Manufacturers and designers from 54 countries entered their current product innovations in the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017. 39 experts from all over the world convened in Essen to assess each individual object live and in situ in a process spanning several days. Only designs that won over the jury with their high design quality were awarded the sought-after Red Dot. The distinctive winners’ label will decorate the best products of the year with immediate effect. In the areas of bathrooms and personal care, consumer electronics, kitchen appliances and furniture, design as a distinctive feature is playing an ever-increasing role. Sustainability and new technologies are also major developments.
International jury evaluates entries
Every year, only independent designers, design professors and specialist journalists are appointed to the jury. They evaluate each individual product and award the Red Dot for high design quality and innovation. Thanks to their background, the experts assess the special intercultural aspects of design in a conscious manner, guaranteeing a judging process that yields results that determine the direction of the design strategies of manufacturers and designers across the globe. Jury member Professor Renke He from China, an expert in industrial design, says: “Design quality decides the quality of the user experiences of products or services of the companies; it is the key issue for a company’s economic success.”
Nature and sustainability in product design
One of the main trends at present is a reflection on nature and sustainability, both in materials research and in product design. It was the sustainability aspect in particular that won over the jury in the case of the “biobrush” toothbrush. The plastic and packaging is based on cellulose made from leftover wood from sustainable forestry. The toothbrush is virtually carbon neutral thanks to the optimized manufacturing process. The paints and the plastic are biodegradable, and the packaging can even be composted for your garden. As a result, the “biobrush” was awarded the Red Dot: Best of the Best. One of the leading materials experts and trend scouts for new technologies, Dr. Sascha Peters, says on another topic: “Currently, I am particularly impressed by the development of materials that endeavour to imitate or copy organic processes and procedures. Over millions of years, nature has perfected its systems. We as humans only have to gain from this.”
Robotics and new technologies gaining ground
Industrial robots are already well-established, and now they are taking over other product areas: In many households, tasks like mowing the lawn, cleaning the windows and hoovering are already performed by these intelligent helpers. PuduBOT, Red Dot: Best of the Best winner in 2017 in the category “Robot technology” adopts a new approach. It was created to help waiters in restaurants. PuduBOT brings orders to the guest using high-precision laser radar technology and can interact with the guest using facial expressions and voice. In the future, robots will become more and more independent, according to design expert and Red Dot juror Nils Toft: “In a near future more and more products will be autonomous and with artificial intelligence. We will live side by side with them and they will be our colleagues. How we design them can make a big difference.”
Red Dot label differentiates design quality
The laureates use the renowned winners’ label as a marketing tool, for example on their packaging or in advertisements. In this way, a brand can be associated with award-winning design quality in the long term. Juror Martin Darbyshire, founder and CEO of internationally renowned design office “tangerine” believes: “For brands, the Red Dot award is a mark of excellence, offering a point of difference over their competitors in the marketplace and gives consumers security in knowing that the products that they are purchasing are of the best quality.”
Award ceremony and after-show party honour the best in the industry
Manufacturers and designers from 54 countries entered a record number of more than 5,500 product innovations in the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017. The award ceremony will take place on Monday, 3 July 2017. During the Red Dot Gala in Essen’s Aalto-Theater, the laureates of the top award, the “Red Dot: Best of the Best” will be recognized – among them Audi, Kartell, Artemide, Hansgrohe, Bora, Electrolux, LG, Canyon Bicycles, Philips, Puma, Niessing, Apple and Bose. Afterwards, the prize winners and the guests will celebrate together in the Red Dot Design Museum in the midst of the award-winning products at the Designers’ Night. At the after-show party, the Red Dot and Honourable Mention winners will receive their certificates. Alongside the winning products, they can present themselves to the media and the design scene in the “Design on Stage” exhibition.