Red Dot Award: Product Design

Red Dot Jury test vehicles

On your mark, get set, go: jury tests cars and motorcycles at the airport

While the registration phase of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2019 is in full swing, the jury is getting ready for a very special mission: In February, the experts will assess the submissions of the category “Automobiles and motorcycles” at the airport in Mülheim (Germany). Thereby, the experts will drive each individual vehicle because when assessing, the aesthetics of the cars is not the only thing they look at. In order to evaluate the design quality professionally, criteria such as degree of innovation, functionality, ergonomics, longevity, peripheral and self-explanatory nature are of equal importance. Thus, the jurors assess the driving experience, they test the multimedia and communication facilities and take a critical look at the interior design. After intensive discussions, the experts take a profound decision on the design quality of the submissions.

Car experts Martin Darbyshire and Ken Okuyama about the evaluation process

“When I first look at a car model, I very quickly assess the exterior to look for the things that are new. But I’m really interested to see what the interior is like. This is often the aspect of a car that doesn’t get the same attention to detail as the exterior. I always look for the following things: Is there something new in the interior? What’s the overall quality of the look and feel?” explains Red Dot jury member and founder of the design consultancy “tangerine” Martin Darbyshire his approach when assessing the vehicles.

Ken Okuyama, jury member and CEO of the design office “KEN OKUYAMA DESIGN”, pursues a slightly different strategy. He notices: “Functionality is probably the most important element of a car design, of any design. But aesthetics, if you don’t get that, you don’t get the emotional kick. And emotionality decides whether the customer buys the product or not.”

Three cars awarded with a Red Dot: Best of the Best in 2018

In 2018, three cars were awarded with a Red Dot: Best of the Best, the highest distinction of the competition. The McLaren 720S, the Ferrari Portofino and the Kia Stinger convinced the jury with its outstanding design quality. “All three of them are completely different. Two are high performance super cars but are from different worlds. There is a wonderful Ferrari, which has the nostalgic sense of Ferrari with it. But then in contrast, there is a brand-new McLaren which feels like a completely different generation of super car. So, they are all very different. They have unique strengths, real quality, in both performance and through design, and real quality in terms of execution of details and delivery of the perfect details that make them work,” summarises Martin Darbyshire.

Registration still possible until 1 February

Who takes home the highest distinction of the competition in the car category in 2019, remains to be seen. Still until 1 February, designers and companies have time to enter their products. Not only automobile manufactures are invited to take part in the Red Dot Award: Product Design. It is open for all kinds of products – from lamps and furniture to fashion accessories to robots, industrial and medical devices.

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