Phoenix Design

Best of the Best. Red Dot Award 2016 for Phoenix Design.

It is the first Red Dot Award Best of the Best award in the air conditioning industry since 1997 in China. Midea Group, market leader for air conditioners in China, commissioned Phoenix Design with designing a Hybrid air conditioner. The result: The highest among the Red Dot Awards was handed over at the winners’ ceremony in Essen, Germany.

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  • Red Dot Award Best of the Best 2016 award winning ceremony - Essen/Germany

    Red Dot Award Best of the Best 2016 award winning ceremony - Essen/Germany

    Phoenix “on stage”: Red Dot Award Best of the Best 2016 award winning ceremony. From left to right: Prof. Dr. Peter Zec; Yifan Zhang, Designer, Phoenix Design; Andreas Diefenbach, Design Business Manager, Phoenix Design; Sanxin Li (Midea); Xiangwei Qiu (Midea); Tom Schönherr, Managing Partner, Phoenix Design; Alexander Neumeister, Jury Red Dot Award.

  • Red Dot Award Best of the Best 2016 award winning ceremony, Essen/Germany

    Red Dot Award Best of the Best 2016 award winning ceremony, Essen/Germany

    The lucky winner Red Dot Award 2016_Best of the Best. From left to right: Tom Schönherr, Managing Partner, Phoenix Design; Xiangwei Qiu (Midea), Yifan Zhang, Designer, Phoenix Design; Sanxin Li (Midea); Andreas Diefenbach, Design Business Manager, Phoenix Design.

  • Hybrid air conditioning_front view_Phoenix Design / Midea Group

    Hybrid air conditioning_front view_Phoenix Design / Midea Group

  • Making of_model construction_ Hybrid air conditioning_Phoenix Design / Midea Group

    Making of_model construction_ Hybrid air conditioning_Phoenix Design / Midea Group

  • Making of_model construction_ material_Hybrid air conditioning_Phoenix Design / Midea Group

    Making of_model construction_ material_Hybrid air conditioning_Phoenix Design / Midea Group

  • Making of_model construction_ color_Hybrid air conditioning_Phoenix Design / Midea Group

    Making of_model construction_ color_Hybrid air conditioning_Phoenix Design / Midea Group

  • Tom Schönherr (*1954), Founder and Managing Partner, Phoenix Design, Stuttgart/Munich/Shanghai

    Tom Schönherr (*1954), Founder and Managing Partner, Phoenix Design, Stuttgart/Munich/Shanghai

    In 1987, he founded the design studio Phoenix Design in Stuttgart, together with Andreas Haug. Tom Schönherr’s career is linked most closely to the rise of modern German design. After completing his design studies at the “Akademie der Bildenden Künste” (Academy of the Fine Arts) in Stuttgart, Tom Schönherr was Senior Designer with frogdesign, where he met Andreas Haug. Phoenix Design, founded in the late 1980’s, has developed to become one of the top addresses worldwide for product and interaction design. “Today, more than ever before, design means ‘designing interaction’. Putting the user in the centre of interest is particularly important wherever classic product design and digital design merge. For clients and users, this means: solutions developed by Phoenix Design are getting ever smarter, more intuitive and more intelligent – while at the same time incorporating nearly 30 years of Phoenix Design DNA.” Tom Schönherr and Andreas Haug have already received the Lucky Strike Designer Award as well as the German Design Award Personality for their overall achievements. For many years now, Phoenix Design has maintained the top rank at the iF ranking creative “design office” category and is regarded as the leading independent design studio for product and interface design worldwide. Today, Phoenix Design has 60 employees working at their locations in Stuttgart, Munich and Shanghai. Phoenix Design has already received more than 700 international design awards. Brand companies like Axor, Duravit, Gira, Hansgrohe, Hewi, Huawei, Interstuhl, Lamy, LG, Loewe, Samsung, Trumpf, Viessmann, Vorwerk and Zeiss are among the long-standing clients.

In close co-operation of Midea Group and Phoenix Design, the Hybrid air conditioner was developed and designed. The panel of jurors at the Red Dot Award 2016 were both enthusiastic and impressed. Red Dot Award: Best of the Best is being awarded for ground-breaking design; it is the most prestigious among the Red Dot Awards: Product Design. From more than 5,200 submissions in 2016, a mere 79 products were able to receive the coveted quality seal. Statement by the jury: “The Hybrid Air Conditioner brings a fresh breeze into an otherwise rather tradition-defined area. It fascinates with its smooth and soft appearance that blends well into almost any interior. It impresses with technical details, among them an outstandingly innovative self-cleaning function. The organic and functional design of this air conditioner pushes the boundaries of traditional design in many respects.”

Two in One: Air conditioners are essential in many parts of the world in order to create a temperature that human beings find tolerable. But this is not synonymous with good air quality. However, in smog-infested mega-cities, this is as much of an issue as is heat. The air conditioner by Midea Group takes a new route. Thanks to the hybrid technology, both aims are realised, and in one and the same unit at that. The unit’s self-cleaning function with UV light and integrated brushes is visualised by the “light signet” – a real added value. Phoenix Design pays attention to realise a reduced and clear language of forms which optimally adapts to modern lifestyle scenarios. User-centred design serves as the focal point in the overall concept.

Phoenix Design was able to receive a further 6 Red Dot Awards 2016 for the design of Hansgrohe basin mixers, shower heads and shower controls as well as for Schiedel stove systems.

Statement: Tom Schönherr, founder, Managing Partner, Phoenix Design.

What was your aim in designing your award-winning product? The concept of the Hybrid climate control unit is unique in that it combines room temperature and air quality in one device. Although the unit itself is “high tech”, we have consciously decided on a language of forms that can be better integrated into a living environment. The climate control unit comes across as harmonious and very lightweight, also thanks to the formal separation and its two colours. Via the visual interface, the product corresponds with the user, and a symbolised swiping motion indicates the cleaning mode.

Which challenges are you facing in your work? The requirements we’re facing today as a design studio have become significantly more complex and more global, and they have to adapt to ever shorter development cycles. For this, you need a well-rehearsed interdisciplinary team of specialists who are capable of representing all the steps along the Customer Journey chain in order to be able to design a conclusive concept of physical product and digital interface.

How do you define quality / design quality? Good design must be convincing in a holistic way, it has to take into account its responsibility towards society, and it has to deliver a substantial user benefit to the people for whom it was designed, appeal to them and touch them. That’s why our credo is: Design with “Logic, Morals and Magic”.

Which, according to you, are currently the biggest challenges in your industry? The ever more complex challenges in the interplay of corporate strategy and brand strategy, all the way to ever more subtle user perspectives, call for ever more competent and agile teams, which leads to different structures within the design studio. Our tasks get increasingly strategic and multi-layered, the expectations get bigger, the innovation processes get shorter.

What does winning a Red Dot: Best of the Best award mean to you? The Red Dot enjoys maximum reputation – all over the world! That’s why this year, more than 5.200 products were submitted. To receive one of the very few “Best of the Best” design awards from an international jury of design experts is a quite outstandingly special honour for the entire Phoenix Design team, and we have been overjoyed. And the same holds true for Midea: It is the first “Best of the Best” award in the industry since 1997. This is first and foremost a sign of the good co-operation between Phoenix Design and the industry market leader in China, Midea.