No region of the world has embraced design more emphatically than Asia. Japanese companies first showed the power of design in the 1980s. Korean corporations followed and began to brand themselves through design in the 1990s. And now Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers are racing to use design to establish their names on the global scene.
Toshiba Red Transformer
Designers: Yves Béhar, Shawn Sinyork, Pichaya Puttorngul, fuseproject
This concept PC has a sliding hinge for a 17-inch screen that transforms a laptop computer into a dual-CD drive home entertainment center. A remote slides out from a deep red lacquer frame.
iRiver IFP1000 Series MP3 Player
Designers: Kim Young Se, Hwang Eui Du, Moon Eun Ki, Innodesign Inc.
Seoul-based Reigncom Co. designed an MP3 player with a digital camera for Koreans who want to listen to music and take pictures. $260.
Designers: Lenovo Innovation Design Center; SQV Design International Inc.
China's Lenovo packaged four other features into this phone -- GPS mapping, TV, camera, and MP3 player. Designed for the Chinese market. $800.
Samsung Techwin UF-80 Digital Presenter
Designers: Joo-bok Kim, Samsung; Michel Arney, James Wilson, Alan Mudd, Design Continuum
A long, graceful arm holds a camera that captures images of both flat documents and 3D objects, relaying them to an LCD projector or the Internet for videoconferencing. $3,999.