Red Dot Gala 2015: Design event of the year brought together world’s best designers and manufacturers in Essen

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On 29 June, the global design scene came together in Essen to celebrate the best products of the year. The glamorous Red Dot Gala in the Aalto-Theater marked the culmination of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015. International design experts and manufacturers met media representatives from all over the world on the red carpet. The subsequent Designers’ Night party went on well into the early hours – with the last guests leaving the Red Dot Design Museum at the Zollverein World Heritage Site at 5.15 a.m. This year, there was also a special occasion to celebrate: The renowned competition for good design is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2015. Also due to the record number of 4,928 entries from 56 countries, the award ceremony was the international design event of the year.

In keeping with tradition, Professor Dr Peter Zec hosted the impressive gala. The founder and CEO of Red Dot welcomed respected guests onto the stage. 1,200 audience members travelling from roughly 40 countries watched as the laureates of the top individual award, the “Red Dot: Best of the Best”, received their trophies on the stage of the Aalto-Theater. Only 81 of the almost 5,000 entries succeeded in winning the top individual award. An exciting cultural programme provided additional entertainment, with Denis Gäbel, one of Germany’s most sought-after saxophone players, playing a medley of his repertoire and the Aalto Ballett Essen presenting excerpts from the piece “The Odyssey”.

The highlight of the award ceremony was the awarding of the Red Dot: Design Team of the Year. Robert Sachon & Bosch Home Appliances Design Team received the title of honour and surprised the audience with a stage show of their own. The designers from Munich commissioned the foot-tapping Double Drums for the Red Dot Gala: The percussion duo provided a thrilling performance which featured rhythmic drumming on Bosch home appliances. After the show, Oskar Juhlin, Director of Product Design at Veryday, handed over the “Radius” challenge cup to Robert Sachon and his team, thus officially crowning them “Red Dot: Design Team of the Year 2015” together with Prof. Dr Peter Zec. No-one can apply for this title of honour. Some winners in prior years include Veryday, Apple, BMW, Hilti, Grohe, Lenovo, LG, Porsche and Sony.

Towards the end of the award ceremony, the Bosch team brought a real surprise on stage in the form of a classy trophy which was designed especially for Red Dot. “In the name of this year’s Red Dot: Design Team of the Year – and I would probably say in the name of all previous winners – we’d like to recognise what the Design Zentrum and the Red Dot organisation had been doing over the past 60 years. Big thanks from all of us!” A visibly amazed and moved Peter Zec accepted the trophy gratefully.

After the award ceremony, the Designers’ Night and the vernissage for the special exhibition “Design on Stage – Winners Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015” took place in the Red Dot Design Museum. Around 1,400 designers, decision makers and media representatives came together at the lively aftershow party in the midst of award-winning products and partied until the early hours. Cult DJ “Chrissi D!” provided the party atmosphere in the museum’s impressive industrial architecture. At the same time, all of the year’s winning products were on show in the museum for the first time. Robert Sachon & Bosch Home Appliances Design Team presented their own exhibition entitled “Icons of everyday life – Bosch home appliances throughout the ages”.

Another current exhibition at the Zollverein Complex also drew numerous gala guests: “Enduring, not ultimate form” recounts the history of Design Zentrum NRW on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the competition. Under the patronage of Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag, historical products from the first winners’ exhibition in 1955 as well as the success story of the Red Dot Design Award are presented using fascinating exhibits. The anniversary show in Hall 5 at the Zollverein World Heritage Site runs until 23 August 2015.

About the Red Dot Award

In order to appraise the diversity in the field of design in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award breaks down into the three disciplines of Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept. The Red Dot Award was created by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen and with around 17,000 entries each year is one of the best-respected design competitions in the world. In 2015, it is celebrating its 60th anniversary: It was in 1955 that a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs of the day. The sought-after award, the “Red Dot”, is the revered international seal of outstanding design quality.