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Kiwi company bathes in red and dotty award goodness

It’s one of the most prestigious international product design competitions that honours a broad scope of design categories, including gardens, life science and medicine, households and kitchens, interior design and new to the fold this year, architecture and urban design. And now, fresh from Germany, the winners of the red dot design awards have been selected, with Kiwi company Methven picking up its own red dot for excellence in design in the bathrooms, spa and air-conditioning category. 

The bathroomware specialists, who last year picked up an honourable mention at the awards for its Shower Infusions range, received its latest dot for its Tahi Twin-Lever Tapware range, which reduce the unnecessary use of hot water and in the process generate energy efficiency.

Methven describes the product design in its press release:

“By amalgamating two levers into one platform, Tahi Twin-Lever tapware eff ectively combines economies that can be achieved with individual fl ow control (traditionally provided by two taps) with the convenience and contemporary styling of single-lever mechanisms. Tahi Twin-Lever tapware is ideal for the energy conscious with a desire for visual simplicity. These stunning twin-lever models with their ergonomic design are perfect for bathroom environments where strong architectural designs are required.”

We wanted to have a quick chat with Methven’s head of design Kent Snedden, but as it turns out, he happens to be in Germany where the red dot winners have just been selected, but only by complete coincidence. Snedden is exhibiting Methven products at ISH, a tradefair that showcases innovative bathroom design, energy efficient heating and air-conditioning technology and renewable energies.

But while red dot winners are allowed to divulge their wins to whomever they wish, the official full list of global winners (hopefully including more Kiwi companies—if you are one, be sure to let us know) is yet to be released, but we’ll be sure to update you as soon as it is.

Last year it was multidisciplinary design company Alt Group who stole the show when it comes to Kiwi success, sweeping up seven red dot awards in the communication design category.

Other international winners that we know of so far include the HERAS iGate in the industry and crafts category and the Garia luxury golf car.

Speaking of the importance of good design for business success, initiator and president of the competition, Dr. Peter Zec, says good design cannot be overestimated.

“It is the obvious and appealing design of a product that creates a direct, intuitive connection with the consumer. But design can do much more: It links the user to the product and the brand alike; it creates confidence in quality performances; and in the best of cases, it demonstrates the responsibility of the manufacturer towards his clients, the environment, and all those involved in the production process. Only those who design their products in an exemplary way will be awarded in the red dot design award and can refer to this outstanding distinction with justified pride.” 


From Algeria to the United States, the 2011 awards have seen thousands of high-tech objects and imaginative everyday objects entered from more than 60 nations. For the first time, Nepal and Belarus are among the participants.

The complete 18 product categories for the 2011 awards, scrutinized by a jury of 36 experts are:

  • Living rooms and bedrooms
  • Households and kitchens
  • Tableware
  • Bathrooms, spa and air-conditioning
  • Lighting and lamps
  • Gardens
  • Leisure, outdoor and sport
  • Fashion and accessories
  • Watches and jewellery
  • Interior design
  • Architecture and urban design
  • Offices
  • Industry and crafts
  • Life science and medicine
  • Automobiles, transportation, commercial and water vehicles
  • Entertainment technology and cameras
  • Communications
  • Computers and information technology

The Tahi Twin-Lever Tapware, together with the other prize-winning products across all categories, will be on display from 5 July to 1 August 2011 in the red dot design museum at the world heritage site of the Zeche Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen. With an excess of 1,500 products spread over an area of more than 4,000 m2, the red dot design museum houses the largest permanent exhibition of contemporary design worldwide.