The designers Christian Harbeke, Oliver Berger and Farzaneh Moinian

Interviews with the best designers of the red dot design award 2007: Christian Harbeke, Oliver Berger and Farzaneh Moinian

The fact that design does not only have an aesthetic value has been proven by the designers of Nose Design Intelligence with the design of the “Raptor” avalanche shovel for the Mammut Sports Group AG, which was awarded a red dot: best of the best in the category “Leisure, sports, wellness and caravaning” of the red dot award: product design. The high functionality increases its usability and the thought-out design can save lives. red dot online interviewed the designers.


The avalanche shovel’s modern design concept is innovative and functional at the same time: The shovel is collapsible and therefore extremely space saving. The automatic extension mechanism provides optimal grip. Since the front hand is closer to the centre of gravity the leverage is optimised and the same amount of force results in higher performance. What inspired you to create this special product and what was the intention behind it?

We have tested different avalanche shovels in simulated avalanche rescues on a glacier. The personal experience of the proportion of forces of the conventional shovels has led us to create a completely new revolutionary handle and indirectly also a more aggressive look.

What does receiving the red dot: best of the best mean to you?

The red dot: best of the best is a very high distinction and very important for our self-portrayal. Even existing clients feel confirmed that they have chosen the right designers.

What are in your opinion the challenges designers face today?

Good design needs good clients. We are still coming across clients who have difficulties with interactive co-operation and view the design process more as a duty than an opportunity. Often we are given too little time for the development of really thought-out concepts.

What would you still like to achieve as a designer?

To design many things which we are enthusiastic about and which we will still regard as successful even after some years.

How great is in your opinion the economic significance of design?

We live in an age of rapidly spreading technologies. We are surrounded by intelligent devices, which are all capable of more things than the user is ready to acknowledge. Against the background of an infinitely growing complexity of goods, design becomes the only decisive product characteristic. In future, more and more industries will function like the fashion industry: Up to four collections every year or new products even on a monthly basis, while functionality will only develop marginally. 

Self-explanatory and intelligent: The “Raptor” avalanche shovel

The development by the Swiss company Mammut Sports Group AG in collaboration with the Nose Design Intelligence design agency is characterised by a clear modern design. It is flexible and has been optimised for use in extreme situations. Within a very short period of time, the intuitive and self-explanatory “Raptor” avalanche shovel is ready for use. The inserted sliding tubes are extended by simply pulling the handle and allow quick and easy use. The patent-pending D-handle at the shovel blade is the key to effectiveness and efficiency. The high stability and the intelligent use of the avalanche shovel convinced the red dot jury with its intelligent concept, high quality materials, and sporting look.