Cutting-edge designs were celebrated with the announcement of the 2009 Good Design Winners, a prestigious global competition founded in 1950 that recognizes the best of design across several categories.
Now in its 59th year, the Good Design Award is sponsored by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design  teamed up with the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies  with the goal of bestowing international recognition on the world’s most prominent designers and manufacturers for “pushing the envelope” and advancing new, visionary and innovative product concepts, invention and originality.
A total of 500 winners were selected from thousands of submissions across many categories, including lighting, furniture, electronics, textiles, bath and accessories.
The criteria for award selection follows the original focus on function and aesthetic but with a contemporary green twist, says Christian K. Narkiewicz-Laine, President of the Chicago Athenaeum and curator of the awards. “Good Design is a truly global program of phenomenal proportion,” he says. “Despite the downturn in the economy and more bleak predictions for the near future, the 2009 Global Design program is the strongest program ever, with the largest-ever amount of corporate participation and the best and most substantial designs awarded.”
This might signal an overall direction toward more sustainable and cost-effective design and less “flash and extravagance” given the rapidly shifting global market and new consumer demands, Narkiewicz-Laine adds.
The 2009 New York-based jury included Skidmore, Owings & Merrill partner Roger Duffy, Studio of Daniel Libeskind principal Yama Karim and Knoll Intl. President Joseph Mac Isaac.
Of the 45 lighting category winners, U.S. manufacturers made a strong showing with nine companies earning the coveted nod. Decorative fixture manufacturer Ivalo Lighting’s L’ale sconce (shown here) earned the Pennsylvania-based company its third consecutive Good Design Award. The sleek sconce, designed by architects William Pedersen and Andrew Klare of Kohn Pedersen Fox Assoc., is a custom fixture that uses tiny LEDs.
The sconce was developed to integrate with most design plans and to add a sense of intimacy to residential and commercial spaces. The interior sconce is available in premium automotive paint finishes, including matte titanium, slate and graphite as well as custom colors so it is sure to enhance any home décor.
Other U.S. manufacturers/designers winners include:
Click here  to download a complete list of the 2009 winners.