All across the board, British and Continental design is making huge strides. Europe's strong showing in the IDEA competition proves that it is building on its strength in style by making winning products, from great cars to beautifully crafted home grills. Led by Philips, Europeans are also expanding into more sophisticated design strategies to better understand their consumers -- whether retail shoppers or hospital patients.
Designers: Phil Karl, Errol Drew, Delta Cycle Corp.
France's iXi Bicycle Co. uses oversize aluminum tubing and a greaseless drive belt for a stable, clean ride for city cyclists. The frame separates for easy storage. $1,289.
Designers: Claus Jensen, Henrik Holbaek, Tools Design
This grill from Eva Denmark can be used for barbecuing or even as a fireplace. A portable bucket carries away ashes. A flat lid makes it a patio table. $560.
Ambient Experience for Health Care
Designer: Philips Design Medical Team
This exhibit showcases Philips' new program to reduce patient stress from MRI exams by allowing people to choose their own music, lighting, and wall images in hospital rooms.
Belgium's Inbev company wanted people to be have a perfect draft beer at home. The stylish housing surrounds a beer keg, a light indicates when the beer is ready, and a big tap handle shows the way. A beer appliance. $266.