While the word "design" for most people brings up images of a car, a piece of furniture or a gadget, for the second Bottom Line Design Award (given by Frog Design and the magazine Business 2.0) it came down to life and death - with some sweets in between.
The award went to a German-designed coffin called Cocoon, by firm Uono: a sleek oval casket molded from jute and coated with water-based varnish - which makes it not only never-seen-before, but also biodegradable. Apparently the runner-up was Target's ClearRX prescription drugs bottle, designed by Deborah Adler, which tries to address the problem of drugs taken improperly by using large up-in-your-face fonts and color-coded rings (so that two people in the same household won't mix up their pills anymore). The prize for best website went to M&M, where you can order M&Ms printed with customized message: the site is easy and well-presented, and despite the fact that the minimum order costs some 40 USD (before shipping and taxes), the M&M online revenues jumped more than 400% after it was launched.
Clearly esthetics was only one of the criteria considered for this award.
(Yes, prizes went also to a car, a piece of furniture and four gadgets and appliances - while Google Maps won for "best online application").