Focus Open 2013 - Results

The Baden-Württemberg International Design Award

The Competition

“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
Kitchen, household
Tableware and kitchenware
Home interiors
Contract interiors
Ambience, lifestyle
Communication, audio/video, optical equipment
Leisure, outdoor
Children, family
Public design
Transport, traffic
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.

Production, assembly, logistics

B F10
Radio control for forestry work

Telenot Electronic GmbH
D- 73434 Aalen

Creare.Form Andreas Utz
D-73565 Spraitbach

Telenot Electronic GmbH
D-73434 Aalen

A small device for controlling big machinery: with the compact »F∂0« radio transmitter, the forest labourer can move trunks without having to sit on the vehicle himself – that means more safety and faster reaction times. The transmitter can be ergonomically positioned on the stomach by means of a belt and, thanks to a domed surface that increases the distance between the toggle switches, is still easy to operate even if the user is wearing gloves. The front and back of the casing extend beyond the top of the switch panel – an easy way to prevent accidental operation. The emergency stop button is positioned on the side, as is the compartment for the standard rechargeable batteries.
The waterproof and dustproof casing is made of a particularly sturdy, glass fibre reinforced polyamide and can even withstand being inadvertently run over by a forestry vehicle. Thanks to its self-explanatory design, the device provides support not just for professional forestry workers but for occasional users too.

The control unit is an excellent example of intelligent industrial design. Outwardly serene, the robust and easy-to-use concept presents itself as a professional tool that takes account of the special conditions it has to operate in. It makes the user’s hard work in the forest easier and safer.

Children, family

Ongo Kit
Children’s stool

Ongo GmbH
D-70193 Stuttgart

ipdd GmbH & Co. KG
D-70173 Stuttgart

Ongo GmbH
D-70193 Stuttgart

We all know that children find it difficult to sit still – just as we know that today’s youngsters spend far too much time sitting and poor posture is on the rise as a result. This children’s stool by the name of »Ongo Kit« aims to provide a remedy: like its big brother the »Ongo Classic«, it offers the user an easy and playful way to move and keep his back relaxed while sitting.
The domed base of the stool means the user has to perform a constant balancing act, thus continuously activating not just important muscle groups but his powers of concentration as well. There is no backrest; again, this calls for balance and coordination on the part of the user, whilst the well-padded seat provides the necessary support. The ball in the groove that encircles the base blurs boundaries: is the product actually a seat or a piece of play equipment?
Two additional elements can be used to increase the stool’s initial height of 30 centimetres up to a maximum of 46 centimetres. The easy-clean materials are non-toxic and extremely hard-wearing.

The seat grows with the child, promoting dynamic sitting and adding an important play factor in the form of a rolling ball. The sturdy plastic design of the hard-wearing stool features a combination of shiny and matt surfaces that gives it a thoroughly upmarket look.


Porsche Pavillon
Exhibition concept

Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG
D-70435 Stuttgart

Autostadt GmbH
D-38440 Wolfsburg

jangled nerves GmbH
D-70376 Stuttgart

h.g. merz architekten museumsgestalter
D-70190 Stuttgart

With this sculptural brand pavilion in exposed concrete, the youngest of the VW Group’s subsidiaries now has a presence in the Autostadt theme park in Wolfsburg too. The dynamism of the architecture continues into the interior and is echoed in the exhibition concept. The key element in the black space is a bright, elliptically curved ramp that swings into the interior and serves as a timeline. Starting with the original Porsche from 1948, it is lined with 25 glittering silver vehicles, models that have been specially made for the exhibition and reduced to their characteristic lines on a scale of ∂:3. At the point where the ramp becomes horizontal, the current models are presented in the form of originals.
Film projections and sound recordings add the finishing touches to the conceptual approach of creating an immersive spatial experience. Tablet computers can be used to access in-depth information about the Porsche brand.

The exhibition concept succeeds in staging the Porsche brand identity in a very compelling way. The central time ramp links the interior with the expressive architecture and serves as a dynamic stage for the Porsche myth, turning the visitor’s journey into the Porsche world into an impressive and emotional experience.

Public design

Waffen für die Götter
Exhibition concept

Tiroler Landesmuseum
A-6020 Innsbruck

Büro Münzing
3d kommunikation
designer architekten bda
D-70178 Stuttgart

Until the end of March 2013, the special archaeological exhibition by the TyroleanStateMuseum presented more than 800 weapons that were once sacrificed to diverse deities. Designed to span various epochs, the exhibition provided some authentic insights into the consecration rituals of the Stone, Bronze, Iron and Roman Ages.
The total space of approx. 1000 square metres encompassed two floors – similarly to the way they occur in the strata of the soil, the oldest exhibits were housed on the ground floor. Continuous white, illuminated recesses were integrated into the completely black, room-high walls for displaying the objects – the impression was rather like peering into deep layers of earth. The younger finds were shown on the upper level, assembled on big, seemingly floating platforms that drew an analogy with excavation sites. Designed entirely in white, the upper storey had a totally different look and feel to the floor below, whereas the objective, almost stark way the artefacts were displayed brought the two levels together.

Without a hint of agitation, the exhibition casts the sometimes magnificently ornamented objects in the leading role. Strictly monochrome and reduced to extremely understated forms, the architecture exercises rigorous restraint and thus enhances the impact of the sacrificial offerings.

Transport, traffic

Business Class Sitz
Long-haul aircraft seat

B/E Aerospace
County Down, Northern Ireland
BT34 4NG

Pearson Lloyd
London N1 6ND UK

Since mid 2012, Lufthansa has been equipping the Business Class cabin of its long-range fleet with new seats. The basic concept hinges on combining two places to form a single unit, the seats and beds of which are arranged in a V-shaped layout. This configuration makes the seats more compact, the cabin seems more spacious and it is easier to move around in the aisle. The passengers benefit from more privacy and can convert their seat into a totally flat bed. In addition, there is plenty of storage space on the back of the seats and in the central console, which also serves to separate the two seats and contains the bi-fold table. On the side facing the passenger, the rear shell of the seat ensemble is covered with soft, synthetic leather that brings a warm brown to Lufthansa cabins for the first time, thus creating a cosier atmosphere. All the materials are designed for durability, as are details such as the protective silver moulding facing the aisle.Because both the angle and functionality are variable, the seat is suitable for different types of aircraft, thus helping the airline achieve a more consistent visual identity.

The new seat layout means the valuable cabin space can be made better use of. The seats use a clear design vocabulary, are visually calm, rich in detail and highly functional. Compared with other seats from this class, which are often far more voluminous, this model exhibits impressive objectivity and an economic use of materials – whilst still exuding a cosy appeal.
Focus Open 2013

Special Mention

Special Mention - results