Eugene, Oregon - The Gizmo™, a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle,
or NEV, designed and built in Eugene, has won the Best in Class award within the Transportation category from the
Industrial Designers Society of America -1998 Northwest Design Invitational. The annual competition reviews over
120 new product designs from companies in the region.
Dr. Robert Blaich, one of the judges, said "the winning entries have a high emotional content. Sometimes the
reaction of the jurors was very properly, ´I love it´. What it does is almost secondary. The appearance
is so powerful that it supersedes all the technical and pragmatic aspects of the product. You solve usability,
you solve price, you solve a whole series of things everyone must solve or they are not going to have a salable
product. What´s left is the ´I want it´. That´s the emotional, that´s the kick."
The jurors liked the Gizmo because it defined its own "visual language". Cooper Woodring, another of
the judges, said, "We applaud the designers for pioneering an appearance that is compatible with the function.
It has a delightful little animal-like characteristic. The design really expresses the use. It´s not a me-too
design trying to emulate a standard that has already been set. It pioneers its own new appearance."