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Red Dot Design Museum Essen presents history and present

With four exhibitions at the same time, the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen Germany, celebrates its 60th anniversary this summer.



BY Tess Ritchie

June 30th, 2015


In 1955, the first “Permanent Show of Elegant Industrial Products” was opened at Villa Hügel. Today – six decades later – the Red Dot Design Museum Essen in Germany presents the largest exhibition of contemporary design in the former boiler house of Zollverein coal mine.

From 30 June 2015, „Design on Stage“ presents the best products of the year. Moreover, “Icons of everyday life” is on show, an exhibition on “Bosch Home Appliances throughout the ages”. Already one day earlier, on 29 June 2015, “Enduring, not ultimate form” starts. The exhibition in Hall 5 at Zollverein World Heritage Site tells “60 years of design history in Essen – from ‘Industrieform’ to Red Dot”. The anniversary presentations are completed by “Design for Speed”. Since May, this exhibition informs visitors in the headquater of Sparkasse Essen about Red Dot-awarded mobility.

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Design on Stage – Winners Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015
With the exhibition “Design on Stage”, the Red Dot Design Museum Essen presents the winners of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015. On view are 1,443 products which were granted the coveted Red Dot by 38 international design experts after a several days lasting evaluation process. The exhibited innovations come from designers and manufacturers from 44 nations. Besides products from countries which are strong in design – such as Scandinavia, USA, Japan or Italy – in 2015, the exhibition also features numerous objects from states which are regarded as newcomers in the field of design. Thus, “Design on Stage” presents award-winning products from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Turkey as well as from Peru.

From consumer electronics to household items to furniture: In the midst of inspiring industrial architecture, the award-winning products from the competition’s 31 categories are for the first time presented in the entire museum. All products which received the highest distinction “Red Dot: Best of the Best” are staged in the museum’s imposing White Hall and White Box. Portraits of the designers who created the award-winning products complete the exhibition of the successful products of the year 2015.

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Icons of everyday life – Bosch Home Appliances throughout the ages
In 2015, the honourary title “Red Dot: Design Team of the Year” goes to Robert Sachon & Bosch Home Appliances Design Team in recognition of highest design quality and a sustainable creation policy. With “Icons of everyday life – Bosch Home Appliances throughout the ages”, the designers traditionally showcase their products for four weeks in a self-designed and self-implemented exhibition in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen.

From 30 June until 26 July, the presentation illustrates how the appearance of Bosch appliances has constantly developed further over time without losing the original character of the brand. Consequently, the exhibition shows both design classics and present product designs. Especially in the past ten years, the team around Robert Sachon has succeeded in integrating elements of the digital era into the appliances of a traditional industry in an innovative way. “Icons of everyday life” shows that continuity and innovation do not contradict each other but a well-done combination of both produces new and exciting products which remain current for many years.

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“Enduring, not ultimate form”: 60 years of design history in Essen – from “Industrieform” to Red Dot
From 29 June until 23 August 2015, the Red Dot Design Museum and the Ruhr Museum in Essen, Germany, present the exhibition “Enduring, not ultimate form”. It tells “60 years of design history in Essen – from ‘Industrieform’ to Red Dot” in Hall 5 at Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site. The patron of the exhibition is the President of the German Bundestag, Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert.

This year, Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, which was founded as organisation “Industrieform”, is taking stock of its 60-year history. The aim was to set up a “Permanent Show of Elegant Industrial Products”. It was opened at Villa Hügel in 1955, and went on to contribute to an appreciation of aesthetics and to the modern-day understanding of design culture. It was also in 1955 that the annually organised design competition, now the internationally renowned Red Dot Award, was first held. As is still customary today, the award-winning products were shown in a permanent exhibition.

The exhibition “Enduring, not ultimate form” reconstructs this first presentation at Villa Hügel, showing a large number of the original exhibits from that exposition, including the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. Moreover, it shows current and historical exhibits, and documents eyewitness accounts alongside posters and photographs from 60 years of design history.

The title of the exhibition “Enduring, not ultimate form” is a quote by journalist Clara Menck that stems from the time of the first Industrieform exhibition. It describes design as a permanent task to optimise the environment created by us and thus to secure our existence going forward.

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Design for Speed: Red Dot-awarded mobility
Still until 20 August 2015, the Red Dot Design Museum Essen presents in cooperation with Sparkasse Essen the exhibition “Design for Speed: Red Dot-awarded mobility”. Since May, in the bank’s headquarter in Essen city, award-winning exhibits are on show which demonstrate the expertise of international manufacturers and make clear that the nearly 200-year evolution of the bicycle continues.

With 15 exhibits, “Design for Speed: Red Dot-awarded mobility” illustrates that the bicycle has become the expression of a new urban lifestyle. For decades, the car was the epitome of independence and fast locomotion. Now bikes are the new symbol of flexibility and speed in urban areas. The Melon Urban Active Helmets from Essen, Germany also show that a trend can affect other sectors. All exhibits were awarded in the Red Dot Design Award.

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30 June – 26 July 2015:
“Design on Stage – Winners Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015” &
“Icons of everyday life – Bosch Home Appliances throughout the ages”

Red Dot Design Museum Essen
Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site
Areal A [Schacht/Shaft XII], Hall 7 [A7]
Gelsenkirchener Straße 181
45309 Essen, Germany

29 June – 23 August 2015:
“’Enduring, not ultimate form’: 60 years of design history in Essen – from “Industrieform” to Red Dot”

Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site
Areal A [Schacht/Shaft XII], Hall 5 [A5]
Gelsenkirchener Straße 181
45309 Essen, Germany

Until 20 August 2015:
“Design for Speed: Red Dot-awarded mobility”
Sparkasse Essen
III. Hagen 43
45127 Essen, Germany

For more information, head to the Red Dot Design Museum


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