Best examples of great industrial design?

In your opinion, what CONTEMPORARY product is an example of well executed industrial design? (Not really looking for old school designers’ products like dieter rams’) I know it’s super broad but just wanted to see what people come up with.

It could be from functional standpoint, aesthetics, sustainability, user experience, anything that really shows the beauty of industrial design. Specific product preferred not brands.


What are some examples from your perspective? Want to get the ball rolling a little?

I definitely thought Dyson’s Air Multiplier or bladeless fan was an eye catching product when i first saw it. The combination of innovative engineering to make it “bladeless” and its sleek, modern look really made the product very iconic for me personally. Despite its hefty price tag, I still want to buy it haha.

To provide a counter to this view I personally think that the Dyson marketing team have been fantastic in selling what is a sub £50-100 piece cost item for whatever their RRP is.

The value this thing provides the customer is not congruent with the sticker price in my opinion, if this product was developed by an unknown brand it wouldn’t sell.

In terms of what is “good design” there are various schools of thought:
Are you utilitarian and customer focused on enabling your users, or are you opinionated and demanding of your users to use your produce as you intended and no other way?
Do you believe a good product should be versatile or should do one thing and one thing only very well?

Are you a power user that prefers design to get out of your way - let you do what you want with no restrictions, or are you someone who wants the design language and story to guide you?

I think the new line of luxury electric vehicles are doing something interesting with their design language for example the Porsche Taycan is trying to straddle the line of the iconic Porsche silhouette while looking futuristic to imply the Electric powertrain underneath.

Porsche is kind of an easy one to achieve because it’s base silhouette is so iconic, but how do you achieve this with other products? How do you design for the future while maintaining the core of your design language?

Since we are talking about Industrial Design, nowadays it is a lot different from the old school days not just because we have an enormous amount of design languages fit to certain audiences, but also because different disciplines are greatly conjoining since the computer revolution.

A designer nowadays does not simply develop a product container but thinks a product out in teams of various disciplines - the engineering, user research, marketing and IT all have to come together to create something meaningful. The most interesting ID nowadays is in robotics, drones, electric mobility, digital manufacturing. One of the few firms doing that well is Frog: Introducing the New Matter MOD-t 3D Printer on Vimeo

Another studio whose work is good is Astro - Work | Astro Studios

OK, I meant to let a little time pass and then chime in… but then I forgot about this.

I just got a Dyson floor standing fan. While I do think it is the best looking floor standing fan (the archetype itself just makes it more interesting) I find a lot of the form intersections rather crude. I’m ok with simplicity, but at the price point I’d expect a little more finesse in the transitions and some more artful handling of the part lines.

A few things that I think are solid examples of current design:

POC helmets. I respect them for flipping the came in bike safety from a bunch of really weird stuff that looked like you were wearing a plastic brain to these very minimal and well sculpted products someone might actually want to wear.

I know it is cliche, but the Nest thermostats is still really nice. Mainly to me because the fit and finish are excellent, the metal used as the turn ring, and the complex section of that ring. Also, their new lower cost model is also pretty nice. It does’t have the materiality or display quality, but I think they found a nice way to overcome that with the translucent face.

I also love pretty much everything from CandyLad toys. I love it when a brand brings design to a kids product.

One more from one of our very own posters. This Logitec Craft keyboard is really nice.

I also think these new Fitbit in ear’s are pretty well done. Anyone else have some things to throw in the mix?

Firstly, thanks for the Craft shoutout Micheal!

There are so many great examples of ID of the past. I frequently go back to the Sony book “Making Modern” actually for references.
So good.

As for contemporary examples, I have to say that I am very impressed with Google’s approach of humanizing technology in a meaningful way without making it look like it’s just tech in a costume.

I am specifically enamored by the design of the Daydream and how it both sets itself apart from the competition and at the same time looks and feels so comfortable, elegant and charming.

Well, this question is highly subjective and very loaded. With that said, I do think that all of the examples cited so far are really great. I am also a big fan of them for the same reasons their respective posters mentioned. I think POC did a great job of making helmets not look ridiculous. Daydream did an excellent job of humanizing consumer tech.

I’d like to introduce something a little bit polarizing just to keep things interesting. I think that the BMW i8 is absolutely gorgeous. When I first saw pictures online I honestly thought it looked a little weird. But a few months later, when I watched it drive by me while I was walking on the sidewalk one day, I literally stopped in my tracks and stared at it for a good 5+ seconds while it zoomed past me. I would have looked for longer, but it was long gone by that time.

The design is very busy, but I feel that all of the floating surfaces and curves are just so beautiful and harmonious.

I believe that detail shot is of the concept car. I don’t think that radical floating blue surface made it into the final design, but they did do something pretty similar.

On a less traditional note, I really love many of the frames designed by Dita, a boutique eyewear brand.

Their frames are just so beautifully proportioned and the detailing of how the metal pieces meet with the acetate is so well done. Other frame designers like Oliver Peoples have frames that fit great, but they’re on the conservative side. Dita really takes a lot of risks with the way their frames are proportioned…like the one above.