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Interview with Head of Design Consulting of Philips, Sean Hughes – Red Dot Award: Design Concept

Why did you become a designer?

I was always interested in both art and technology and couldn’t decide if I wanted to be an Architect a Painter or a Sculptor. Industrial Design offered the opportunity to explore and develop both creative and technical challenges and seemed to be a perfect match.

What comes to you first: business or customer?

We have to always consider both perspectives, if we had no customers we would have no business, and if we have no business we have no means to serve the customer. Both are important and interlinked.

What is one specific challenge you encounter, as a designer in the healthcare industry?

Ensuring we address multiple stakeholder needs is a key part of the creative challenge especially when designing solutions in the healthcare space.

What is the most fulfilling part about completing a project?

The biggest benefit we get from any project is learning new things about the customer or the patients, gathering insights that can feed and inform our innovation funnel.

How do you decide which issues to try and solve and move forward with after just finishing a project?

Working in new markets or in new health spaces is always interesting as it expands our horizons in terms of what possible and what’s preferred.

What has been your defining moment as a designer?

I have a few defining moments when reflecting on my career to date, firstly gaining a place a the Royal College of Art in London to undertake my Masters Degree, joining Philips Design twenty five years ago, and then being appointed Chief Design officer for Philips Healthcare, my previous role to this one stand out as significant steps on an ever evolving career journey.

Holding such a senior role, how do you ensure that you still continue to learn and grow as a designer?

Attending key conferences or industry forums is a great way to keep up to date with the latest thinking in both design as well as the industries we support.

How would you describe your design research?

Our design research is best described as “hands on”, we get out of the studio and we go into the places and spaces we are designing.

Meeting patients, staff and any other parties that have a role to play in the future solution we are designing. We use many tools such a journey mapping, shadowing, interviewing and observation to gather as much qualitative and quantitate data that we need to help us to make informed decisions and recommendations.

Philips is a game changer in this market, but how do you know that your design has been a success?

Peer recognition such as these design awards is always a nice accolade for our design team and business partners.

If you could describe your corporate culture in one phrase, what would you say?

I would say that Philips has always been a people focused company, at least for the 25 years that I have worked here!

What would be impossible not to talk about your company’s culture?

That we always aspire to take the latest technology and innovations and then translate this in a way to improve people’s lives.

How do you decide which members are to work on certain projects?

We try to match the needs of the project and which capabilities we need to draw on to deliver a successful outcome. In this respect the individual designers capabilities and experience are crucial factors that help to staff our project teams.

How do you say no to people?

I prefer not to say no, unless I really have to, I would like to instead reframe the challenge with a different perspective and keep a conversation moving forward in a positive way.

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Interview with Piotr Wiśniewski & Paweł Frej of Opus B – Red Dot Award: Design Concept

What is your professional role in your environment?

Piotr Wiśniewski: I am a designer. My role is to educate others both in visual and functional terms as regards ergonomic solutions. I want to make the reception of the world easier, but also to improve its aesthetics.

What comes to you first: business or customer?

Piotr Wiśniewski: The consumer without a shadow of a doubt! Designing means solving problems and responding to the needs of people. My work is to get to know the consumer and their entire world. If a designer responds to the needs of others, there is an opportunity for business.

Have you personally benefitted from preparing for a major project? i.e. Were there accomplishments/breakthroughs when preparing for a something major?

Piotr Wiśniewski: Designing is my passion; my everyday work gives me a lot of satisfaction. Each implemented product is the culmination of my efforts. To see how people use their products is the greatest reward for designers. Then we know that our ideas are not only concepts that have stayed in our heads, but specific products and solutions functioning on a daily basis. Of course, awards granted by the industry are also of significance; it is important that experts appreciate our ideas and skills.

On Aspirations
Why did you become a designer?

