1.) Mr. Riffel, how many competitions do you take part in each year? When did you last enter ancontest?
There are, on average, around three competitions a year. At the start of the year, we entered our new product, the digital information and numbering system “no.e”, into the German Innovation Award 2019. With successful results. For its outstanding innovation performance, “no.e” was crowned as winner in the Excellence in Business to Business – Office Solutions category.
And right now, we’re really looking forward to the results of the Austrian design award Staatspreis Design 2019 – we’ve entered our BLAQ Conference Chair.
2.) What criteria do you use to choose the competitions or calls for entries?
We choose according to their relevance to the market. In other words, their visibility, quality and focus. Good design is about much more than just an exciting, pretty external shell.
It’s about the formulation of its contents, such as usefulness, structure, clever solutions to problems, and – last but not least – it’s about the design’s ability to convey this content in an intelligible and aesthetically pleasing manner. Good design awards are able to clearly express this added value offered by design.
3.) How many prizes have you won so far, and what advantages do you think they represent for your company?
Through the individual companies Hiller Objektmöbel, BRAUN Lockenhaus and rosconi, the design world of SCHNEEWEISS interior encompasses a highly diversified portfolio, all areas of which include award-winning products that have been developed in-house.
That makes us very proud. After all, awards are a kind of seal of approval that you’ve only received because numerous jurors agreed following a critical examination. That’s definitely something you can use to promote your product.
4.) What do you think about the criticism levelled at design awards: there are now too many, they’re too expensive and involve too much effort for smaller companies? Can you relate to these and possibly other criticisms, and what do you think could make awards better, of more value to the furniture industry?
Awarding design prizes is an expensive undertaking that must be commercially viable when it’s not publicly funded. I can imagine that the organisers have to strike a balance between profitability and credibility.
In my opinion, this can only be achieved with the help of clear, open communication. I'd like to see more awards not only aimed at the sector, but also engaging consumers with their content. After all, the term “design” is rarely properly understood there.