Today, at the reception held at IDEO, SF for the ICSID/IDSA Connecting ’07 conference planning committee, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Peter Zec for a few minutes. He’s not only the current president of the ICSID but also the President of Design Zentrum, promoters of the Red Dot awards.
My particular interest in speaking with him was to find out more about the recent decision to award the 2006 Design Team of the Year award to LG Electronics Corporate Design Center (the awards ceremony is on Monday the 26th of June). While I hope to receive more materials on how they make this decision, I was delighted to find out just how deeply Dr Zec had delved into LG’s history and corporate philosophy with respect to their decision.
From what he said, I understood that the rationale for LG’s selection was deeper than simply a matter of LG’s design styling or looks. In fact, he explained, their first employee was a designer and design is deeply embedded not only in their management philosophy but also their corporate culture. Other firms, he said, often slapped on design much later – not just for their products or services, but also as a public relations tool, but in LG’s case they had a clear strategy for raising their brand image globally by using a comprehensive and thoughtful product identity. It seemed to me that this went way beyond what the Catalyst awards were attempting.
I must say I came away very impressed by Dr Zec, Red Dot and Design Zentrum after the few minutes I spent talking to him.