The Slovenia Times

Innovative Design as a Signpost to Brighter Future



Slovenian design studios have gained a global reputation in recent years and their fresh solutions have not gone unnoticed by the Red Dot Award panel. The Red Dot Award is an international product design prize representing the best in design in business. It is an internationally recognised quality label for excellent design, dating back to 1955 when the first awards were given. They are presented by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany, where outstanding designs are selected by a competent panel of experts in product design, communication design and design concept. In each of the categories, the Red Dot Institute filters the results of the award according to different criteria and apply the design value of companies that have received the Red Dot.

The Cream of the Crop

One of the world's largest and most distinguished design competitions is in demand; there were over 5,500 registrations submitted by 1,800 companies and designers from 58 countries for this year's contest alone. Yet, as always, only the best were awarded, among them also the Slovenians.
All the awards received were from probably the most important category, i.e. product design. For the first time in Slovenia's history, a Slovenian company was awarded the "Red Dot: Best of the Best" prize, the highest accolade of the competition, awarded to very few of the best designs. It went to light manufacturer, Vertigo Bird, for its Jinn lamp, designed by Mathias Hahn from Product Design Studio.
Vertigo Bird received another Red Dot for its Mantis desk lamp, designed by Böttcher+Henssler. Other Slovenian winners of the Red Dot awards included: Gorenje (WM SensoCare washing machine and the IQcook induction hob by Gorenje Design Studio), Elan (Elan Amphibio Waveflex 14 Fusion skis by Porsche Design Studio), Tapetništvo Novak upholstery company (Googy rocking horse by Wilsonic Design), Live (XT-01.2 Viper backpack by Live d.o.o. - In-house Design), Kovinoplastika Lož Gradbeni elementi (Unisash ARX Flat window system), and Fotona (LightWalker dental laser by Creanova srl).

Higher Goals

The winners are offered various presentation opportunities to show the best of their excellent products and seize recognition. Being more than just a design competition, the Red Dot recognises the problem of competitive pressure in international markets and therefore also appeals to the producers who recognize the importance of setting themselves apart from the competition by proving the quality of their products and services rather than simply pursuing an aggressive pricing policy.
This long-term, yet quintessential goal, is yet to be identified in Slovenia. According to the Creative Industries' Manifesto, design policy, i.e. management of the national creative potential, is currently undefined despite the fact that the management of creative industries has been perceived as one of the key factors in the development and marketing of products and services as well as a vital factor in increasing the competitiveness of the country's economy and its society. Creative industries are viewed as a link between new technologies and end-users, therefore they are a requirement for economic progress and a development priority in all developed societies. Their economic role increases faster than that of other industries which is a fact to be considered with even greater care, especially in the current times of global economic uncertainty.
The Creative Industries' Manifesto proposes a response to the problems of the future, among them the establishment of a platform to unite the stakeholders (the government, the economy and the university), the establishment of a design council and the execution of the plan and the promotion of creativity and innovation. With these activities, they aim to transform Slovenia into a globally competitive country with its own development policies. Perhaps this year's Red Dots will trigger a change.


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