Piotr Wiśniewski: I wanted to change the world! It is a fantastic profession if one wants to improve everything around us step by step. Being a designer means endless curiosity. We always want more and more, we are open to the world, to meeting people. It can be said that this job is a continuous prolongation of youth, the creative merging with the reality that surrounds us. An attempt to set new trends.

What is your biggest design career moment?

Piotr Wiśniewski: Definitely the Live Long conceptual design that has received the Red Dot Award.

Design school never ends, at least for great designers. How do you learn and grow your knowledge and expertise?

Piotr Wiśniewski: As a designer, I always seek inspiration, and any conversation, meeting or work with children – literally everything can be inspiring. You never know where you can find an impulse for creation.

Press and trade literature, as well as conferences and workshops can be of help in the search for knowledge, but I draw the greatest experience directly from people since I design for them.

On the field
How would you describe your design research?

Paweł Frej: There are no ideal solutions because every project is different. It is good to balance the research work involving analyses and determination of the purpose, needs, problems and competition with creative madness in order to release your creativity. To break conventions, it is good to develop an attitude of a child who wonders at everything and looks for the least obvious solutions.

When or how do you know that your product has become a success?

Paweł Frej: Often at a designing stage, it is our intuition that tells us the best solutions. This intuition is also luck and instinct, but very frequently experience, as well. Developing a sense of instinct often helps, at a later stage, to make more courageous decisions that break stereotypes.

On Culture
If you could describe your corporate culture in three words, what would you say?

Paweł Frej: Never stop curiosity.

What would be impossible not to talk about about your work culture?

Paweł Frej: In our company, teamwork and creative approach to each subject are most important. We always strive to ensure that all team members are engaged in projects, and designing is neither a compulsion nor a chore.

On leadership
How do you decide who gets to do what?

Paweł Frej: This is absolutely of paramount importance that different people appear in the team – more or less experienced designers with different passions and interests who have diverse styles and techniques. It is very important that they “infect” one another with energy and curiosity, gain and exchange experience, as well as share their passions. The team should consist of various personalities and characters while the leader should know how to subdue those elements and direct them towards a creative path.

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A night of celebration and an important highlight in the design calendar

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Interview with Arman Emami – Red Dot Award: Design Concept

Why did you become a designer?

I loved to create new objects and to find new solutions for everyday problems. And I had a distinct sense of aesthetics, technics and perfection. It has always been this way, therefore the decision to become a designer was easy to make and inevitable.

How many years have passed since?

I started with Industrial design 2005, so about 12 years.

What is your biggest design career moment?

It’s a little bit difficult to choose a certain event as biggest design career moment…

But in 2009 my design concept “USB Clip” received the Red Dot: Best of the Best in the Red Dot Award for Design Concept. The “USB Clip” went into production in the same year and won the Red Dot: Best of the Best in the Red Dot Award: Product Design. It was a beautiful event to win “Best of the Best” twice in a row for the concept and realisation of the same project. But I hope that the biggest design career moment have yet to come.

Design school never ends, at least for great designers. How do you learn and grow your knowledge and expertise?

I don’t like to get bogged down in theory…
I learn new things by doing almost everyday.
Too much academic theory can be detrimental for creativity.

What would you say will be future of design? Or the next big thing?

Regarding the formal language, I think that the organic design will prevail.

But in respect of the range of application, I think there will be lot of new exciting products. Robotics will conquer our day-to-day world.

When or how do you know that your product has become a success? 

When the people like product and give a positive response. This might sound a little bit pragmatic, but if your product is accepted well by the market it can definitely also be considered a success. An absolute success would of course be when it defines a new product segment, and is emulated by others; setting a new standard within a certain field.

How do you know if a product is well designed?

I have tried to describe this in my book “360 ° Industrial Design”

Industrial design is more than mere aesthetics. Intelligent industrial design offers a broad spectrum of advantages.

I would say, if you combine a smart and useful concept with a beautiful, suitable and harmonic form and it works perfectly and sustainably, then you have a well designed product.

In short: if the product makes life more beautiful and easier it is well designed.

