It’s been raining awards again this year for Groningen design studio 212 Fahrenheit. With ‘BLOCBIRDS’ and 'All Eyes On You', Paul Mulder and Albert Buring won several prestigious Red Dot Design Awards, including the Best of the Best and the Grand Prix.
The Red Dot Design Award dates back to 1955 and receives about 11.000 submissions from 58 countries every year. Its distinction, the “Red Dot”, is established internationally as one of the most sought-after quality marks for good design. “Taking pride in your own work is enough, really”, Paul Mulder says, smiling. “But yes, this is so incredibly awesome! Winning the Grand Prix in Berlin last weekend was something we couldn’t even dream about. We’re just two dudes from Groningen and suddenly you’re sharing the stage with some of the biggest names and brands in the industry.”
The BLOCBIRDS exhibition is an homage to the rich bird life in Europe, with the thesis that we do not pay enough attention to it. Depicting these birds in an unusual manner, the exhibition challenges the visitors’ perception. In a development lasting one and a half years, 25 colourful squares, each visualising a different bird, were generated from 25 realistic bird models.
“Last year, we decided to focus more on a crossover between art and design and BLOCBIRDS is our first real autonomous project”, Paul explains. “We’ve been working on it alongside a few other projects and it’s amazing to get professional recognition for your own work too. The level of quality of the submissions for an award like this is really high and you’re competing with big names like Philips, Ikea and Mercedes.”
Dutch Design Week and Berlin
BLOCBIRDS are currently being sold all over the world and 10% of the proceeds go to the Dutch Society for the Protection of Birds. Studio 212 Fahrenheit was also selected for an exhibition during the Dutch Design Week, the largest annual design event in Northern Europe. “That was really cool too”, Paul says. “You meet loads of interesting people and, even though it’s hectic and you’re there for 10 hours a day, it’s a really energizing experience.”
Last weekend, at the official award gala in Berlin, Paul and Albert we’re one of the seven recipients of the Grand Prix, the highest distinction of the competition. “We were already super proud to get the Best of the Best Award and winning in two other categories, so we never expected to win this one too.”
All Eyes on You and more awards
“All eyes on you”, their other project awarded with a Red Dot, was developed for the province of Groningen, as a way to address the high number of major accidents occurring there. Designed as a golden camera pole with twenty fake cameras, this installation at the intersection of art and design intends to contribute to a change in behaviour among road users. Each camera has an eye that, based on a lenticular technique, “follows” the road users as they pass.
Aside from raking in Red Dots, Studio 212 Fahrenheit was nominated for a quite a few other awards this year. To name a few: Finalist European Design Award, Winner Honorable Mention DNA Paris Design Awards and Winner European Product Design Award Silver