For the 2007 competition, a total of 2292 products were submitted to the international iF Product Design Award. The Train® active bandages by Bauerfeind were among the 754 products awarded by an international team of experts for their extraordinary design. The official awards ceremony was held on the first day of the CEBIT on the Hanover fair grounds.
Product design has reached an unbelievably high level, noted Ralph Wiegmann, CEO of iF International Forum Design GmbH and spokesman of the conference of the German design centres, at the opening of the ceremony. For that reason, it is more difficult than ever to gain competitive advantages through the design of a product, he added. Martin Topel emphasized that product design needs to be more than styling, saying: “Design needs to communicate the technical competence und support the handling of processes that get more and more complex.” He considered design for design’s sake to be a rare exception.
Chairman of the jury, Fritz Frenkler, commended companies who showed the courage to not degrade design to mere styling, but follow a long-term concept, finding out why something needs to function in a specific way, and turning their discoveries into innovative solutions. He urgently appealed to incorporate the demographic changes of modern society into the design process of products. „If we want to be successful in the future, this will be a necessity“, he stated, emphasizing his credo: “combining things, taking people into consideration while keeping an eye on the environment.”
But there is something else that Frenkel considers a necessity in order to be successful both as a designer and as the company assigning him: “Take the speed out of the development process.” Many people are tired of being confronted with new products all the time. Instead, they are looking for stability, reliability, continuity. This will give product designers the time to perform product testing not on the market – as is often the case – but under laboratory conditions prior to market introduction. “Products need to have the chance to age in a reasonable way for us to get close to them,” he emphasized.
By the way, the new Train® series from Bauerfeind received even two awards. In addition to the iF Product Design Award 2007, it was awarded the iF Materials Award 2007 which underlines the high innovative level of the materials used by Bauerfeind. The jury considered a total of 120 products and selected 18 awards. The award ceremony took place on April 16, 2007. Until April 20, a special iF Materials Award 2007 exhibition was presented as part of the Hanover Fair, the biggest technology fair of the world.