Professor Dr. Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of the Red Dot Award, was awarded the Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his contribution to the design discipline by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on 9 August 2019. The award is based on a proposal by the Minister President of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet. Zec made the Red Dot seal of quality an international symbol of outstanding design quality and enables people interested in design to access it. On December 19, 2019, he received the award from Essen's Lord Mayor Thomas Kufen in a festive ceremony.
Ceremonial presentation in Essen City Hall
During the ceremony in Essen's city hall, Thomas Kufen thanked the design expert for his decades of commitment to design culture. Peter Zec accepted the award in the circle of his companions from his professional and private life. For him, the award has a special significance, especially in view of his origins: "Even though I was born in Germany, part of my roots lie elsewhere, as my father is Bosnian and my mother German. It therefore fills me with great pride to be honoured with this award for the Federal Republic of Germany. Red Dot would not be where he is today without my long-standing companions. For that, I thank them most sincerely." The Order of Merit is awarded in gratitude and as a distinction for the common good. This can be in the political, economic-social and intellectual fields as well as all special services to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Establishment of the most renowned design competition worldwide
With the establishment of the Red Dot Award, Peter Zec succeeded in developing an international brand from an award for good design. In the international design competition, which covers the areas of product, communication and brand design as well as prototypes, outstanding designs are selected annually and awarded the Red Dot. With the Red Dot Design Museum at Zollverein, Zec also established the city of Essen as an internationally recognised design location. He turned the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen into one of the most important and high-profile design institutions in the world. In addition to his work as managing director of Red Dot, Peter Zec is also active as an author and editor and is a design consultant and speaker in great demand worldwide.
Merits beyond the Red Dot
Not only does he actively shape the design world with the Red Dot Award - Peter Zec was also an honorary board member of the international umbrella organisation of industrial designers ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) from 1999 to 2005. In 2005 he was the first German to be elected president for two years and initiated the "World Design Capital" programme.
From October 2006, he was chairman of the International Design Alliance (IDA) for one year, holding the two highest official offices of the design community worldwide, together with the position of board member of ICSID. Since 2007, as former ICSID President, he has been a lifetime senator and is consulted on all important matters concerning the alliance.