18. December 2015 – Two DRÄXLMAIER developers attended at the Red Dot prize awards and personally accepted the award for the DRÄXLMAIER DecoSOUL trim.
It is the first thing you see when you enter the Advance Development office: The certificate from the awards ceremony for the Red Dot Awards has taken a place of honor. In the spring of 2015, DRÄXLMAIER received the renowned design prize for the DecoSOUL trim. Its developers, Rudolf Aichner and Christian Schlemmer, were honored to receive the award personally in Essen, Germany, at the end of June. In this interview, the two explain how it all happened.
You had the idea for the DecoSOUL. How did that come about?
Rudolf Aichner: We were searching for a new kind of surface to contrast with the previously used homogenous and uniform surfaces. Above all, we wanted to have more individualization and to integrate functions such as light, and these were part of the development process as well.
Christian Schlemmer: This resulted in the idea to layer widely different materials such as leather or natural fibers, and to cut this material block vertically with a special cutting unit. The trim resulting from this makes organic structures visible on the surfaces. We quickly tested other material combinations with plastics, metals, wood or fleece. The results showed how flexible DecoSOUL is. Its name says it all: "SOUL" stands for Structured Organic Unlimited Layering.
For what areas can DecoSOUL be used?
Christian Schlemmer: DecoSOUL is unbelievably variable and can therefore be used in many areas of a high-quality vehicle interior. At the same time, the trim is also interesting for the aviation and marine industries. In theory, we could even see DecoSOUL on the runway at a fashion show or as elements of high-quality furniture. There are no limits to the imagination.
What properties were decisive for the jury at the Red Dot Awards to award the prize to DecoSOUL?
Rudolf Aichner: This year, there were 4,928 submissions from 56 countries, just for the Red Dot Award in the category of Product Design. So as you can see, the competition was very great. DecoSOUL was nevertheless able to impress the jury. They positively rated such factors as design quality, aesthetics and functionality, as well as the recognition factor of DecoSOUL. In addition, the trim was impressive with regard to its haptic or touch properties, which emotionally affect the observer.
How did you like the award ceremony?
Christian Schlemmer: The gala event in the Aalto Theater in Essen was very glamorous. You could sense the high esteem in which the international elite holds the Red Dot Award. It was a wonderful feeling to participate in this evening.
Rudolf Aichner: After the gala, the "Designers’ Night" party took place in the Red Dot Museum on the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ambiance of the old mining building fascinated me greatly. The museum is integrated directly into the old production areas there. It was wonderful to experience how well our DecoSOUL show piece was received by the visitors. For many, it was not only an eye-catcher, but they were impressed by the feel of it.
What does this award mean for DRÄXLMAIER?
Rudolf Aichner: As a result of this honor, we have gained notice outside of our industry. This increases the significance of the product and makes it interesting for use in a very wide variety of areas.
Christian Schlemmer: Thanks to the award, we were able once again to present the innovation strength of DRÄXLMAIER. Together with our customers, we can now further develop DecoSOUL. This trim offers us great design freedom as well as many opportunities for functional integration.