Chief Designer Paul Flowers and his team win most important red dot accolade
The “red dot: design team of the year” title is a unique accolade and one of the most coveted awards in the global design community. Designers and companies cannot submit entries for this award but have to attract the jurors’ attention through consistently excellent product design and far-sighted company policies. This is the only way to stand a chance of being singled out for this once-in-a-lifetime honour. This year, the GROHE design team headed by Paul Flowers has been named “red dot: design team of the year 2011”, thereby joining an elite circle of such renowned award winners as Bose, BMW, adidas, Apple, Sony and Audi.
“In times of ongoing globalisation, companies find themselves in phases where they are challenged by external conditions to prove their worth,” explains Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, the initiator and CEO of the red dot design award. “Then there are phases when companies prove their worth by coming up with innovative solutions which nobody – not even industry insiders – expected. In its eventful company history, GROHE has experienced both types of phases, but the company’s design efforts in the past five years have put it in a completely new position of strength vis-à-vis its competitors. Design is a value driver and a top management issue at GROHE.”
Strength in design is conducive to brand strength
Apart from quality, technology and sustainability, design is a fundamental pillar of product philosophy at GROHE, Europe’s largest manufacturer of sanitary fittings and a global leader in this industry. Says CEO David J. Haines: “Recent years, in particular, have seen our company build on its design excellence, leading to a sustained increase in the value of the GROHE brand.” GROHE today offers a collection of highly aesthetic products and pioneering innovations which continue to point the way forward for the bathroom and sanitary industry.
The “red dot institute for advanced design studies” has closely followed the progress achieved by the company in its evolution from a mere technology leader to a design leader. This success is measured not least in the numerous international design awards garnered by GROHE. The most notable successes include a series of four “red dot: best of the best” awards, the latest of which has been bestowed on the company for its Digital Collection this year. Paul Flowers, Senior Vice President Design at Grohe AG, will receive the award on behalf of the Grohe design team along with the “Radius” trophy on the occasion of the red dot gala in Essen on July 4.
Says Paul Flowers: “My team and I believe that being named ‘red dot: design team of the year’ is the design industry’s equivalent of winning an Oscar. Winning this award means that we have successfully implemented our new company vision. We set out to create experiences which go beyond the product as such. Quality, technology and sustainability are fundamental pillars, which are genuinely acknowledged by consumers. However, our ambition was to take this relationship to a higher level by converting their acknowledgement into a feeling of love for our products. Through our designs we have been able to achieve this.”
From the Design Studio to the Boardroom
The in-house GROHE Design Studio is part of the company’s Corporate Center in Düsseldorf and reports directly to David J. Haines, the CEO of Grohe AG. This position in the corporate hierarchy affords the creative team considerable freedom to innovate and experiment with new ideas. Apart from designing products to be marketed globally, the 17 team members also draw on their diverse cultural backgrounds when creating designs targeting specific geographic markets. Wherever a product is marketed around the globe, it will always project the distinctive GROHE identity, given that all products are based on the elements of the GROHE Design DNA – the lozenge, the ring and the 7-degree angle. As a result, the products, the packaging and even the look and feel of the website unmistakeably say: GROHE.