Nearly everything that surrounds us in our everyday life is designed: every product or poster, every interior decoration or website is designed. Visitors can learn this in an exciting way in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen. On their way through the exhibition, they will meet Red Dot awarded objects from various life and product worlds. Thereby, on an area of 4,000 squaremeters, about 2,000 very shapely and innovative exhibits make award-winning design and the quality of everyday objects become experiencable, as touching and testing most of the objects is particularly allowed. The contrast of old and new, of current product culture and historic industrial architecture lets everyday items displayed in the Red Dot Design Museum appear in an altogether different light – an unforgettable experience.
What is good design?
What characterises design quality? A beautiful appearance is not enough. Good design helps us to cope with our life, to make our working environment safer or to spend our free time in a more comfortable way. Thereby, the form stems from the specific purpose of the product. You can sit better, work better and think better on an elaborate office chair. You can write legibly with a good fountain pen. A very shapely designed bike gives you pleasure during the whole ride. And a car, where aerodynamic drag was reduced, consumes less fuel. Design also always means functionality, ergonomics, easy handling and ecological compatibility. According to the purpose of an item, some characteristics are given more priority, others less.
How do the exhibits come to be displayed in the Red Dot Design Museum?
The decision which products will be exhibited in the Red Dot Design Museum is made each year anew by design experts from around the world. They form the jury of the Red Dot Design Award, one of the world’s largest design competitions. In a process lasting several days, the renowned professionals test, discuss and evaluate every entered draft live and on-site in Essen, Germany. Thereby, they take various criteria into account, such as the degree of innovation, functionality, durability or self-explanatory quality. Only products which fulfill the competition’s criteria, receive the coveted quality seal and thus their deserved place in the Red Dot Design Museum. The exhibition has a long tradition: Already in 1955, the “Ständige Schau formschöner Industrieerzeugnisse” (Permanent Show of Elegant Industrial Products) was opened in the Villa Hügel, the legendary seat of the Krupp family in Essen. Already at that time, the presentation documented what is state-of-the-art in product design.