The National Design Awards were recently announced by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum (the US's Smithsonian Museum's museum on Design). http://www.nationaldesignawards.org/2010/category/Interaction-Design/
The winner was Lisa Strausfeld (of Pentagram) and the 2 runner ups were Local Projects and Potion.
Looking at these winners, I felt uncomfortable. I have as wide and encompassing a definition of IxD as anyone and yes these candidates have done tremendous work, but there is something missing, or are we missing something here in this organization/community?
I look at these winners and I see great design; I see great digital design, but I don't see the type of design that the vast majority of the people in this organization represents. Is what we do that banal? I mean should the designers of the applications and services that so impact our lives NOT be congratulated.
How can we have this year a winner who designed the Sugar Interface overtake the team that designed iOS? (or iPhone OS?) Just in terms of sheer impact alone, let alone well the amazing IxD in that design? And taking it further, what about fro design's work in S. Africa?
In exploratory work, I would put the Mozilla/Raskin work up there, I would put the achievements made by the arduino system, etc.
Then there is just down and dirty work by Google, by Microsoft and others that are changing the landscape of how we behave in relation to complexity brought about by technology.
This award feels old, dated, and wrongly positioned for where IxD is today and how we should be representing ourselves as a discipline. I love Bill Moggridge and I hope his leadership at the C+H continues, but I encourage him to try to bring realism and representation into the competition. Look at the Product Design side of things, it felt very on target. The IxD side of things felt really off to me.
In the product design division it was all organizations of major standing. All 3 of whom could have easily represented IxD even better than the 3 winners. This also says a lot about the state of IxD today where Prod and IxD really aren't separated, but even if you wanted to stay the course and separate them out, I would put Apple as our champion with Google as our dark horse (not so dark), and maybe an example as rich as Mint/Intuit in the mix as well.