The Red Dot Design Museum, located in Essen, Germany, is a museum that focuses on presenting works created within the most current trends in international design. Each year a jury of world renowned experts in design work together to create the concepts for exhibitions that are viewed by about 150,000 visitors per year. The objects within have all received the seal of approval known as the Red Dot Award, meant to indicate their adherence to high standards of excellence and their creative contribution.
Hearing Aids by Phonak
Until October 30th, the special exhibit “Making a Difference / A Difference in Making” will highlight the unique contributions that 3D printing has made to the design world. The exhibit was created by Marta Malé-Alemany and produced byMaterialise.
The exhibit has been traveling since 2015 when it debuted at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels in honor of Materialise’s 25th anniversary. It was immediately met with critical acclaim both from specialists and by the general public. Its invitation to the Red Dot Museum marks the importance both of the exhibit and the technology it serves to showcase. Marcus Joppe, Managing Director of Materialise in Germany, described the importance of this connection:
“The Red Dot Design Museum displays the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design and is a reference for industrial designers. Therefore, it is the perfect place to host an exhibition that explores the technical and creative potential of 3D printing technology. We want to show visitors the pieces created by designers and technical experts that have challenged the use of materials and boundaries in 3D printing and how often these challenging ideas have been transferred to successful industrial applications.”
098XYZ Shoe by Earl Stewart
The exhibit itself is divided into two sections, following the division of the name. The Difference in Making portion consists of works that push the boundaries of techniques and materials allowed by 3D printing technology. Works included are from such well known 3D print visionaries such as Iris van Herpen andGernot Oberfell. The second portion of the exhibit is itself further divided into three categories: Environment, Individual, and Society. Within these categories are objects that showcase the ways in which 3D printing is making a tangible difference in the world through objects such as medical implants and household appliances.
Escapism Dress by Iris van Herpen in collaboration with Daniel Widrig
The curator of the exhibit is no outsider when it comes to 3D printing. Marta Malé-Alemany holds a doctorate in architecture and is internationally recognized for her work regarding the relationships between design and advanced manufacturing technologies. The exhibit clearly reflects the culmination of her 17 years of experience and critical expertise.
It’s not just Materialise that’s excited about this collaboration. The founder and CEO of the Red Dot Museum, Professor Peter Zec, explained how 3D printing is changing the face of design around the world:
“3D printing opens up new chances and possibilities to design products. More and more laypeople are discovering this too, and are producing objects at home in their own mini factory. But in order to fully exploit the potential of additive manufacturing for the mass market, it needs professional designers who posses the necessary expert knowledge. I am glad that Materialise is showing, in this exciting exhibition at the Red Dot Design Museum Essen, how 3D printing is successfully being applied, and is thereby informing a broad audience about the influence of this technique on people, the society, and environment.”