Red Dot Award: Design Concept

RÉSEAU nominated for top accolade

RÉSEAU nominated for top accolade – the Red Dot: Luminary 2019

The design concept RÉSEAU was handed in the public space category by the University of Montreal, GRAD Research Lab – School of Design from Canada and is also nominated for the highest achievement at the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2019 – the Red Dot: Luminary. The top accolade serves as an inspiration to aspire towards. The design concept is an innovative urban storm management system made out of prefabricated concrete elements that controls rainfall and regulates the outflow, amplifies its sound to magnify its presence in the sewer.. Red Dot talked to the designers Justine Bergeron and Manon Le Sant.

What was your goal when you designed your award-winning design concept?
Our goal was to understand and address the problems related to urban heat islands produced by impervious surfaces and rainwater management. The concept was inspired by the large number of underground streams that were, over time, covered due to urban development. Our intention was not only to help manage rainwater runoff and reduce the urban heat island effect, but also enhance the overall experience through acoustic and visual effects in a sustainable and environment-friendly way.

What are the challenges in your everyday work?
One is to resolve the given problem while keeping it simple in functionality and aesthetics. The other is developing solutions that are useful and appropriate in the context we aim for.

Where will your industry be in ten years? What trends and developments do you expect to see?
We think that the development of new products will focus even more on the environment because of the ecological shift in the industry. There will be a change in priorities, and the industry will have to use technology to produce products and services that are both ecological and sustainable.

Is there a project or product that you have always dreamed of realising someday?
While working on RÉSEAU, we quickly realised that cities are not adequately equipped to face today’s environmental challenges. We started dreaming about creating a green city that takes into account all aspects of the environment and the consequences humans can have on it. For example, we might rethink how cities use lighting, transport or even materials.

Are there benefits of winning a design award for projects like RÉSEAU? What does it mean to you and the university?
Just the nomination for this prestigious award will give the project a great visibility. The nomination also validates ​the quality of the design education that the University of Montreal offers. It is very humbling and makes us proud at the same time, knowing that internationally renowned design experts recognise the relevance of the design concept.

Is your team or school excited that RÉSEAU is nominated for the Red Dot: Luminary? Is this what you expected?
We never imagined being nominated, knowing how many talented designers compete each year in this event. We are convinced that all the nominees are outstanding. And being part of this selection is extraordinary itself.  

Winners to be honoured during the awarding ceremony in Singapore

The Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2019 winners will be announced on the 25 September. Winning designers will be flying in from all over the world to receive their award at the awarding ceremony. The recipient of this year’s highest achievement in the award, the Red Dot: Luminary, will also be revealed on stage, ushering a high note in honouring 2019’s best.