Catalyst Award Winners

Fine design, dandy sales: These products get the prize for also adding to the bottom line

There is no greater testament to the power of design than its ability to deliver on the bottom line. The Catalyst Award goes to previous idea winners that really succeed in the marketplace. A jury screens candidates for market and financial performance as well as strategic, industrial, and social impact. This year's jury was composed of Ken Musgrave, director of industrial design at Dell; Walter B. Herbst, CEO of Herbst Lazar Bell Inc.; and Sam Farber, founder of Copco, Oxo, and Wovo.


PalmOne Zire 21

Designer: NewDealDesign

One of the fastest-selling PDAs ever. Zire widened the market for the palmOne (PLMO ) brand by expanding its appeal beyond the techie and corporate communities to the broader consumer market, especially women and first-time buyers. Design cut the number of parts and costs sharply, while maintaining Palm's easy-to-use experience. Target Corp. (TGT ) and RadioShack Corp. (RSH ) signed on to sell the Zire. $99.

Honorable Mention


Designer: Siemens Medical Solutions (SI )

By designing a heart camera that allowed patients to sit rather than lie down, Siemens improved comfort and image quality and allowed for smaller rooms. Its small size and simplicity cut costs and training time and lifted market share from 20% to 45%. $180,000 to $200,000.

Honorable Mention

Sub Zero 700 Series

Designer: Jerome Caruso Design

Deconstructing the fridge to offer separate small freezers and refrigerators around the house created a new line for Sub-Zero. Modularity allows for cold foods and beverages in any room. Designing the units as cabinets with pull-out drawers made them easy to use. The 700 series now accounts for 24% of all Sub-Zero sales. $2,000 to $3,000.

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