If there's anything that design has taught us in recent years, it's that without it, the world around us would certainly be a much less interesting place.

The topic of design seems to be at the forefront of lifestyle-related coverage everywhere you look, and what used to be relegated to a fairly modest circle of enthusiasts has now entered the mainstream consciousness.

It's not that anything has changed within the discipline itself, just that a recognition or realization of what design means to us, and how it can affect our daily lives, has never been more prevalent.