If a recent Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) exhibit is any indication, Canada could soon be a world leader in handset designs.

After working through a program aimed at teaching students how to design wireless handsets, third-year industrial design students have come up with 25 cutting-edge concept phones. As part of the course, students were able to get guidance from Telus Corp. employees, in order to assist them in their design proposals. Here are some of the highlights:

The Eclipse model (designed by Enoch Khuu, Jonathan Yau, March Hui, Michelle Ip, Owen Ng), received top marks from the judges for trying to enhance the cell phone music experience. The design team behind the consumer-oriented handheld wanted to challenge the notion that music phones are inferior to portable music devices like the iPod. The prototype features an acoustic casing with large back-facing speakers, and a kickstand that allows users to select their music from the front while blasting it out the back — which should prove to be quite annoying for those sitting near one on the bus.

The Spartan Concept 2 (Brian Chen-Tam, Aidin Khoylou, Matthew Gubernat, Christina Matthews, Nicole Tetrault) features an egg-shaped design, which the designers say harkens back to the days of high Modernism and epitomizes Rams’ and Van Der Rohe’s aversion to frivolity. Deep stuff. I wonder if we’ll see Paris Hilton carrying it around anytime soon.