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ISH 2019: winners of international ‘Design Plus’ competition now chosen

14 Feb 2019

At ISH, which is set to open its doors from 11 to 15 March, the ‘Design Plus’ competition will reward exhibitors’ products that best combine technology and design in smart ways.

A five-strong expert jury assessed a total of 161 submissions according to the following criteria: quality of design, overall concept, innovative content and choice of materials in terms of both technological and ecological aspects. 114 companies, of whom 48 are from Germany and 66 from abroad, took part in the competition. The expert jury selected 37 products to receive the ‘Design Plus powered by ISH’ awards. Of these, 18 go to German companies and designers. 19 awards are conferred on international companies from countries that include Belgium, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States of America.

All award-winning products will be displayed at ISH in a dedicated exhibition in the Foyer of Hall 4.2. The formal awards ceremony will take place on the opening day of the trade fair at 2 p.m.

“The DNA of ISH, “HVAC + Water”, combines tradition with innovative spirit. The portfolio of products and services for the bathroom, energy and air-conditioning technology and building services engineering is unique in the world. Over 2,400 exhibitors will be presenting their innovations and world firsts over five whole days. And our ‘Design Plus’ competition both helps people orientate themselves amidst this huge range of products and provides a guarantee of outstanding quality. The prize-winning products capture our imaginations with intelligent technology, a high degree of functionality, aesthetics and craftsman-like precision and, equally, set standards for sustainability, energy efficiency and the sparing use of natural resources. The special show is, therefore, a source of great inspiration for visitors and exhibitors alike,” explains Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Messe Frankfurt.

“Successful design is the motor for successful brand management and is a powerful marketing tool for creating and improving sales opportunities. It is a way for manufacturers to distinguish themselves from their competitors and present themselves, their products and services in all their individual uniqueness. This is particularly important, given the current state of the market. The HVAC sector has, itself, discovered this competitive advantage and is increasingly playing to this strength. In the field of sanitation and plumbing, we are pleased, this year, to see so many intelligent, individualised and digitally controlled bathroom solutions with high design standards. Products in the fields of heating and air-conditioning technology create their appeal by successfully combining innovative design with ambitious technologies and high levels of convenience in use,” confirms Lutz Dietzold, Managing Director of the German Design Council (Rat für Formgebung). “With this competition, ISH offers the sector’s innovators an internationally recognised platform at the highest level, setting the tone and providing stimulus for continued development in the sector.” The German Design Council organises the ‘Design Plus’ competition on behalf of Messe Frankfurt.

A distinguished jury of the Design Plus competition. (Copyright: Rat für Formgebung Service GmbH/ Manuel Debus)
A distinguished jury of the Design Plus competition. (Copyright: Rat für Formgebung Service GmbH/ Manuel Debus)

A panel of specialist adjudicators from a wide variety of walks of life met at the end of January to judge the many products that had been submitted. Amongst the members of the panel are:

  • Dr Sandra Hofmeister, Editor-in-Chief, DETAIL Business Information GmbH
  • Linda Stannieder, Managing Partner, Graft Brandlab GmbH
  • Udo Wirges, Head of the Technical Division of the German Sanitation, Heating and Air-Conditioning Association (Zentralverband Sanitär Heizung Klima, ZVSHK)
  • Jens Wischmann, General Manager, Association of the German Sanitation Industry (Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitärwirtschaft e.V. - VDS)
  • Christian Zanzotti, Founder, ZANZOTTI INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

In the ‘Bathroom’ category, the judges selected, for instance, some innovative WCs and multifunctional shower cubicles, as well as individual items of bathroom furniture, including vanity units, mixer taps and fittings. In the heating and air-conditioning segments, the panel decided on, amongst other things, an improved design for radiators, pellet stoves and wood burners with clean-burn technologies and clever ways of regulating combustion rates.

At ISH, the world’s leading trade fair for HVAC + Water, to be held from 11 to 15 March 2019, over 2,400 exhibitors, including all the market leaders and technological pioneers, will be presenting their innovations and new products, many of them for the first time anywhere in the world. The section entitled ISH Water puts an emphasis on ‘Colour’, a topic that is very much on trend, and focusses on sustainable sanitation solutions and on innovative bathroom design. As part of the ISH Energy exhibition, the sector will be showcasing, amongst other things, solutions to some of the current key issues, including indoor air quality, innovations for energy efficiency, convenience and comfort in buildings, as well as regenerative ideas for drinking water hygiene in the modern world.

Comprehensive information on this and other topics is available at:

Design Plus
The ‘Design Plus’ competition was organised for the first time in 1983 by the ‘Design and Life Initiative’ (‘Initiative Form und Leben’). The sponsors of this initiative are Messe Frankfurt, together with the German Design Council and the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag). Today, this international competition is equally successfully established at ISH as at Light+Building and is one of the leading design competitions in Germany.

German Design Council (Rat für Formgebung)

The German Design Council runs the ‘Design Plus’ competition on behalf of Messe Frankfurt. It is one of the world’s leading centres of excellence for communication and transfer of knowledge in the fields of design, brand management and innovation. Its sponsors currently include more than 300 companies. The German Design Council was founded in 1953, at the instigation of the German Bundestag, to support and foster design expertise in German industry. It is active in many different areas in pursuit of its aim: to communicate the sustainable increase in brand value to be gained through the strategic application of design.

On the internet:

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,500* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €715* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

Further information is available at:

* provisional figures 2018

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