Looking back at 2010, the pieces that stick out are the ones that embrace a new mode of design thinking; allowing users make adaptations, designers collaborating and building on each other's ideas, or pieces that offer an unexpected bit of magic and fun. People are looking for ways to become connected again, whether it means co-designing a kitchen cart or sharing in the excitement (and fear) of trying out a spinning chair. These five designs support connectivity through sharing, personal modification and whimsy.
Open Source Outdoor Kitchen
While I do like the simple clean lines of Nina Tolstrup's kitchen cart, what I really love is that this is an open source design. Tolstrup is one of the few designers I know of that offers free downloads of her creations; allowing people to build upon her ideas. By embracing the possibilities of open source design, Tolstrup already has one of the major movements figured out.
Turn Signal Bike Jacket
Living in London for the past year, I really could have used this jacket. Though this design may not yet have reached its most sophisticated form, the idea behind it is smart. Leah Buechley's turn signal system is made with sew on elements, so you can add it to any garment you want.
Spun Chair Magis
This chair may not be the prettiest or the most comfortable option for seating, but it is fun. In Milan, this chair was a major hit with visitors. It engages users and encourages strangers to converse, no small feat and one that I find admirable.
I love Joey Roth's ceramic speakers, but I also really enjoyed this project he did with nine designers/friends. Using elements from Roth's sound system, his guests created their own version of the design. I like this project for the same reason I selected Nina Tolstrup's design; collaboration and open source can lead to very good things.
Glass Globe Doorknob
I am a little surprised a doorknob made my list, but you can't question magic. This knob looks like a portal to another dimension, but really it's just a stealth view of the room next door.