01/30/15

Red Dot Design Award turns 60 - the anniversary jury is in place!

The Red Dot stands for top achievements in design all over the world. The sought-after seal of quality is awarded to companies that bring products to the market which set global standards in terms of their attractive design, ease of use and functionality. For 60 years now, these products have been selected each year by a jury of independent design experts.

It was in 1955 that a panel of experts came together for the first time at the initiative of the Krupp company and the BDI (“Bundesverband der deutschen Industrie”: Federation of German Industries) in order to select the best products and exhibit them in a permanent exhibition of attractively designed industrial products. The exhibition was housed in Villa Hügel, Krupp’s headquarters in Essen. Until the beginning of the 1990s, the focus remained primarily on German products. It was Professor Dr. Peter Zec who oversaw the transformation of the award into an international competition, renaming it “Red Dot Design Award” in 2000.

By 2014, entries to the product design competition alone numbered more than 4,800. That’s a lot for the jury, comprising around 40 members, to discuss and assess, particularly as the products are submitted physically with no digital preselection phase. Every year, Red Dot recruits a range of internationally recognised design experts for this purpose. A particularly distinguished panel has been appointed in this anniversary year of 2015.

One example is Werner Aisslinger, who became world famous with his mobile living space, “Loft Cube”. Aisslinger’s products feature in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, as do those of Red Dot jury member Hans Ehrich, the “Grand Seigneur” of Swedish design culture. Fashion and shoe designer Datuk’ Professor Jimmy Choo OBE, a superstar on the international design scene, will once again act as a juror for the “Fashion, lifestyle and accessories” category.

The Red Dot logo is also emblazoned on state-of-the-art technology.
Hundreds of top products from the fields of consumer electronics, cameras, mobile communications and IT are submitted each year to the Red Dot Award, which for the past 18 years has taken place on the site of the World Heritage Site of the Zeche Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen. It’s no wonder, then, that Red Dot also attracts IT developers of world-class repute: Hideshi Hamaguchi from Japan, inventor of the USB memory drive, is also a part of the Red Dot jury.

Red Dot juror Martin Darbyshire, founder and CEO of tangerine, is known for some of the most recognisable products, like British Airway’s “S”-shaped Business Class bed. An early client was Apple Inc. It is part of design folklore that young graduate, Jonathan Ive, who had joined tangerine, went on to become Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design and arguably the world’s most influential designer. In early 2015, Samsung Electronics hired tangerine’s Don-tae Lee as their new global design head. Placing alumni in competition, at the helm of two of the most iconic brands, puts tangerine in a unique position.

One distinctive aspect of the Red Dot Design Award is that, to avoid conflicts of interest, no jury member is allowed to be employed at an industrial firm. The jury comprises freelance designers, professors and specialist journalists. They will congregate once again in the German Ruhr region in February in order to assess thousands of product innovations in situ.

The registration phase is currently open for all those designers and companies that are not afraid to put themselves forward in an international comparison: Up until 11 February, they can use the website www.red-dot.org/pd to submit product innovations in 31 categories – from paper clips to bucket excavators– in the Red Dot Design Award.

Press contact:
Catharina Hesse
Communications Manager
Red Dot Award: Product Design
Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen
Gelsenkirchener Str. 181
45309 Essen
Germany
Tel. +49 201 3010-450
c.hesse(at)red-dot.de

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