What comes to you first: business or customer?

There is no difference. Our business is based on the satisfaction of our customers.

If the customers are excited and enthusiastic about the product, it directly benefits the business.

If you could describe your corporate culture in three words, what would you say?

curious, logical, esthete,

How do you decide who gets to do what?

I have a great team, which help me to realise my design concepts. But the concept development and determination of ID is my my personal task.

I believe, that ID is like painting: Two artist cannot work on the same painting, otherwise you don’t have a clear handwriting.

How do you decide what not to build?

I like the diversity of challenges.

If you have different challenges, you can never feel bored…

And every project can be interesting, if you see that as a challenge.

But nevertheless there are some red lines for me. It can not violate public morals or ethics.

What would be impossible not to characterise about your company’s culture?

It would have to be the fact that we design both with great care and logic, leading us to where we are today. We design and perform through passion for innovation and holistic industrial design.

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Awarding Ceremony Photo Booth

Awarding Ceremony Photo Booth

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The race begins – Red Dot Award: Design Concept

CEO and initiator of Red Dot Prof. Dr. Peter Zec

CEO and initiator of Red Dot Prof. Dr. Peter Zec

Red Dot jurors for design concept

Red Dot jurors for design concept

Red Dot Design Award for design concept awarding ceremony in Singapore

Winning design concepts exhibited at the Red Dot Design Museum Singapore

Winning design concepts exhibited at the Red Dot Design Museum Singapore

Winning design concepts exhibited at the Red Dot Design Museum Singapore

In his conclusion honouring the winning works of 2017’s Red Dot Award: Design Concept, Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of Red Dot stated, “Fast-evolving tools and constantly changing demands make it almost impossible to predict the future. Nevertheless, there are some people who have made it their business to shape the world of tomorrow and to improve people’s lives: designers and creatives.”

On 2 January 2018, the award welcomes more designers and creatives with the desire and drive to shape the world of tomorrow to enter their latest visions, ideas, prototypes, and design concepts to this year’s Red Dot Award: Design Concept.

Open to designers, design teams, design studios, product companies, and universities, the award began as an outlet for design teams and designers to showcase their latest research without customer constraints. Today, it has matured into the largest and most prestigious international award for design concepts at a professional level.

More than a platform for innovation, winning designers will be able to leverage on the Red Dot to provide an indication on the marketability of future products, provide clients with an established mark of a studio’s design capabilities, benchmark a team’s creative competencies.

The submission period breaks down into three different phases: “Early” from 2 to 31 January 2018, “Standard” from 1 February to 21 March 2018 and “Late” from 22 March to 16 May 2018. At the Early and Standard submission phases, entries can be submitted in 4 languages, English, German, Chinese and Korean. Jury who are native speakers of the languages, English, Chinese, German, and Korean are organised into language groups to evaluate each entry, offering a more equitable platform to compete for the award.

The jury of the Red Dot Award: Design Concept hail from different parts of the world providing their own cultural context tempered with their own experiences to provide fair and balanced judgement. To further an unbiased environment, entries presented to the jury are without name, picture or corporate logo of the designers. Every jury member pledges to a Code of Honour and is excluded from taking part in the competition. In addition, to avoid conflicts of interest, the jurors may not be employees of the manufacturing industry. This ensures the highest degree of objectivity when selecting the winning designs.

The awarding ceremony for the winning designers will take place on 27 September 2018, in Singapore next to the newly opened Red Dot Design Museum in the spectacular Marina Bay district.

Submission phases for the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2018
Early: 2 – 31 January 2018
Standard: 2 February – 21 March 2018
Late: 22 March – 16 May 2018

Further dates
Jury session: June 2018
Red Dot Awarding Ceremony: 27 September 2018

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2017 Awarding Ceremony in images

2017 Awarding Ceremony in images

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Winners of the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2017 honoured at the Singapore awarding ceremony – Red Dot Award: Design Concept

Companies, design studios, research institutions and designers from 58 countries entered their latest product concepts in the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2017 – a record 4,724 entries. 20 design experts from all over the world convened and assessed each individual idea in an adjudication process lasting several days, with the selected concepts finally awarded in Singapore. Only concepts with the highest design merit which won over the jury were awarded the sought-after Red Dot.

