the game changers, the innovators, the visionaries, and the pioneers and rewards the brilliant minds who believe our world can be a better place through design,” says Narkiewicz-Laine. And today, we’re honored to be recognized by such a reputable organization as “innovators” and “brilliant minds” — alongside some of the world’s most visionary companies.
“Accolades like this are great rewards for the hard work of our team,” says Ryan Gray, SGW Designworks CEO, “because they validate our approach to complex design and development projects.”
From all of us at SGW, thank you, Good Design!
Read more about the JetGo 900 in this product development case study.