"The most influential design award in the world" - brilliant final of the "red dot award: product design 2011"
On Monday, July 4th, the "red dot award: product design 2011" was brought to a brilliant conclusion. To celebrate the winners of the well-known product design competition, the who's who of the international design scene met in the architecturally stunning Aalto-Theater in Essen, Germany. The red dot gala cast a spell over more than 1200 guests from around the world. Representatives from all areas of design, media, economy, and politics gathered for the awards ceremony, traditionally hosted by Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of the red dot.
The best products of the year were awarded the highest esteemed quality seal for outstanding design. Prof. Dr. Peter Zec presented alongside this year's jury members Tony Chang, Martin Darbyshire, Ken Okuyama, and Marcello Morandini. Trophies were awarded to the winners of the "red dot: best of the best" which is offered to only the most honorable designs among the red dot winners.
The designation of "red dot: design team of the year" stands out among all other awards as the highest of all awards. The title, which cannot be directly submitted for, is achieved only by an annual bestowment by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen as recognition of continuously high design performance and entrepreneurial foresight. This year, the title goes to the Grohe design team led by Paul Flowers. Launching a powerful offensive, the think tank established a fresh and redefined position of design strength against all competitors.
Renowned interior designer Steve Leung gave the laudation for Grohe: “I am so glad that we have GROHE in the sanitary industry to think exactly like that, to design innovative products that integrate aesthetics with performance and fully understand people's need. The prize, the ‘red dot’ with its beautiful and eye-catching logo, is always considered as a quality mark for good design, not only for designers and related personnel within the industry, but more importantly, for the public at large.” Paul Flowers, Senior Vice President Designer of Grohe AG accepted the coveted challenge cup from last year's winner, Hilti design chief Stephan Niehaus. Graciously accepting the award, Paul Flowers and Grohe AG CEO David Haines thanked the jury; "we are overjoyed, proud, and thankful for having been singled out for this unique accolade.” The diverse 17 member team then laid their hands on what will be theirs for the next year: the “Radius” award.
Besides the expected tear-jerking speeches and "thank you-s", designers and guests alike were also impressed by the cultural framework of the programme. With others it was shaped by Austrian star cellist Friedrich Kleinhapl who performed "Monologi" for cello solo by Øistein Sommerfeldt as well as "Cadenza" from Friedrich Gulda's concert for violoncello and wind orchestra on Giovanni Battista Guadagnini’s violoncello from the Austrian National Bank's collection of precious stringed bowed instruments. Other cultural impressions were presented by the renowned Aalto Ballet Theater Essen under the guidance of Belgian Ben Van Cauwenberg. The jaw-dropping performance included stunning choreography that brought to life the story of the Spanish gypsy and femme fatale, Carmen, to the sound of Ravel's "Boléro" in an unorthodox and truly unique presentation.
Following the spectacular showcase of design and performance at Essen's Aalto-Theater, the visitors and proud laureates congregated at the Designers' Night, a glamorous party in the opulent ambience of the red dot design museum. Here the winners of the "red dot" as well as the title "honorable mention" received their certificates among their peers and loved ones. Surrounded by historic industrial architecture and modern product designs, the party in the former boiler house of the colliery Zeche Zollverein continued through the night until the early morning. It was a truly unforgettable evening for laureates and guests alike.
At the same time, this year's special exhibition, "Design on stage – winners red dot award: product design 2011" was revealed and visited by attendants with great enthusiasm. In recognition of this year's motto, "Another Day by Design", the exhibition refers to life's daily routines and is available for immediate viewing by all visitors of the red dot museum from July 5th to July 31st. Design enthusiast will face various products and upon visiting will be able to recognize in their own surroundings the fact that we as individuals are continuously surrounded by well-formed products. A special section titled "Grohe Design - Source of Creativity" will be designated to the 2011 red dot design team of the year. In the White Hall visitors can watch water come alive as Grohe's prize-winning designs stimulate the senses through a visual and tangible experience.
Winning products are featured on the red dot website. In addition, every laureate and design fan can take home something sustainable from the red dot design award: the red dot design yearbook. The book was first introduced to the public on July 4th and consists of two volumes- "living" and "doing." Both have been acclaimed for many years now as an international reference for work in outstanding design.