X Mark II calculator – Phoenix from the ashes
Product stories

X Mark II calculator - Phoenix from the ashes

“Computing machines are similar to the sorcerers and wizards of fairy tales. They will satisfy your wishes, but they won’t tell you what to wish for.” (Norbert Wiener, US American ...

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Red Dot 21 – Product stories: ideas, models and forms

You will discover what stories are hidden behind the attractive façade of some design products in this section in Red Dot 21 Magazine. Every year, the Red Dot Award receives thousands of superb products from companies around the world. Only a small number manage to convince the design experts of the Red Dot jury.  In the Product stories section, we take a closer look at some of the award-winning products to find out what they look like, why they look like they do, why they were not designed in another way – and what makes them special, in other words, why they stand out from others. Every category has examples of outstanding products – the spectrum ranges from cars and furniture via sports equipment and jewellery to industrial robots and tools. We trace the stories behind these design products. What was the original concept behind them? What inspired the designer? We believe that every well-designed product has a story to tell; the story of an idea out of which it grew. This section contains some of the products that we selected to show you.

Sources of inspiration for designers

In the book, “Every product tells a story” by the founder of the Red Dot Award, Professor Dr. Peter Zec, first published by Red Dot Edition in 2014, these product stories are roughly split into three main groups – depending on the designer’s source of inspiration. The first group is entitled “Iconic Models” and comprises examples for which Nature or artefacts fashioned by people served as role models. The second group, “Basic needs & social responsibility” covers products that represent the answer to very specific human needs. And in the third group, called “Materials”, are objects that get their inspiration from materials in the widest sense of the word. This encompasses not only new materials, but also new technologies and new process and production methods.

Once you have read some of these product stories, your view on design products may change, because you will have developed a sense for why a product looks like it does. We hope you will be inspired by reading these stories and get an exciting insight into the world of design.