Posted in biology, design and architecture

Ig Nobel awards

The 2009 Nobel, and Ig Nobel, awards have been announced. The Ig Nobels are special because they honor work that seems silly at first, but at second glance are actually very useful.

One example is this year’s Public Health Prize winner Dr. Elena Bodnar, who designed a brassiere that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks, one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander.

The awards were announced October 1, at the 19th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre. On October 3, the new winners explained their work, at the Ig Informal Lectures at MIT. I loved the quote that Dr. Bodnar gave about her work that they’re not only useful, but also pretty.

Check out more winners



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.