Successful exhibition opening: “Under the Sign of the Circle” presents Red Dot awarded innovations from Japan

On Thursday, 24 November 2016, a new exhibition opened at the Red Dot Design Museum Essen in Germany: “Under the Sign of the Circle: Red Dot awarded Innovations from Japan”. The collection, comprised of around 100 designs from Japanese designers and manufacturers, will be on show until 19 March 2017. Drafts from various fields of life are on show – from furniture to telecommunication to posters.

„Giving a spirit to things and the world to mankind.”
During a reception in the so-called Stoker’s Station of the house, Vito Oražem, curator of the exhibition and Executive Director of the Board, Design Zentrum NRW/Red Dot Design Museum, welcomed the around 70 guests of the exhibition opening. In his introduction, he pointed out that numerous well-known Japanese brands, such as Sony, Canon and Yamaha, were granted a prize in the Red Dot Award and are now on show in the new exhibition. Moreover, Vito Oražem appreciated the merits of industrial designer Kenji Ekuan who has amongst others designed the popular Kikkoman soy sauce bottle. With his quote “Giving a spirit to things and the world to mankind” he is presented in a special place in the exhibition of Japanese design.

Thomas Kufen, Lord Mayor of the City of Essen, continued with his welcome speech. He stressed that the circle, which is the center of the Japanese flag, is a symbol for unity. In this context, he emphasized that “Red Dot connects”, which becomes apparent every year anew when the international design scene “pilgrims to Essen” on the occasion of the Red Dot Gala. Shinsuke Toda, Vice Consul General of the Consulate General of Japan in Dusseldorf, also participated in the vernissage. He referred to the long design tradition of his country in his welcome address and felt honoured “that Japan is presented in this beautiful house”. He acknowledged the exhibition of the Red Dot Design Museum as a huge “contribution to the amity” of Germany and Japan. Shinsuke Toda also provided prospects and announced that Red Dot will present a design exhibition in Tokyo in autumn 2017.

Design “made in Japan”
Afterwards, the attendants had the opportunity to visit the exhibition “Under the Sign of the Circle”, which offered numerous starting points for exchange on current topics in Japanese design. Visitors experience the natural manner in which design from Japan connects what appear to be opposites: traditional crafts are married with state-of-the-art technologies, western influences such as the Bauhaus principles and functionalism are interwoven with the Japanese principle of harmony. This results in products, communication works and design concepts that win people over with their good design.

Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017
Red Dot awarded projects will be on show in special exhibitions next year again. Those, who will convince the competition’s jury in the course of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017, run the chance to have their innovations included in one of the collections which will be presented to a broad public. Until 8 February 2017, designers and manufacturers from around the world can register their products for the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017.

Until 19 March 2017:
”Under the Sign of the Circle: Red Dot awarded Innovations from Japan”

Red Dot Design Museum Essen
Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site
Areal A [Schacht/Shaft XII], Kesselhaus [A7]
Gelsenkirchener Straße 181
45309 Essen