A fake avocado, a wearable vibrator for erectile dysfunction and a duo of James Turrell perfume bottles are among this year’s most impactful product designs, which we’ve rounded up as part of our review of 2022.
Over the past 12 months, designers turned their hand to some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity, from pollution and sanitation to the energy crisis.
Yet others focused on providing beauty and levity in the face of ongoing social and environmental crises, as with a cheeky drivable office chair from German carmaker Volkswagen.
Read on for Dezeen’s top 10 product designs of 2022:
ISPA Link by Nike
The ISPA Link trainer is made completely without glue and instead consists of two separate modules – a sock-style upper and a sole dotted with pegs that interlock with matching openings in the fabric.
Held together by nothing but laces and tension, the shoes are designed to be easily disassembled for recycling as part of Nike’s efforts to move towards a more closed-loop production system.
Find out more about ISPA Link ›
Ecovado by Arina Shokouhi
Design graduate Arina Shokouhi worked with food scientist Jack Wallman to develop a more sustainable alternative to avocado that is made from local, low-impact ingredients including broad beans, hazelnut, apple and rapeseed oil.
The product has a similar flavor profile as the real fruit and is packaged in a fake avocado skin made from wax – complete with a chestnut for a stone – in a bid to wean people off the resource-intensive imported food.
Find out more about Ecovado ›
Wheely 2.0 by Quantum
Crowned design project of the year at the 2022 Dezeen Awards, Wheeliy 2.0 is a foldable wheelchair that weighs only eight kilograms and introduces simple mechanisms to make movement and folding more straightforward.
Its footrest can be lifted with a single movement and its armrests can be pushed down to act as breaks, while yellow accents help those unfamiliar with wheelchairs to operate the design intuitively.
Find out more about Wheeliy 2.0 ›
Great Wrap by Great Wrap
This bioplastic clingfilm is made from waste potatoes instead of petroleum, saving emissions while creating a product that will break down in home compost within 180 days.
“Great Wrap breaks down the same way as food scraps, into food and energy for the microbes in your compost,” Great Wrap co-founder Julia Kay explained.
Find out more about Great Wrap ›
Lalique perfumes by James Turrell
American artist James Turrell applied his crack for manipulating light at a smaller scale in the form of two perfume flacons for French glassmaker Lalique.
The bottles are distinguished by their prismatic shapes and subtle color gradients, which diffract light while nodding to the architecture of Buddhist stupas – domed shrines used to house religious relics.
Find out more about Lalique perfume bottles ›
Tenuto 2 by MysteryVibe
This wearable vibrator was designed as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to Viagra, to help those with erectile dysfunction maintain their arousal while also stimulating their partner during intercourse.
Its two flexible “wings” sit tightly at the base of the penis to prevent the blood from draining away, while four integrated motors provide localized vibrational therapy to improve circulation and target several erogenous zones.
Find out more about Tenuto 2 ›
DysonZone by Dyson
One of the most-viewed design projects featured on Dezeen this year was Dyson’s controversial Dyson Zone headphones, which combine noise cancellation with a detachable visor for air purification in a bid to tackle the dual challenges of noise and pollution in cities.
Following five years of research and development, the gadget is set to go on sale in January despite skepticism from various media outlets, with some dubbing the product “bizarre” and straight out of “a dystopian sci-fi movie”.
Find out more about Dyson Zone ›
Solar Blanket by Mireille Steinhage
As the war in Ukraine sent energy prices skyrocketing and highlighted Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas, design graduate Mireille Steinhage created an affordable and renewable solution for staying warm over the winter in the form of her Solar Blanket.
Made from conductive yarn, the heated blanket is charged using the accompanying solar panel and designed to retail for less than £10.
Find out more about Solar Blanket ›
Drivable office chair by Volkswagen
German carmaker Volkswagen designed a drivable office chair that can travel at speeds of up to 20 kilometers per hour – rivaling most electric scooters.
The five-wheeled prototype comes complete with a seatbelt, touchscreen display, rear-view camera and two pedals that can be used to change direction in lieu of a steering wheel.
“You can drive, honk and listen to music – even signal as you take a turn into a meeting room,” the brand said.
Find out more about the drivable office chair ›
Waterless toilet by Bill Gates and Samsung
Faeces is dried and combusted into ashes in this prototype toilet launched by billionaire Bill Gates and South Korean electronics company Samsung, meaning it can function entirely without water.
Meanwhile, urine is fed through a biological purification system to kill any pathogens and allow it to be fully recycled.
Find out more about the waterless toilet ›