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FAQ

General questions

Here you will find an overview of all exhibitions and dates.

The Red Dot Design Museum permanently shows the two exhibitions "Milestones in Contemporary Design" and "Design on Stage". However, only the title and location of the exhibitions are truly permanent, as the exhibits change completely once every year in early summer. The occasion is the presentation of the Red Dot Award: Product Design, one of the largest and most prestigious design competitions in the world. Every year, the museum shows the latest winning products. 

Products from all areas of life and all parts of the world that stand out from the competition thanks to their good design. The Red Dot Design Museum presents the world's largest exhibition of contemporary product design - around 1,500 design products from more than 60 nations that have been recognised for their high design quality by an international jury of experts in the Red Dot Design Award.

You can also have a look at our museum highlights here.

The Red Dot Design Museum provides visitors with an overview of current product innovations and design trends. Thanks to a kind of design trail, visitors can also acquire basic knowledge about the aspects that make up good design. They are then able to make their own judgements about the products they encounter in the museum. Many of the products on display can also be touched and tried out.

Moreover, visitors are always impressed by the combination of current products and historical industrial architecture - a truly unique setting and part of the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site. Those interested in architecture will also appreciate the new exhibition structure made of concrete, steel and glass elements. It was designed by the British star architect Lord Norman Foster, who made it possible to use the colliery building as a museum through his remodelling work.  

You can also read what visitors say about the museum here

You bet! Many children love the fact that they can touch and try out products at the Red Dot Design Museum. Is a sofa really as comfortable as it looks? And what does a Chinese fridge actually look like on the inside? Here they can indulge their curiosity. 

Touching and trying things out is absolutely permitted in the Red Dot Design Museum! It is a hands-on museum. Of course, there are also showcases in which delicate and small products are kept out of reach of the hands - but you can also feel shapes with your eyes. 

Design experts from all over the world decide which products will be shown in the Red Dot Design Museum. They form the jury of one of the most important product competitions in the world, the Red Dot Award: Product Design. In lengthy meetings, they test and discuss the designs, scrutinise them for their innovative design quality according to their area of application and intended use on the basis of various criteria and finally decide which ones deserve the "Red Dot" or "Red Dot: Best of the Best" seal of quality and therefore a place in the museum.
 

You can certainly buy most of the products - but not in the museum. All the products on display in the museum can also be found on the competition website (www.red-dot.org). A keyword search is enough to find the product. Manufacturers and designers are also linked so that you can check the manufacturer's website to see where the product is sold. As there are also many winners from Asia and other distant countries, it may well be that products are not available in Europe. 

The entire Zollverein colliery complex was built between 1928 and 1929 according to plans by architects Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer - the most modern colliery in the world at the time. The boiler house, which is home to the Red Dot Design Museum, was the energy centre of the Zollverein colliery, which closed in 1986.

In the mid-1990s, British star architect Lord Norman Foster converted the building into the Red Dot Design Museum specifically for its new purpose. 

Yes, the Red Dot Design Museum moved to the site of the disused Zollverein colliery back in 1997, heralding the structural change at Zollverein as an anchor tenant - from heavy industry to a design centre. The museum is located in the Kesselhaus, one of the most prestigious buildings in the complex. 

If you subscribe to our newsletter, you will be informed in good time about exhibition openings and special events such as the annual charity auction, where design products are auctioned off for a good cause.  

Visit

We recommend using car park A2, which is closest to the museum. Parking is free of charge. Charging points for electric vehicles can be found in car park A1.

Of course, you can also purchase tickets for your visit online in advance. » Online ticket shop 
 

Outside of pandemic times, it is not necessary to purchase tickets in advance of your visit. However, this is of course possible. 

"Pay What You Want" is to be understood literally. We offer this model every Friday. It means that you are asked at the ticket desk how much you want to pay for your visit to the museum. You can then decide how much you would like to pay and don't have to worry about what our reception staff might think. We introduced this model specifically to give everyone who is interested - regardless of their financial means - the chance to visit the museum. And we are delighted to welcome every guest. 

We have deliberately opted for "Pay What You Want" on Fridays and not for a day with free admission. So you have to pay something - even if it's just one cent. Our aim is to convey that culture is also worth something. How much - we leave that up to you on Fridays. By the way, children up to the age of twelve are always admitted free of charge.

In the reception area of the Red Dot Design Museum, you can purchase coffee, tea, soft drinks and small snacks such as ice cream and chocolate bars, as well as cakes at weekends. However, consumption is only permitted in the entrance area, not in the exhibition areas.

There is no restaurant or café in the traditional sense at the Red Dot Design Museum. However, you will find various catering options on the World Heritage site. You can find an overview here: https://www.zollverein.de/zollverein-unesco-world-heritage-site/food-drink/ 

Yes, we have a museum shop with some carefully selected design products and numerous design publications. If you would like to purchase something - payment is of course also possible by debit and credit card. 

You are welcome to take pictures of your visit to the Red Dot Design Museum. The only condition is that you show the necessary consideration and do not disturb other visitors. And that the photos and videos are for private use. You are also welcome to post them on social media - and of course we would be delighted if you mention or tag the museum (@reddotdesignmuseum).

Commercial photography requires at least an official photo authorisation from the press office. Fees may also apply for larger shoots. Contact: Astrid Ruta, museum@astridruta.de  

Unfortunately not. Assistance dogs are of course exempt from this regulation. And since the question has already been asked: Yes, other animal species are also excluded from a visit to the museum. 

Guided tours

Guided tours of the Red Dot Design Museum are available in German, English, Dutch and Polish.

However, the free public tours that we offer on Sundays are only available in German. 

It is not necessary to register for the public tours, which we offer on Sundays and on special occasions. However, the tours are very popular, so the 20 places available per tour are quickly filled. So if you want to be on the safe side, we recommend that you book in advance by telephone (+49-201-301040) or by e-mail to museum@red-dot.de. 

We will gladly do our best to organise this - and we usually succeed. Please don't hesitate to talk to our staff about your specific request (Tel.: +49-201-301040). 
 

Charity auction

Once a year, the Red Dot Design Museum organises a charity auction in which design products are auctioned off to the highest bidder for the benefit of Friedensdorf International. The auction usually takes place on the first or second Sunday in Advent. We communicate the exact date a few weeks in advance via our newsletter, which you can register for here. 

Places for the charity auction are highly coveted and limited. For this reason, they are now allocated by lottery to give everyone an equal chance to take part. You will receive details of the procedure, registration deadlines etc. when the date is announced in our newsletter