Red Dot Award: Product Design

Interview with jewellery designer Saskia

About surprise effects, classic materials and individuality: interview with jewellery designer Saskia Diez

Especially for jewellery with its aesthetic focus, an outstanding and individual design is essential. Saskia Diez, jewellery designer und member of the Red Dot Jury 2019, knows that the biggest challenge lies in creating innovation. The trained goldsmith designs for her own label, which she founded in 2007. Thereby, she does not only produce classic jewellery, but also pays attention to invisible accessories such as perfume and to new materials for bags, sunglasses and nail polish.

During the jury session, the registered products are subject to an extensive assessment, carried out by top-level experts. In an interview with Red Dot, Saskia Diez explains how she handled different opinions during this process, whether a piece of jewellery stood out and how one can recognise high-quality jewellery.

Red Dot: How do you recognise high-quality jewellery?
Saskia Diez: I’m looking with a production and craftsmanship eye on the entries. One can recognise a good piece of jewellery by how it is made – for example how the edges are processed, how the surfaces are, how the finish looks and what the back is like.

How do you approach the assessment? Did you follow a certain process?
We tried to not assess the entries according to our personal favour, à la “I would wear this, too”. Instead, we checked whether they surprised us. For example, there was a project with little innovations, which is not easy when producing jewellery. Jewellery is an old topic and concerning forms, almost everything has already been done. But for the project “Ultra-Lightweight Laser-Cut Tube Jewellery”, Titan Company developed a special alloy which can be made particularly thin and which is especially flexible. Nevertheless, it doesn’t break. Furthermore, they designed specific, thin-walled pipes. Thus, there is a real development behind it. This fascinates me.

How did you come to a common decision within the jury groups?
Sometimes, we had different opinions. But most of the time, we agreed so that it wasn’t that difficult. If one had the impression that there was something special in a project, he or she started to argue. When you can explain and prove your position, this is an argument which can convince the others.

Did a certain piece of jewellery, which won a prize, stay in your mind?
Yes, definitely! The jewellery project from India, which I mentioned before and in which the manufacturers went a different way, was amazing. It is in line to what makes up Indian jewellery, but they tried to get even thinner and to use the material better and more economically. I liked the integration of laser cut and the incorporation of ornamentation, paired with the classic form language and the classic understanding of ornaments.

One always says “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. Is this still valid today? Or are there different material trends?
There are classic materials, such as pearls, gold or diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires, which always keep their fascination. But jewellery is worn differently today. It is not about this “as precious as possible”, “showing off something” or using a “code” which the others have to understand. Many things changed in the way that jewellery is worn more individual to communicate something private or an idiosyncrasy and to differentiate oneself. Therefore, this processing of classic elements, which I mentioned earlier, decreased. But of course, brilliance and glamour are always a huge part when it is about ornamenting.

Award ceremony on 8 July

The designers and manufacturers whose pieces of jewellery were awarded a prize by Saskia Diez and her jury colleagues will be honoured during the award ceremony on 8 July. Apart from the winners of the category “Jewellery”, the laureates of the further 47 categories will be celebrated during the Red Dot Gala and the Designers’ Night. The aftershow party, which takes place in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen, does not only invite to network and to dance, but also to discover the winning products: The guests can enjoy an exclusive advance viewing of the three special exhibitions on the state-of-the-art in product design before their official launch on 12 July.