Red Dot Award: Product Design 2021

Trends & outlook

Red Dot Award: Product Design 2021 – Jurors award ground-breaking products

The jury for the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2021 has selected the year’s best products. Among the winners are many major brands like Bose, Canyon, Fujifilm, Google, Hilti, Lenovo, Maserati, Philips, Polestar and Sony. However, the presence of newcomers such as Noah Living and Studio Mixtura made it clear that they are well able to compete with the big players. The award-winning companies set new standards in the design industry with their products.

This year, the jurors were particularly struck by the high level of innovation of the award-winning entries. From cars and robots to medical technology and packaging, numerous winning products offer solutions to contemporary problems and thus make a key contribution to the further development of global living standards.

The advance of electromobility

Alongside the super sports cars like the Maserati MC20, there were several electric cars that impressed the Red Dot Jury in 2021. This indicates that manufacturers are redoubling their efforts in the area of e-mobility and that the market is continuing to develop positively. Thanks to its powerful, fully electric drive and minimalist design, the Polestar 2 received the top distinction in the competition, the Red Dot: Best of the Best. This model from the Swedish manufacturer has clear surfaces, lines and contrasts.

The ŠKODA ENYAQ iV, which won a Red Dot, is the first electric model to be produced by the Czech company. Its winning features include a range of up to 537 km and a customisable interiors concept. Last but not least, the electric moped “Brekr Model B” from Brekr in the Netherlands also won a Red Dot. The moped won over the jurors with its light aluminium frame.

Automation opens up new ways of working

Automation solutions were another area that featured prominently amongst the competition winners. These solutions demonstrate that their use in the construction industry, among others, leads to more productive and less costly ways of working. This is also the promise made by the “Vulcan” 3D printer, which can build homes quickly and affordably. The printer won the Red Dot: Best of the Best. The US-based company “ICON 3D” developed the product – designed by M3 Design – specifically to tackle the global housing crisis. Countless people affected by homelessness and poverty have already been offered a home thanks to this technology. Although the printer is technically advanced, it is simple to use.

Semi-automated drilling robot “Jaibot” from Hilti was no less impressive. Jaibot was designed for overhead drilling of precisely placed holes and can therefore carry out repetitive tasks, some of which present a danger. The robot can be operated intuitively using a tablet. This reduces the physical strain of work on construction sites and makes it more efficient.

Product design contributes to halting the spread of the pandemic

Some of this year’s winners demonstrate in a striking way how product design can make a valuable contribution to containing pandemics. For example, not one but two mobile treatment stations were awarded the highest distinction in the competition. They operate using negative pressure, thus protecting medical staff from contaminated air. They are also fast to assemble and easy to transport. The “KARE MCM” station by ShinSung E&G and KAIST as well as Zoslee Studio & 20plus from South Korea was developed specially to provide additional ICU beds to nearby hospitals for emergencies.

The “Huo-Yan” station was manufactured by BGI Genomics in China and designed in collaboration with the College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University and Shanghai Etopia Building Technology. One of the purposes for which it is designed is to carry out large-scale testing.

Sustainability solutions popular

2021 was the first year in which manufacturers and designers entered their packaging in the Red Dot Award: Product Design. This year saw a clear focus on sustainable solutions. One of the Red Dot: Best of the Best winners is the packaging for the “Tree Dasher” performance running shoe from Allbirds. The packaging was created by the US studio Enlisted Design. Made from paper pulp and 100% compostable, it chimes perfectly with the manufacturer’s philosophy.

The “Illan” lamp by Italian manufacturer “Luceplan” is produced using flexible plywood that was laser-cut in thin, filigree shapes. It doesn’t extend to its full size until mounted on the ceiling. Until then, it can be transported laid flat, which saves on packaging materials. The lamp was designed by Zsuzsanna Horvath from Denmark and won a Red Dot: Best of the Best.

Publication of all laureates online on 21 June

All of the award-winning products will be published online on 21 June 2021 at The digital presentation offers interested parties detailed descriptions, high-quality images and further information on the designers and manufacturers. The winning products will also be on show in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen from that date. The Red Dot Design Yearbook 2021/2022 comprises four volumes and comes out in August.

Information on the competition