Brand new design award challenges design students

Today, the VELUX Group launches VELUX International Design Award aimed at spotting tomorrow's trends and talents and, for the first time, at discovering new, inventive blinds for the roof window.

What does the blind of the future look like? This is one of the challenges the new design award, VELUX International Design Award 2014, poses students of design. The Award spurs students to explore the theme "Innovation by Experiments" and to invent the future blind for roof windows. It is based on the wish to discover the best and most innovative blinds of the future and rethink current perceptions.

The design of roof window coverings (be it sun screening, shades, curtains or blinds) empowers us to change our indoor environment by softening the brightest sunlight and managing day and night as we wish. Window coverings provide the opportunity to interact with the surroundings, and either connect or separate our immediate environment from the outside world. They boost our imagination and form who we are. The design award therefore rewards solutions with the potential to make a real difference in the quality of people's lives.

Design students from more than 20 European countries are invited to participate in the design award which is to be presented in May 2014.

Jury represented by internationally renowned designers
The design entries will be reviewed by a jury of internationally renowned designers. The jury has been carefully put together to strike a balance between fields of excellence, diversity and geographical representation. The members of the jury are the initiator of the Red Dot Award Professor Dr Peter Zec, the Dutch textile designer Petra Blaisse, and the Italian-Danish furniture design duo Gamfratesi.

Nominees for the design award are selected based on four evaluation criteria: innovation,quality of life, sustainability and market potential.

First prize awarded 6,000 Euros
The winner of the first prize will be awarded 6,000 Euros at an award ceremony in May 2014. The winner of the second prize will be awarded 2,500 Euros, and all design proposals will be featured in a web exhibition.

Contestants for the design award will have the opportunity to share their ideas in a social media community where everyone can vote for their favourite. The winner receives a prize of 1,500 Euros.

A golden opportunity for design students
The VELUX Group is behind the initiative, which is a unique opportunity for designstudents to take part in the progress of the VELUX Group's innovative approach to product development – most recently expressed through the collaboration with the world-famous designer Karim Rashid. The sun screening industry has gone through a lot of changes the past years with respect to use of textiles and production methods.This opens up for lots of new opportunities within the use of e.g. materials. According to the VELUX Group the design award is also a new way of seeking inspiration and bringing the development one step further.

Kent Holm, Director of Decoration and Sun screening Products, the VELUX Group, says: "Many design students will be among tomorrow's trendsetters. Our aim is to find the most gifted and maybe give one designer a chance to influence the future of the blinds industry. The design award is an alternative way of working with innovation and product development and we are very excited to see what's moving in the minds of the creative young designers and to see what a blind also could look like."