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“Making the everyday extraordinary”: Fiskars Design Team led by Petteri Masalin is Red Dot: Design Team of the Year 2020


This year’s “Red Dot: Design Team of the Year” title of honour goes to the Fiskars Design Team led by Petteri Masalin. Making the everyday extraordinary – with this goal in mind, the Creative Design Lead and his crew create premium-quality products for garden, cooking and crafting enthusiasts. With groundbreaking innovations, a natural approach, unparalleled functionality, ergonomics and the right balance between complexity and simplicity, the designers won over the jury for the Red Dot Award: Product Design a number of times.

Outstanding design quality

Fiskars’ pioneering design achievements are attributable to two factors. Firstly, the products’ language of form is heavily influenced by Nordic nature and the related quality of life as well as by sustainability. Secondly, the Finnish company’s endless innovative power has earned it an enthusiastic following. The combination of these two aspects makes Fiskars products that initially appear rather inconspicuous hugely enriching for our everyday lives. Petteri Masalin and the Fiskars Design Team are being awarded the honorary title, which cannot be applied for, for their consistent design performance.

Congratulations from Red Dot CEO Peter Zec

“It was 30 years ago that Fiskars won its first distinction in the Red Dot Award: Product Design. Ever since, the company’s products have been winning over not just our jury but also myself. The design team’s creations are characterised by their ergonomic and user-friendly nature. The technological innovations and groundbreaking combinations of materials together with the understated matter-of-factness make these products really quite special. I want to congratulate the title winners very sincerely on this extraordinary design achievement,” said Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of the Red Dot Award.

Petteri Masalin on the honorary title

“Our team is extremely proud to receive this title of honour which celebrates our tradition of nurturing good design. Ever since Fiskars was founded, we have stayed true to our strong heritage and DNA while being bold and innovative. To us, it’s always about staying curious about the world while being loyal to our roots,” says Petteri Masalin, Creative Design Lead at Fiskars, when asked about the award and his design philosophy.

Fiskars marries tradition and innovation

Established in 1649 as an ironworks in a small Finnish village of the same name, Fiskars has grown to become a leading global supplier of consumer products. In 1967, the company launched the first pair of universal scissors on the market. The combination of plastic and metal created light, precision scissors with an ergonomic plastic handle in bright orange. The product was designed by Olof Bäckström and quickly became a hallmark of the Fiskars brand.

Nowadays, the company produces all kinds of scissors – for work in the kitchen or for crafting. The range furthermore includes garden appliances, frying pans, kitchen knives, axes and watering systems. When Petteri Masalin joined Fiskars as Vice President R&D Garden in 2010, he and his team were faced with the challenge of preserving the unmistakeable design heritage of 370 years while creating state-of-the-art products. The string of awards in the Red Dot Award: Product Design that followed are proof that he was successful in this endeavour.

The top quality of the products is due among other things to the fact that the Fiskars development process is rigorously human-centred. For example, the design team receives regular assistance from gardeners and chefs that explain the product requirements and functionality. Sophisticated tests guarantee durability over time. For instance, teams test the impact of falls from different angles as well as the effect of sun exposure or extreme use.

Although the development process is characterised by increasing complexity, Fiskars understands like no other company how to make products that can be used intuitively. “It’s really difficult to design this simplicity, because on the one hand you have to understand what you are designing and on the other hand you have to know when to stop, so that the new product isn’t overloaded with details.” This is how Petteri Masalin explains the process.

Presentation of the accomplishments of the design team

The laureates of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020 will be duly celebrated through Red Dot’s social media channels during the Red Dot Design Week from 22 to 26 June 2020. On the second day, 23 June, the spotlight will be on Fiskars and on the outstanding performance of the design team. Followers can look forward to exciting articles and entertaining expert discussions.

In the same week, a special exhibition designed by Fiskars will open in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen. Visitors to the museum can discover the work of the design team since the 1950s from 23 June. The exhibition will be on show alongside the presentations “Milestones in Contemporary Design 2020” and “Design on Stage 2020”, which show all of this year’s winning products.

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