Red Dot Design Museum
by Faizah Zakaria
The Red Dot Design Museum is located at 11 Marina Boulevard.1 It is the second Red Dot Design Museum in the world. Established in November 2005, the museum showcases innovative product design and hosts events and exhibitions. It was the anchor tenant in the former headquarters of the Singapore Traffic Police, a conserved colonial-era building. The museum moved to Marina Bay in 2017.2
The concept of Red Dot originated in Design Zentrum, a renowned design institution in Essen, Germany.3 Since 1955, the institution has been holding product design competitions open to individual designers, companies, design institutes and research centres.4 The aim of the Red Dot Award is to give professional recognition to products with designs that have real market value. As a result, the award is internationally recognised as a stamp of quality.5 There are two award categories: Red Dot for products with high design quality, and Red Dot: Best of the Best for products of exceptional design quality.6
The Red Dot Award has become one of the most prestigious accolades in industrial product design. Founded in 1954, the competition – named Red Dot Award: Product Design – appraises the best products of the year from all over the world. Honoring a select group of products out of the thousands entered each year, winners are chosen by an international jury who seeks to find products that significantly stand out with their exceptional design.7 In 1993, the Red Dot Award: Communication Design competition was also launched to recognise achievements in corporate design, interactive media and advertising.8
Red Dot in Singapore
A new international competition called Red Dot Award: Design Concept was launched in Singapore in March 2005, a few months before the opening of the Red Dot Design Museum on Maxwell Road.9 It is the only international design competition that accepts all ideas and prototypes from all levels in the design industry. The highest award for the best design concept is called Red Dot: Luminary, and the awards are given out in a ceremony held at the museum. The Red Dot award ceremony was traditionally held in the opera house Aalto-Theater in Essen, Germany.10
The inaugural Red Dot Award: Design Concept competition in 2005 received 478 entries, which then increased to 884 in 2007.11 Since its launch, individual designers and companies from Singapore have been among the winners. Some examples of winning designs by Singaporeans include a portable media player by Creative Technology,12 a modified walker for children with cerebral palsy,13 as well as the world’s first spectacle frame made of plastic recycled materials.14
Red Dot Design Museum
Products that won the Red Dot Award are showcased in the Red Dot Design museums. Like its parent in Germany, the Red Dot Design Museum in Singapore showcases products and brands that have achieved the highest standards in design.15
The Red Dot Design Museum can also be reserved for private events. For example, in 2007, fashion designer Salvatore Ferragamo presented his spring/summer collection of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear designs at the museum for the first time in Asia.16
The marque Ferrari also invited more than 500 guests to a gala brunch at the museum in 2009 to view the new Ferrari California convertible.17 In addition, the Market of Artists And Designers (MAAD) is held at the museum on one Friday night per month.18 MAAD operates as a space for entrepreneurship and creative design, with contributors selling the works of local artists, designers and craft makers.19
Faizah bte Zakaria
1. Red Dot Design Museum Singapore. (n.d.). Visit us. Retrieved 2017, November 8 from Red Dot Design Museum website: http://www.museum.red-dot.sg/visit-us/
2. Red Dot. (n.d.). Opening of the Red Dot Design Museum Taipei soon. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from reddot website: http://en.red-dot.org/5121.html; Loh, D. (2017, January 6). Maxwell Chambers to expand by taking over Red Dot Traffic Building. Channel NewsAsia; Red Dot Design Museum Singapore to relocate to Marina Bay. (2017, June 20). Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg
3. Red Dot. (2015, March 10). 60 years of design history in Essen: Ruhr Museum and Red Dot Design Museum Essen present first joint exhibition. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from reddot website: http://en.red-dot.org/5464.html
4. DesignWanted. (2017, January 10). Every year, since 1955, they have been awarding excellent product design. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from designwanted website: http://www.designwanted.today/design/product-design-award/
5. Red Dot. (n.d.). Red Dot Award: Product Design. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from reddot website: http://red-dot.de/pd/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Brochure_PD2016_EN.pdf
6. Types of distinctions. (n.d.). Retrieved 2017, January 25 from Red Dot Award: Product Design website: http://red-dot.de/pd/award/awards-2/?lang=en
7. Press release: Logitech breaks company record with nine Red Dot 2016 product design awards. (2016, March 30). Dow Jones Institutional News. Retrieved from Factiva.com via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
8. Red Dot. (2016, Febuary 22). Red Dot Award: Communication Design 2016 – A new year gets under way. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from reddot website: http://en.red-dot.org/5674.html; Red Dot. (n.d.). ‘red dot award: communication design’: Creative events 2013. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from reddot website: http://en.red-dot.org/5031.html
9. Red Dot Award: Design Concept. (2017). About us. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from Red Dot Award: Design Concept website: http://www.red-dot.sg/en/about-us/
10. Red Dot Award: Product Design. Retrieved 2017, August 29 from Red Dot Award: Product Design website: http://red-dot.de/pd/celebration/red-dot-gala/?lang=en
11. Red Dot. (2007, September 7). Tomorrow’s trendsetters: The best design concepts 2007. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from reddot website: http://en.red-dot.org/2389.html; Martin, M. (2007, December 1). Designer style. Today, p. 54. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Creative Technology Ltd. (2010, April 20). Creative wins multiple ‘Red Dot Design Awards’ for outstanding product design innovation and quality for its premium ZiiSound D5 speaker system, Aurvana In-Ear2 earphones and HS-930i headset [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from Creative website: http://www.creative.com/corporate/pressroom/?id=13158; STUCK Design Pte Ltd.
13. Leapfrog. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from STUCK website: http://stuck.sg/leapfrog
14. Nanyang Optical. (2012). Exclusive brand. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from Nanyang Optical website: http://www.nanyang.com.sg/products.html
15. Red Dot Award: Design Concept. (2017). Museum exhibition. Retrieved 2017, January 25 from Red Dot Award: Design Concept website: http://www.red-dot.sg/en/museum-exhibition/
16. Fashion feast. (2007, November 7). Today, p. 10. Retrieved August 29, 2017 from NewspaperSG.
17. Ee, S. (2009, September 28). Seeing red at the Red Dot Museum. The Business Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. MAAD, Market of Artists and Designers, is the largest recurring creative marketplace in Singapore promoting creations, designs, innovations and originality. It is initiated by the museum in 2006. (n.d.). Retrieved 2017, March 10 from reddot design museum Singapore website: http://www.museum.red-dot.sg/maad/
19. Tay, S. C. (2006, July 1). Original works to go MAAD over. The Straits Times, p.14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
Beamish, J., & Ferguson, J. (1985). A history of Singapore architecture: The making of a city. Singapore: G. Brash.
(Call no.: RSING 722.4095957 BEA)
Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen. (2008). Red Dot Design yearbook. Essen, Germany: Red Dot Edition.
(Call no.: Others 745.2 RDDY year 2007\2008)
The information in this article is valid as at 8 November 2017 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
Arts>>Art museums, collections and exhibitions
Arts>>Design>>Product and industrial design
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Historic Buildings
Red Dot Design Museum