Red Dot Design Award

Obituary Prof. Dr. Florian Hufnagl

In deep grief over the death of jury member Florian Hufnagl

Prof. Dr. Florian Hufnagl, jury member and companion of Red Dot for many years, managed die Neue Sammlung, the biggest design collection worldwide, for more than 20 years. As one of the most important museum directors in the field of design, he expanded the exhibition from 1,000 objects to 100,000 and thereby decisively shaped the understanding of design.


Curator of the product world

From 1990 to 2014, Floian Hufnaglmanaged the museum which gained international reputation under his direction. The opening of the Pinakothek der Moderne in 2002 marked a crucial turning point for the exhibition as, for the first time, it could show its collection permanently. With incomparable intuition, Florian Hufnagl succeeded in symbolising the variety of design with the help of his presentations. In doing so, he always pointed out that design is more than just the object itself: “Design is attitude – and attitude originates from conversations, discussions, trust and courage. What is visible at the end is the completed work, the creation. What is not visible anymore are the people who stand behind the work, who have struggled and fought for months and who were convinced of the cause when it was not real yet. But these are the people that create. They have made these things possible.”

Florian Hufnagl as Red Dot juror and companion

This appreciating view of the work of designers cannot only be recognised in every of Florian Hufnagl’s exhibitions, but showed up countless times during the assessment process of the Red Dot Award: Product Design which the expert attended from 2003 to 2013 as juror. With patience, fairness and attention to detail, he evaluated the submissions to the competition and thereby contributed significantly to the quality of the Red Dot seal.

Apart from the assessment process, there was a close relationship between Red Dot and Florian Hufnagl as die Neue Sammlung and the competition both aimed at fostering the design discipline. This objective has been pursued within many common projects. In 2012, for example, the Red Dot Design Museum Essen and die Neue Sammlung planned and realised a unique exhibition in Hong Kong. Under the title “German Design Standards from Bauhaus to Globalisation”, the Hong Kong Design Institute presented the development of designs made in Germany.

In deep grief

Florian Hufnagl died on 31 December 2019 at the age of 71 following a prolonged illness. With him, the design discipline loses one of its most dignified and passionate advocates. Red Dot mourns the loss of Florian Hufnagl and will remember him as profound, open-minded and conscientious juror and companion.