In the last ten years, former industrial conglomerate Philips has reinvented itself as a leading health technology company. To achieve that sea-change, the company made design and technology part of its corporate strategy. Another formative influence was the effect chief experience design officer Sean Carney had on the fundamental understanding of design.
This successful design-led transformation has earned the Philips Experience Design Team, under the leadership of Sean Carney, the honorary title “Red Dot: Design Team of the Year 2022”.
Conferral during the Red Dot Gala on 20 June 2022
After an enforced break of two years, the Red Dot Gala could once again be celebrated on the usual scale at the Essen opera house, the Aalto Theatre. Professor Dr Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot, hosted the evening event and ceremoniously presented the winners of the “Red Dot: Best of the Best” award with their trophies.
The conferral of the Red Dot: Design Team of the Year 2022 took place afterwards and was the culmination of the award ceremony. In front of more than a thousand international guests, Roland Heiler, managing director of last year’s winner “Studio F. A. Porsche” passed on the “Radius” challenge cup to Sean Carney, who celebrated his success with around 40 team members on the stage of the Aalto Theatre before going on to the after-show party in the Red Dot Design Museum.
This is also where the special exhibition, expressly designed by Philips, was opened. It provides an insight into the mindset and operating method of the Philips Experience Design Team and thus allows visitors to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the extraordinary company.
A successful design-led transformation
The design team surrounding Sean Carney includes more than 700 designers. Spread across 13 studios in USA, Europe and Asia, they cover a wide range of design disciplines from user experience design and design strategy & insight to product design, brand & communication design, business leadership and DesignOps. “Whereas design was in the past limited to graphic design, for instance, we now distinguish between more than 30 different specific design tasks such as the visualisation of data or trend analysis,” Sean Carney explains when describing the transformation of his team and of design in general. To spell out what he and his team do today, the design team changed its name to Philips Experience Design Team two years ago.
Congratulations on the honorary title from Red Dot CEO Professor Dr Peter Zec
“With his design team, Sean Carney achieves what many others hope for but rarely accomplish: designing devices, one should even say holistic solutions that require the interplay of technology and design to make a positive and lasting difference to the company’s progress and the transformation of the healthcare system,” Professor Dr Peter Zec said about the work of the design team. “Driven by global challenges such as an ageing population, the risk of pandemics, the increasing number of chronic diseases and rising healthcare costs, designers are, under complex conditions, familiarising themselves with the problem areas in which their products and digital systems will later be used and deliver innovative solutions. For years, the multidisciplinary Philips Experience Design Team has proved that it is leading the field in healthcare technology. The award of the ‘Red Dot: Design Team of the Year 2022’ is deserved recognition of their work,” Zec concluded.
Red Dot: Design Team of the Year – honorary title for a sustainable design policy
Being awarded the Red Dot: Design Team of the Year is a particular honour. No designer or company can apply for it. It is an individual award that stands out from all the other awards and is the highest recognition of a sustainable design policy. Every year since 1988, one team that sets itself apart by virtue of its continuous innovative design achievements has received an award as part of the Red Dot Award: Product Design.
Last year, Studio F. A. Porsche was able to bag the title. The design studio at Zell am See in Austria followed in the footsteps of Fiskars Design Team led by Petteri Masalin, Flavio Manzoni & Ferrari Design Team, Phoenix Design Team and the Canyon Design Team, amongst others.