12th Annual International Design Awards


Vortex Aquatic Structures International, a world leader in the aquatic play industry, is proud to announce that its new line of Water Journey™ elements has won four International Design Awards, taking Bronze in the Children Products, Toddler Products, Outdoor and Leisure Fun Games, and Designs for Social Impact categories.


The new experiences, named Pico, Alto, and Hop, cater specifically to children aged 2 to 5 years old, an age group Vortex felt was underserved in the aquatic play sphere. As a result, they zero in on a crucial period of childhood development, and their designs call on preschoolers’ cognitive, social, and motor skills through open-ended play.


Inspired by the dynamism of mountainside cascades and stepping stones, the cohesive trio of highly tactile ground-level experiences invite little ones to manipulate their surroundings and explore cause and effect. They are scaled for newcomers to aquatic play, but interactive enough to appeal to older children and engage siblings together.


“We at Vortex firmly believe that true innovation happens when creativity builds on solidly-researched foundations to design products that users enjoy and appreciate,” said Stephen Hamelin, President of Vortex International, in accepting these awards. 

“We make sure to wrap meaningful play and learning experiences in refreshing fun, and we are delighted that the IDA jury shares our vision of innovation with the expansion of our Water Journey™ collection.”


Making their debut in September 2018 at the NRPA Annual Conference, Pico, Alto, and Hop now join the ranks of award-winning Vortex International playscapes. The original Water Journey™ family also received several design awards, including Most Valuable Product by Aquatics International Magazine in 2016. Vortex International products have now won a total of five IDA Awards for their innovative designs.


The International Design Awards were established in 2007 by a group of designers and entrepreneurs to recognize, celebrate and promote design visionaries and to uncover emerging talent in the fields of architecture, interior, product, graphic and fashion design.