Red Dot Award: Product Design

Thomas Lockwood in an interview

“Expertise stems from passion” – jury member Thomas Lockwood about his passion for design and innovation

Thomas Lockwood is a thought leader at integrating design and innovation practice into business, and building design and UX organisations. His latest publication “Innovation by Design”, which he wrote together with Edgar Papke, offers a set of insights and practical solutions to one of the most importance challenges for today’s businesses: the need for innovation. In 2011, the design expert formed Lockwood Resource, an international consulting and recruiting firm specialising in design and innovation leadership.

With his unparalleled experience and expertise, Lockwood will enrich the Red Dot Jury in 2019. Together with his jury colleagues, he will test, discuss and evaluate each entry individually, live and on site. In an interview with Red Dot, Thomas Lockwood talks about his passion, stagnation and innovation.


Red Dot: Your expertise is very extensive. How did this come?
Lockwood: Expertise stems from passion. I have this passion for design and if you find out what you stand for and where your passion is and follow that, the expertise comes. It is part of the nature of maturity.

Do you share the opinion that designers should broaden their horizon and look beyond their own nose?
A really nice quote from Will Rogers says: “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” Everybody has to look beyond their own nose and advance themselves.

You are a thought leader in terms of innovation. What developments do you expect for the years to come?
Innovation is corporate quality. It is becoming owned by everybody. Open innovation, collaborative innovation, design innovation, technology innovation – these are shared concepts. Designers need to learn to collaborate with many people across functionally to expand innovation.

“Satisfaction is stagnation and stagnation is regression.” What is your opinion on this wisdom?
The world of design is changing so fast. People will get stagnant if they do not continue to move forward and track with what is happening.

How important is innovation?
Every CEO realises that their companies have to be innovative. The great recession a few years ago was the best thing for design because people realised that just going back to how they were before the recession is not enough. They have to innovate and recreate their companies for the future. It is the lifeline of our business.

“In search of good design and innovation” – this is the motto of the Red Dot Award: Product Design. The competition appraises the best products of the year. Thereby, the awarded objects represent the current status of product design and provide a glance into the future. The 2019 award is well under way: designers and manufacturers from all over the world still have until 1 February 2019 to hand in their innovations to one of the largest design competitions worldwide.