The equivalent of the Nobel prize for Industrial Design - the Red Dot Luminary Award - was won by .lumen, the startup that creates innovative glasses that aid the mobility of the blind, together with the design studio Desiro Vision. Out of more than 4000 design contenders, only 60 have been chosen as Best of the Best, and among those, only one is awarded the Red Dot Luminary, "serving as an inspiration for others to aspire towards."
Among the five Red Dot Luminary nominees were: Unity - the Virgin Galactic Spaceship, Cognixion One - wearable glasses for people with speech disabilities, Canoo - a multi-purpose delivery vehicle, and sPEEK - visualization aid for surgeons. Previous winners of the Red Dot Luminary include the Google Self-Driving Car, the Lilium Jet - an electrically-powered airplane, and the Robotic Prosthetic Knee - a motor-powered prosthetic knee.
.lumen is a Romanian startup that builds glasses that empower the blind. There are 40 million blind people worldwide, and despite all technological advancements, the most common solutions for their mobility problems remain the white cane and the guide dog. Unfortunately, due to multiple drawbacks, there are ~28,000 guide dogs to 40 million blind people across the world. .lumen builds the first solution that mimics the main capabilities of a guide dog, without the drawbacks that make it a non-scalable solution.
To achieve this, .lumen has partnered with Desiro Vision - a design studio based in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, specializing in research, design, and product development. With a long history that began with a group of students who shared a passion for design, Desiro Vision is now a team of professional designers and visual artists who constantly develop products that combine sustainability, user-focused, and usability.
"Design is not how it looks, but really is how it works. That is a quote from Steve Jobs, and I live by it. Winning this award showcases the importance of the problem we are solving. It's humbling to have our work appreciated at this level." - Cornel Amariei - CEO and Co-founder at .lumen.
"This award is proof that visionary spirit, passion for design and an excellent collaboration, in the right context, can result in extraordinary achievement " - prof. Dr. Ciprian Mihnea - Founder of Desiro Vision and the Department Head of Design of the Cluj-Napoca University of Arts and Design
“The jury has selected one such “smart design” from the Red Dot: Best of the Best for the sought-after Red Dot: Luminary, one that can contribute greatly to the improvement of the lives of 40-50 million people. This design is, of course, also outstanding in terms of ergonomic and design engineering. For us, the jurors, it is a great honor to be able to contribute to the further success of this great idea, which provides millions of people with a particular disability all over the world with new hope and greater independence and quality of life. I can now announce the winner: .lumen - Glasses for the Blind”. - Wolfgang Meyer Hayoz, Red Dot Juror
An amazing award that reminds us about the great problem we are solving. As Red Dot Luminary winners, the .lumen Glasses for the Blind will be exhibited at the Red Dot Design Museum in Singapore.