We Interview Prof. Dr. Peter Zec from red dot

Amid the frenetic pace of this year’s red dot award ceremony and gala, Troy Turner sits down with red dot founder Prof. Dr. Peter Zec to discuss the current state of industrial design, where it’ll be in 10 years and the problems facing many companies. Dr. Zec also tackles the “giant elephant” in the room in regard to Asian companies copying western design and offers sage advice to new designers that may surprise you.

Interview: Prof. Dr. Peter Zec


  • 123 says:

    the red dot award is one of the most design awards…

  • James says:

    I totally agree, the red dot awards is everything that is terrible about the design industry. “why did you create the awards”……um, to make money! Everyone has to pay to enter, imagine if every award was like that. So even if you have a category where there are 5 awful designs in it, one of them has to and will win. It’s not saying ‘this is the best design’, it’s saying ‘this is the best design we’ve got to choose from out of this bunch who paid’.

    Snobbery and stupidity in the design industry we can do without. I’ve seen designs on here who have won an award there and their designs were dreadful, and I’ve seen other designs here who have not entered who were brilliant. Don’t act like red dot has any prestige, it doesn’t.

  • anti-smartypants says:

    Guys, nowadays everything is about business and making money… you should know it if you are in the (product-)design business! Anyway, I think every award is good, especialy for young designers, to get chances (jobwise) and to get recognition all over the world. No offence, you saw better designs here, congrats, if you are so wise, tell them they should take part or maybe you should judge next year. How many awards have you won so far? If you think its so easy to get a RED DOT, win one! But I have a similar story, I watch every day awful television ads (UK) and ask myself ‘WHY?.

  • hat methi says:

    the red dot award is one of the most design awards…

  • Markoff says:

    I totally agree…!

  • James says:

    Awards are not about making money, it’s meant to be about giving recognition to those who deserve it. I know everything is about making money, that was the point of my comment. Making money should not have a place in an award event. I have worked on other big design award events, where you don’t have to pay, and even that had no prestige.

    You are missing the point entirely, I would not advise anyone to take part in this sham of an award as if you have to pay to enter, then you haven’t been chosen out of thousands of people because of your talent, you weren’t chosen at all. Your design was in the running because you paid! Ten designs enter, all of them awful, one of them HAS to win whilst someone brilliant who didn’t enter wins nothing. I didn’t say it was easy to win, I said it was pointless. So it’s not a good idea for young designers (a lot who win are older and/or companies) to get noticed if they’re not very good at it! I would not want to judge something so clearly money orientated and not design orientated.

    How many awards have I won so far?! Are you 12? Grow up. Red dot award winners have posted their designs here and within minutes had it ripped apart as it was clearly dreadful. I would never pay to enter an award category as it has no merit. I don’t want to win one, you’ve missed the point completely.

    Awful tv ads and the red dot award have no relevance to eachother whatsoever. Awful tv ads get aired because clients pay for it. What is your profession, are you someone who works for red dot at all or entered for an award?

  • James says:

    So unless you say stuff like “this is brilliant” and don’t have any criticism at all, your comment will be deleted? Nice one Yanko!

  • anti-smartypants says:

    I think we all accept your opinion James but honestly what’s you’re problem, really? I really think you’re not in the position to judge about good and bad designs. Just accept it the way it is! I know guys like you, you guys always think you know everything and you can do everything better. The truth is, you can’t. Please do us a favor and stop your comments.

  • James says:

    Oh dear lord, it’s like you can’t even read. I’m not judging anyone’s designs, where did you even get that from? I have an issue with the red dot awards and any other ‘awards’ and the way they exploit designers for profit. Like I said, crap designs in red dot fashion, can win just because they paid to be there. Do you think that is acceptable? You don’t seem to grasp that I’m on the side of the designers and against the people profiting from this scam. I am in a position to judge about good and bad designs, just like every designer is. Although in fairness I haven’t “judged” anything, I give constructive criticism when it’s needed just as all designers do and those receiving the constructive comments welcome it as I have done; all designers welcome it, it makes us better.

    “Just accept it the way it is” is a ludicrous thing to say when something is done wrong. You don’t know guys like me because if you understood anything of what I’ve been saying, you would have agreed. If you’re a designer then you would be on the side of the designers, not the money grabbing side of the companies that feed of us. I can only assume you are not in the design industry. Good grief, why am I having to even explain this, it’s hilarious!

  • 123 says:

    how should a young designer got the money to get access to this conetest? every cent should be spent on the development of a product, not to get access to a award.

    the only one who benefits of thet are large corporations. the money for participation are peanuts for them.

    in germany no one takes this award seriously, its just a laughingstock.

    ps: I do not know if I made an error or whether it was censored, but the missing word was “ridiculous”

  • Jay says:

    Unlike many other awards, red dot is completely independent and in no way sponsored or supported by the industry or government, that`s one of the reasons why it actually has its prestige. Check the jury of other awards: You will find CEOs who judge their own company`s products. Sounds fair, doesn`t it?

    To set up such a contest as the red dot design award, including the jury meeting, the award ceremony and the entire communication, certain costs have to be covered. All participants pay the same fee. However, how could anyone come to the conclusion that all submissions receive a red dot? It`s a logistic masterpiece to bring all submitted products and all these design experts together at one place, and at one time, for the jury meeting. What’s your suggestions for the costs of this process?

    No doubt, there may be lots of talents and designers who do not want to enter the red dot competition. This does not mean their design objects are no good, but you can find out best if you compete with others. That’s the meaning of a competition and the red dot is the trophy you may only receive if you participate and face the critical jury. And talking about people who can`t effort the contest: red dot supports newcomers and young professional and offers them broad media attention to promote their creative works for free!

    If you are against awards and competitions at all, it`s up to you. But then you have to be against the Olympic Games, football world cups, tennis cups and everything, where money is involved and where people compete with their talents.

    So long!

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