Red Dot Design Awards

By Mark Eglington

For the fourth consecutive year, SMEG has taken the Red Dot jury by storm with its innovative and fashionably designed products.

Last year, Red Dot recognized SMEG’s 1950s’-style appliances and the Portofino Collection. With its 2018 submissions, SMEG won again for the Linea oven, the A1-9 freestanding cooker and the Dolce Stil Novo blast chiller (currently only available in Europe).

For more than 70 years, SMEG’s product design team has worked from the company’s home base in Guastalla, Italy, and has stayed true to founder Vittorio Bertazzoni’s vision of combining bold, stylish aesthetics with best-in-class functionality. It’s exciting that the team continues to push the creative envelope with their latest collections.

What’s Red Dot?

The annual Red Dot Design Awards were founded by Professor Dr. Peter Zec. In 1991, Zec took over the helm of Essen’s Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in 1991, which had been hosting a design competition since 1995, and developed Red Dot into an internationally recognized brand.

Today, a Red Dot Award is one of the most sought-after and recognized international quality marks for good design. From fashion and accessories to consumer electronics, vehicles, medical technology and furniture, manufacturers and designers submit their industrial products in 48 categories to earn the much-coveted awards.

The competition is judged by an international jury of independent designers, design experts, professors and specialized journalists. Each juror is asked to commit to a “Code of Honour,” which confirms that they are neither employed by an industrial manufacturing company nor participating in the adjudication of any projects in which they were involved. Every evaluation is carried out directly on the object live and on site. What’s important to note is that submissions do not compete with each other. Rather, each draft receives an extended evaluation based intercultural aspects connected with the winning attributes, and is individually tested, discussed and assessed based on a range of criteria that are constantly adapted to current standards.

The laureates are celebrated at the once-a-year Red Dot Gala Award Ceremony, where the “best of the best” are recognized in grand style. The highest single distinction, “Red Dot: Luminary” goes to the most outstanding concept of the year.

Best products of the year

Winners are invited to exhibit their products at Red Dot museums in Essen, Singapore and Xiamen for visitors to explore. They are also written about by journalists from around the world, and often participate in a number of “on tour” initiatives designed to spread the values, beauty and magic that flow from well-designed products.  

To discover the entire SMEG collection of domestic appliances available in Canada, visit

Mark Eglington is the son of a South African who taught him how to sell the very best European appliances to Canadians. He grew up in Oakville, got his MBA in Australia and, along the way, interned at the Liebherr factory in Germany.

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