"Eko," the green traffic light

They say we spend a combined 6 months of our lives waiting at red lights. To make that time a little easier to sit through is this year’s winner of the Red Dot Design AwardEko, Damjan Stankovic’s “ecological and economic traffic light concept.” An easy to install circular time keeping device surrounds the red light and “counts down” the time until the light turns green. The idea is that not only will drivers and pedestrians be more at ease knowing just how long they’ll have to wait, but Stankovic also hopes this will encourage people to actually turn off their engines, thus cutting carbon emissions. I’d be curious to see a trial run of this product. Would drivers really be more relaxed by shutting off their motors and then turning them back on again? Think about how many red lights you hit on your daily commute. Would you really turn your car off and on, over and over again? Of course, if it really did cut down on carbon emissions, it might be worth it.

Stankovic has designed a host of other nifty little items, most of which have also won awards. The pop-out electric wall socket is clever for people running a lot of outlets, and it’s a lot better looking than a power strip. My favorite is the combination night light/bookmark, a triangular light that shuts off as soon as you lay your book over it.