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New Design Concepts Show Us The Way Forward

Winning entries of the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2016 show that despite technological advances, humanistic values continue to inform the industry.

Red Dot


BY Janice Seow

October 6th, 2016


Top Image: F 015 Luxury in Motion by Mercedes-Benz (Germany), Red Dot: Luminary

Since 2005, the Red Dot Design Award has been compiling the best design concepts and innovation annually. Entries from companies and design students alike are accepted in its coveted Design Concept award, enforcing its belief that design concepts should be evaluated “based on its design merit without prejudice.”

Each year, the world looks to the award to discover new concepts and ideas that demonstrate time and time again, how design can improve lives. The award also opens doors for designers and new projects, showcasing them on an international stage and bringing about new opportunities.

Red Dot
PAPIER – MACHINE by ENSCI – Les Ateliers (France), Red Dot: Luminary

This year is no exception. The recently concluded award ceremony for the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2016 received a total of 4,698 entries from 60 countries, submitted across 30 categories. Out of these, 340 concepts were recognised – 53 concepts received an Honourable Mention; 245 concepts received the Red Dot award; and 42 concepts were honoured Red Dot: Best of the Best.

Red Dot
Google Self-Driving Car by Google (United States), Red Dot: Luminary

Within the 42 Red Dot: Best of the Best winners, four concepts received the highest level of recognition, the Red Dot: Luminary. The four entries were Google Self-Driving Car by Google; ILY-I by Aisin Seiki; PAPIER – MACHINE by ENSCI – Les Ateliers; and F 015 Luxury in Motion by Mercedes-Benz. All these concepts demonstrate how designers are applying technology in a humanistic manner.

Red Dot
ILY-I by Aisin Seiki (Japan), Red Dot: Luminary

For instance, the Google Self-Driving Car prototypes are designed to transport a passenger from place to place with the push of a button. “It is changing what we now understand as mobility, and is shifting or transforming the paradigms in the automotive industry by integrating technology, design and innovation in the service of human beings to improving their daily lives,” says Red Dot juror Prof. Carlos Hinrichsen of the Google Self-Driving Car. Then there’s Mercedes-Benz’s F 015 Luxury in Motion, which shows the future of autonomous driving, and transforms the idea of transport into a private retreat.

ILY-I by Japanese company Aisin Seiki is an interactive furniture mobile and an intelligent armchair. Designed to be used indoors for compact movements like walking and rotating, the chair is powered by batteries, with a controller that directs its course and sensors that regulate the speed. Juror Tapani Hyvönen says that the new wheelchair makes disabled people look not unlike other people, making life better for them.

Red Dot
Living Shelter by WY-TO and POD Structures (Singapore), Honourable Mention

“Each of the winning concepts represent a significant achievement on the part of the designer. The adjudication process is a particularly demanding one, with each concept subjected to intense scrutiny led by a critical set of jury members,” says Ken Koo, President of Red Dot Asia.

For the online exhibition of this year’s winning works, click here.