Top image: (Left) Prof Dr Peter Zec, Founder and President of Red Dot (Right) Krister Torssell, CEO of Veryday
The press conference at La Posteria in Milan
This year’s Red Dot: Design Team of the Year recipient was announced with much fanfare during Milan Design Week. Special guests and media were invited to hear the results in a press conference held at La Posteria in the Brera district, the same location as the exhibition “Swedish Design Goes to Milan – In Real Life”, which gave hint as to the country of origin of this year’s winner.
(From left) Prof Dr Peter Zec, Founder and President of Red Dot; Ewa Björling, Swedish Minister of Trade; Marcus Heneen, industrial designer at Veryday; Krister Torssell, CEO of Veryday; Nicola Chamberlain, design strategist at Veryday; Oskar Juhlin, industrial designer at Veryday; and Ruth Jacoby, Swedish Ambassador in Italy
And true enough, Professor Dr Peter Zec, Founder and President of Red Dot soon revealed to a rapt audience that Veryday was the 2014 title winner. Veryday, who until 2012 went under the name of Ergonomidesign, is also the first Swedish company in the history of the Red Dot Award: Product Design to win the Red Dot: Design Team of the Year.
Prof Dr Zec giving his presentation at the press conference in Milan
“In 2014, the highest honorary title of the Red Dot Award goes to a design studio that is more than worthy, and whose incredible product solutions you all know,” says Prof Dr Zec about Veryday.
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While Veryday has won numerous awards over the years, the firm’s CEO Krister Torssell says this recent Red Dot accolade is the highest honour for the team. “Although we have received over 220 design awards throughout the years, this title is by far the highest distinction in the design world. Winning this award means that we have succeeded in consistently creating innovative, functional and inspiring design solutions for our clients, based on deep insights into what people really need, feel and desire.”
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Despite having been around for decades, and consistently pushing out award-winning products and solutions, Torssell says that not many people may perhaps know of the company. “We’ve been in the business for 45 years,” says Torssell, “[But] I don’t think so many of you, in your business, have ever heard of Veryday. But you may have [experienced our products] if you have been using a baby carrier, if you’ve been using an insulin pump, if you’ve been cooking in Africa, or if you’ve been doing a transaction with a bank.”
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Torssell says that the company’s primary role is to “build the brands” for its clients but that “passion” is also a key motivator for the team. “It’s that mix of creating good business for our clients and enhancing the quality of life, I think that is what drives us. That has what has kept us striving, fighting, always trying to do the best we can,” he says.
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Oskar Juhlin, industrial designer at Veryday, puts it this way: “There’s always this belief that if you want to make a difference you have to know for whom you are making a difference. You have to know the needs, demands, aspirations and dreams of the people and customers that you’re aiming for with your service or your product. And that is especially important today in a market flooded with products.
He continues, “[At Veryday], we don’t see any boundaries between design and research. We are a team that are connected through the whole journey of developing the product.”
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According to Prof Dr Peter Zec, the selection process for the “Design Team of the Year” is not an easy one. “We observe two points. We observe the design strengths of the design team and it’s design continuity. Design strength for us means innovation, and we compare the design team [how they fare in this regard] against their competitors over five years. At the same time we observe different design teams and how they perform in their continuity over 10 years, between the first five years and the next five years.”
The Veryday team
“In the past, we were very lucky to have picked design teams that were at the [pinnacle] of what they did,” he continues, “For example, Apple in 2002 was at the top [they won Design Team of the Year 2002]. They were really on a high.”
The Red Dot: Design Team of the Year has been awarded yearly since 1988. Past winners include Porsche, Apple, Lenovo, Adidas, Grohe, Pininfarina and Hilti, just to name a few.
For more information on the Red Dot Award: Product Design and Red Dot: Design Team of the Year, visit red-dot.org/pd.