Nils Toft

Nils Toft is the founder and managing director of Designidea. With offices in Copenhagen and Beijing, the multiple internationally awarded studio works in the key fields of sustainable energy solutions, consumer electronics, medical devices and design psychology, as well as taking on projects in business development, design strategy and exhibition design.

Nils Toft graduated as an architect and designer from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 1986 and started his career as an industrial designer, joining the former Christian Bjørn Design in 1987, an internationally active design studio in Copenhagen. Within a few years, he became a partner of CBD and, as managing director successfully ran the business until 2010. Nils Toft’s work has recently been focused on understanding and measuring how people are impacted by design. By measuring physiological parameters such as heart rate, eye movements, neurological activity and electro dermal activity, it is possible to unveil a test person’s emotional condition as well as their psychological reactions in relation to products, environments and services.

Nils Toft

Red Dot in an interview with Nils Toft

Red Dot: You have been a Red Dot juror for more than a decade. Do you see a difference between today’s products compared to those entered in the past?
Nils Toft: Globalisation has impacted design a lot. The entries we see today have a much more international design compared to the often very different cultural and regional influences we saw a decade ago. At the same time, the design quality has also improved significantly.

How has the evaluation process changed?
The principle of the evaluation process is basically the same, but due to the higher average design quality, the final decision between the products that qualify and the ones that do not has become much harder.

What product could you not do without in your everyday life?
I appreciate my vintage FIAT 124 Spider, but I could not do without social contact with other people.