red dot: design team of the year 2012 – Michael Mauer & Style Porsche
red dot gala at the Aalto-Theater
Red carpet in front of the red dot design museum
Jana Zec before the Winners' Dinner in her dress by designer MARCELL VON BERLIN
Special exhibition "Design on stage – winners red dot award: product design 2012/2013"
Designers‘ Night at the red dot design museum

"red dot award: product design 2012": Summit meeting of the best designers in the Aalto-Theater in Essen

When more than 1,200 high-profile designers, CEOs, media representatives and marketing decision makers from around the world meet in Essen, this means: “and the red dot goes to…”. That was the case on 2 July 2012 at the height of the “red dot award: product design 2012” - the red dot gala. In addition to the awards ceremony, which took place in the impressive setting of the Aalto-Theater Essen, Germany, as many as three just opened special exhibitions thrilled the international guests in the red dot design museum. There, they celebrated afterwards at the Designers’ Night until dawn.

In a selection process lasting several days, an international, independent jury of renowned design experts has awarded 1,058 products the “red dot” – the quality seal for outstanding designs. The 60 proud winners of the “red dot: best of the best” were bestowed a special honour: Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of the red dot, handed over the red dot trophy on stage.

The highlight of the awards ceremony produced an imposing sound: Michael Mauer, head of Style Porsche, drove on stage in a 911 coupé to receive the highest recognition of design – the distinction of being “red dot: design team of the year”. Paul Flowers, chief designer of last year’s winner Grohe AG solemnly handed over the “Radius” challenge cup. It is an individual award, which stands out against all other red dot awards and is the highest recognition for a sustainable design policy.

Laudatory speaker addressing the design team of the year was none other than the car design legend and Head of Volkswagen Group Design, Walter Maria de Silva. Afterwards, Michael Mauer honoured Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche in his speech. He died in April this year, leaving a design heritage whose tradition would continue, as Michael Mauer said. In addition to the two prominent car designers, other famous personalities visited the red dot gala: These were, among others, Peter Schreyer, the no less known car designer and chief designer of KIA, Porsche CEO Mathias Mueller as well as TV chef Sarah Wiener, who was awarded a “red dot: best of the best” for her knife set.

The end of the awards ceremony at the Aalto Theatre marked the beginning of the Designers’ Night. Several hundred guests boisterously celebrated the award winners of this year’s competition in the red dot design museum. At the same time, three special exhibitions were opened: “Design on stage – winners red dot award: product design 2012/2013” exhibits the impressive winning projects of the competition in the fascinating ambience of the old boiler house of the world cultural heritage Zeche Zollverein – for the first time this year on two floors.

“Style Porsche – The Future of History” is this year’s special exhibition of the “red dot: design team of the year”. It is dedicated to well-shaped, high performance street sports cars. The 911 model, the distinctive DNA of the car manufacturer, is at the heart of the exhibition. A historic 911 and the current model, which just received the “red dot: best of the best”, are presented and demonstrate the evolutionary approach to sustainable design by Porsche.

Speaking of sustainability: The special exhibition “Moving Materials” shows how and to what extent intelligent material may contribute to a better life and a healthy environment. It will also be presented from 3 to 29 July 2012 as part of PROUD (People Researchers Organisations Using Design for co-creation and innovation) at the red dot design museum.

Traditionally, the day of the red dot gala marks the publication date for the red dot design yearbook: As a contemporary inspirational  source and important work of reference, both volumes “living” and “doing” present the most current trends of international product design.

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