Quirky – Product Design by the Masses

The evaluation process. Photo provided by Quirky.

The annual awards ceremony of the prestigious red dot design award will take place at the Aalto Theater in Essen on 2nd July 2012. The award-winning designs will then be shown in a yearlong exhibition in the red dot design museum in the former coal mine Zeche Zollverein. This year’s award winners include Jake Zien’s articulated surge protector Pivot Power and Angelo Caccione’s multifunctional wine opener Verseur, both by the company Quirky. Like all the other award-winners these products are distinguished by the superlative quality of their design – after all, 1,058 of the 4,515 entries in the product design category were awarded the coveted hallmark of excellence. However, what makes the two aforementioned brands stand out from the throng of winners is not the high quality of the end product, but the process by which they came about. Quirky is not just the name of a brand for household products and multimedia accessories, nor is it just a design office. What makes Quirky unique is the utilisation of “hive intelligence” in the product design. Quirky is a crowdsourcing platform that brings two products to the marketplace every week, developed by a steadily growing online community with currently 190,000 members.

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