Gavin Cawood and Sebastian Hesselmann of PDR (Cardiff Mets design research centre) have just returned from St Etienne, France having awarded the Winners in this year's Design Management Europe Awards (DME).
Gavin is Chair whilst Sebastian is Technical Officer on the Board of the DME, a voluntary network of 17 design centres across Europe that for eight years has coordinated the only international award that recognises how organisations manage design (rather than their actual product or service). Representatives from the fourteen shortlisted entries gathered along with 200 other delegates from across Europe and the USA to find out who would receive a winner's trophy or Honourable Mention in each of the five categories.
Originally only open to European organisations, for the last two years entries have been encouraged from those outside of Europe with one of this year's joint winners in the Large Company category, Newell-Rubbermaid, not only coming from the USA but raising the bar for Europe by being awarded the highest ever scores since the launch of the DME in 2007 (full finalist listing below). Philip Thompson, Vice-President of Design at Newell Rubbermaid traveled from Michigan to St Etienne to receive their trophy in person.
Alongside multi-national corporations a range of award categories allow entries from all size of organisation and the public/non-profit sectors. UK-based winners in the small company category were Specialist Precast Products who produce precast concrete for architects and engineers. Upon receiving his trophy company Director Martyn Fear outlined how their journey in understanding and managing design has taken them from being a local supplier to being able to produce high value products for clients across the UK and exploring opportunities abroad.
Both Specialist Precast Products and the only other UK finalist Myddfai Trading Company, a social enterprise based in West Wales, had received expert advisory support from PDR through Lynn Elvins, a specialist who works with manufacturers in understanding how they can maximise their return on investment in design through appropriate management.
Entering the DME requires the submission of a poster that summarises each organisations approach to managing design that is then assessed by independent experts. This year's judges were Carole Bilson, President of the Design Management Institute (USA); Les Wynn, Head of the European Experience Design Team at HCL (UK) and Roel Stavorinus, an experienced design management consultant who's clients have included several previous DME Award and a Red Dot winners (Netherlands).
The posters from all of the shortlisted entries are available on the DME website, further adding to the largest collection of design management insight anywhere in the world and a resource that is available free to anyone in both industry and education. Past winners have included Heineken, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Procter & Gamble, LEGO, Schneider Electric and many more
In the Spring of each year the DME invite proposals from potential cities where the award ceremony can be held the following Winter. This year the Cite Du Design in St Etienne; a previous winner of the award in 2013, included the DME Award ceremony as part of the 3rd edition of their 'Design Map' programme. With the theme the "Economic impact of Design" and over 30 exhibitions and workshops, design Map provided the perfect setting for the 8th edition of the DME Award.
The winners of each of the five categories were presented with a trophy that was designed and produced by the design research centre PDR in the UK. As well as highlighting the initials "DME" the precision and finish of the 3-D printed trophy was intended to reflect the attention to detail required in managing design to the level achieved by the finalists.
DME Award 2014/15 Winners and Honorable Mentions:
Newell Rubbermaid (USA) - Winner.
AutoScout24 (Germany) - Winner.
Carrefore (France) - Honourable Mention.
SAP SE (Germany) - Honourable Mention.
Medium sized companies
Imperia AG (Germany) - Winner.
Intra Lighting (Slovenia) - Honourable Mention.
Specialist Precast Products (UK) – Winner
Marset Iluminacion S.A. (Spain) – Winner
PRO Produkcja Sp.z.o.o. (Poland) – Honourable Mention.
Quut (Belgium) – Winner).
Octagon Design S.L. (Spain) – Honourable Mention.
BiomeDesign (Canada) – Honourable Mention.
Myddfai Trading Company (UK) – Winner.
vzw Web (Belgium) – Honourable Mention.