Focus Open 2013 - Results
The Baden-Württemberg International Design Award
“Focus Open”, the Baden Württemberg International Design Award, has been an important part of the competition scene in Germany and abroad for many years now. It is held in high esteem by companies and design agencies and is particularly appreciated for its non-commercial orientation, which enables even the smallest of companies to take part. Every year, companies and design agencies from all over the world submit their most innovative products and concepts and enter the competition for outstanding and forward-looking design.
For the prize-winners and those honoured with distinctions, the “Focus Gold”, “Focus Silver” and “Focus Special Mention” awards constitute an effective tool for strengthening their brand, both in terms of its external impact on the market and within the winning companies and agencies themselves.
Participants and awards
This year’s “Focus Open” jury evaluated approx. 300 entries in a wide range of different categories. The product innovations came from Europe, Asia and theUSA. The jurors selected a total of 68 award-winners from amongst all the entries submitted.The premium “Focus Gold” award for outstanding design went to five products. 32 products were presented with the “Focus Silver” for above-average design achievements. And this year the jury also acknowledged innovative design achievements with the “Focus Special Mention” distinction for the first time, presenting it to 31 entries.
Participants could assign their entries to the following categories:
Production, assembly, logistics
Medicine, rehabilitation, geriatric medicine
Bathrooms, sanitaryware, wellness
Tableware and kitchenware
Communication, audio/video, optical equipment
Design studies for sustainability
Jury and assessment
One special feature of the Focus Open competition is that no pre-selection of the entries is made prior to the judging. Every product submitted was presented to the jury, intensely examined, explained and discussed. In order to ensure a fair evaluation, products whose development the jurors were involved with were excluded from the competition. Almost without exception, the assessment of the entries was conducted on the basis of the original product. The judging process comprised several rounds and, this year too, resulted in some lively discussions.
The jury line-up and its combined experience from a wide range of different disciplines, sectors and product categories helped ensure fair and competent assessments from a variety of very different perspectives.
The entries were evaluated by the following experts in the course of a two-day session:
Anne Farken, DesignworksUSA, DE
Karoline von Häfen, Festo AG & Co.KG, DE
Daniel Huber, Spirit Design − Innovation and Brand GmbH, AT
Markus Schneider, Schnabel, Schneider Industrial Design, DE
Tim Storti, pearl creative, DE
Alex Terzariol, MM Design GmbH, IT
The jurors based their assessment on the following design criteria:
design quality, functionality, innovativeness, ergonomics, interface design, product graphics and/or typography, ecology, sustainability, perceived value, look and feel, emotionality, brand fit.
A valuable distinction for the prize-winners
Thanks to the non-commercial nature of the competition and the inexpensive participation fees, even very smaller and emerging companies can enter their products and compete at international level. The competition pursues the declared aim of highlighting tendencies in design, uncovering innovative solutions and, most importantly of all, promoting and assisting the annual prize-winners in the marketing of their innovations. The benefit for the award-winners is particularly noticeable with regard to their marketing communications: the “Focus Gold”, “Focus Silver” and “Focus Special Mention” labels are a mark of quality and valuable product distinctions within the brand profile. In addition, the festive award ceremony, the exhibition at the MIK – Museum, Information, Art in Ludwigsburg, which lasts several weeks, as well as the extensive online presentation and premium exhibition catalogue that is distributed all over the world are all measures that help generate publicity and awareness.
Being honoured with a design award sends a signal that the submitted work is held in high esteem by select experts. It is a signal that can have a positive impact within big companies too. It represents an important endorsement for all those involved with the development process and can boost both motivation and identification with the company and its products, as well as reinforcing confidence in the collaboration between designers and companies.