Since its inception in 2005, the award began as an outlet for design teams and designers to showcase their latest research without customer constraints. Today, it has matured into the largest and most prestigious international award for design concepts at a professional level. With new categories increased to thirty four spanning across an extensive spectrum from public space, lifestyle to security needs. Concept categories are deliberately kept wide to ensure limitless imagination, encouraging new innovations and explanations.

This year, 240 concepts were awarded the Red Dot, with 43 being honoured Red Dot: Best of the Best for its exceptional design excellence. 62 concepts were also credited with an Honourable Mention. Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of Red Dot, and Mr. Ken Koo, President of Red Dot, Asia, gave out the awards at the awarding ceremony in Singapore.

The Red Dot jury nominated three concepts from the 43 Red Dot: Best of the Best laureates for the Red Dot: Luminary. Major themes were revisited referencing how dissemination of information and crowd sourcing can be more efficient through an interactive communication system; the future of user experiences in autonomous driving with the creation of an automobile sculpture that shows new ways of interaction between driver, passenger and vehicle; and the future of personal travel devices aimed at solving “the last mile” problem of urban daily commute. Consequently, ”Blood SOS” by Kim Euimin, Kim Heejung, Lee Wonjin from South Korea, “BMW i Inside Future” by BMW Group Designworks from the United States and “Halo City” by Beijing Onemile Technology from China were nominated respectively for the highest accolade at the Red Dot Award for Design Concept.

This year’s Red Dot: Luminary aims to change the way urban citizens explore their cities. “Halo City” is a ready-to-launch micro-electric foldable scooter and personal transportation tool which allowing users to travel effortlessly to and from bus or subway stations. “We have seen a lot of ideas in the past few years, but here we seem to experience a next-level-solution“ Red Dot juror Professor Lutz Fügener explains. “Almost all problems resulting from the challenging compromise between usability, simplicity, aesthetics and attractiveness have been solved. This “all-of-a-piece” product surprisingly communicates self-awareness and highest usability in all details – from folding to riding, and all the added useful features.”

The Red Dot: Luminary trophy is then presented to Beijing Onemile Technology by Prof. Dr Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of Red Dot and Mr Ken Koo then concluded the ceremony with the presentation of Red Dot Award: Design Concept winners’ exhibition at the new Red Dot Design Museum which overlooks the waterfront promenade of Singapore’s Marina Bay.

The result after a year of compiling work, the winning concepts are also presented at the online exhibition at the Red Dot Award: Design Concept website as well as the Red Dot Design Yearbook for Design Concept 2017. The exhibitions and yearbook are traditions of the Red Dot Design Award, providing designers with a reference to the best in design.

Red Dot Cocktail, a signature created and recommended by Prof. Dr. Peter Zec himself, was served among others to honorary guests from the industry, politics and members of the press as the top designers congregated and celebrated until the early hours.

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Awarding Ceremony 2017 – Red Dot Award: Design Concept

Every year, this gala of international design attracts hundreds of guests from the design, media and industry who come to make important contacts. It is a night of celebration and an important highlight in the design calendar. In 2017, the awarding ceremony will be held at a brand new location, and for the first time, the ceremony will be open to the public.

Attend the Red Dot Design Concept Awarding Ceremony 2017 and be at unveiling of the winners’ exhibition at the Red Dot Design Museum.

Date: 18 October 2017
Time: Registration begins at 6.30pm
Venue: Bayfront Event Space next to the Red Dot Design Museum (11 Marina Boulevard)
Tickets at SGD180 each

Email award@red-dot.sg for more information or to purchase tickets.

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