The Hilti design team is the “red dot: design team of the year 2010”

red dot award: product design 2010 –

Design team of the year goes to Hilti

Design put to the ultimate test: Whether the product design of a new Hilti device satisfies requirements only becomes apparent at the building site. The task is to convince clients who do not necessarily have a reputation of having a particular affinity towards design. Nevertheless the Liechtenstein company time and again manages to drill its way into the hearts of building professionals with its products’ perfect unity of function and design. This is a great achievement, which has now been rewarded with the highest honorary award in the world of design: the Hilti design team is the “red dot: design team of the year 2010”. With this title the red dot design award has in the past honoured the teams of Apple, Audi, Bose, BMW, Sony, Nokia, and adidas, among others, for continuously innovative design achievements. The honouring of the Hilti design team will take place at the awards presentation of the red dot award: product design in the Essen Opera House, the Aalto Theatre, on 5 July 2010.

“Seven seconds – that’s how long it takes professional tradespeople to make an initial judgement when using a new device,” explains Stephan Niehaus, chief-designer of the Hilti Corporation. That is seven seconds to instantly get a client enthusiastic about a new product. “We do everything possible to literally make the quality, performance, and reliability of our devices tangible. The aim is that customers perceive the passion that is in our machines and tools with different senses.” Today, design is the means of choice to express this added value without words. 

Stephan Niehaus, Hilti-Chefdesigner

When Stephan Niehaus joins Hilti as chief-designer in 2003, product design is still strongly driven by technology. At this point solely the engineers and project managers determine the design of products. Niehaus starts working on a holistically oriented Hilti design line and defines processes that allow its implementation. He combines technical knowledge with design to emotionalise the brand. The goal is to create complete solutions with added value for the customer. In contrast to its competitors, Stephan Niehaus and his design team have thus managed to emotionalise products so that they not only inspire new customers, but also appeal to traditional buyers.

“Hilti design is so good because it promises exactly what the device ultimately delivers. Thus Hilti has managed with its excellent products to establish high design strength as well as continuity, while at the same time keeping a perfect balance between the differentiation from the competition and the establishment and strengthening of its own identity,” said Professor Dr. Peter Zec, initiator of the red dot design award and Senator of the international umbrella organisation of design, Icsid, explaining the selection of the design team of the year.

“We are delighted that our consistent, clear and expressive design language has also been recognised by an external expert jury. Receiving the title ‘red dot: design team of the year’ is a great honour and appreciation for everyone involved in the design of our products,” said Bo Risberg, Hilti CEO



The gala ceremony: awards presentation on 5 July 2010, 6:00 pm
On 5 July 2010 the Hilti design team with Stephan Niehaus will come to Essen to receive the “Stylus” touring cup as a symbol of the “red dot: design team of the year” award. The laudatory speech about the work of Stephan Niehaus and his team will be held by Audi chief-designer Stefan Sielaff. The festive setting will be provided by the awards presentation of the red dot award: product design 2010 in the Essen Opera House, the Aalto Theatre, with more than 1,200 guests from design, business, media, politics, and culture. At the ensuing Designers’ Night in the red dot design museum award-winners and guests will celebrate together into the small hours.

The special exhibition in the red dot design museum
Under the title “Hilti. Designed for Use” the design team of the year will present itself to the public with their own exhibition from 6 July to 1 August 2010 at the red dot design museum on the premises of the ‘Zeche Zollverein’ World Cultural Heritage site.

Simultaneously all award-winning products of the “red dot award: product design” competition will be presented in the special exhibition “Design on stage – winners red dot award: product design 2010”.