Norway’s strongest design projects

The Øya Festival, Jensen Furniture and SeaBed Geophysical were the final contestants for The Honors Award for Design Excellence 2009. Norway’s best known festival logo, a deep-water sensor and a flexible bed. What do these very different products have in common? An extremely thorough design process!

Every year The Norwegian Design Council acknowledges the very best of innovative solutions, developed by companies and designers, through the annual Award for Design Excellence. Among its recipients, the jury nominates projects that distinguish themselves for The Honors Award for Design Excellence. The Counsil also acknowledge products that have been on the market for more than 10 years through The Classic Award for Design Excellence, and aspiring young desigers through the Young Talent Award.

Sylvia Brustad, the Trade and Industry Minister of Norway, participated at the exhibition opening at DogA 26th of February, and she is very impressed by the three nominees of 2009. 

The Øya Festival ad.

“It’s no a coincident that it is the Øya Festival, Jensen Furniture and SeaBed Geophysical who are nominated for The Honors Award for Design Excellence. These three companies work with design in a mythological and goal-oriented way,” says Marte Grevsgard, project manager for Award for Design Excellence in The Norwegian Design Council. The three nominees are picked out total of 167 applicants for the Award for Design Excellence. “Jensen Furniture, SeaBed and The Øya Festival are Norwegian role models in their usage of design as a tool to create strong, innovative products and services,” she says.

Brustad is now hoping that more Norwegian businesses find inspiration to make design a priority in their work with innovation and product development. “In order to resolve the big challenges of the future, and to succeed in an ever more tougher international competition, we need innovative businesses all over the country. The credit crunch of today underscores the need to create more Norwegian stories of success. And design is an important tool in doing so. That’s why the Norwegian government has put design so high on the agenda list,” acknowledges the minster. 

The Øya Festival

For two consecutive years The Øya Festival has been Norway’s most popular music festival. And in 2008 they had a grand total of 75 000 visitors during the five-day festival. It’s the festival profile from 2008 that has been nominated for The Honours Award for Design Excellence 2009.

Jensen Bed.

Jensen Bed.

“The Øya Festival will change its profile every year. We want to reset our organization before each festival. And by doing that, securing that we don’t fall into old routines. A profile that is in a constant evolution gives the organization a boost, just as much as it keeps the public interested in the festival, says Arnt Olaf Andersen, marketing manager in The Øya Festival.

Jensen Furniture

The goal of the Jensen Eden bed was to make a product that did not follow the traditional way of thinking about mattresses. Jensen saw an ever-increasing market for adjustable beds, but was astounded by the fact that the existing beds in this segment often looked like hospital beds. 

CASE Abyss.

CASE Abyss.

“We are now talking about a universal product, with a global design that make the bed attractive for customers in both the Norwegian and the international market. The bed also has a hint of sex appeal, which should be a welcome addition in any bedroom,” laughs Jan Trygve Jensen, general manager of Jensen Furniture. 

SeaBed Geophysical

Hard competition and a strong focus on price levels between companies dealing with geophysical search on deep-water. This was the situation that made the Trondheim based company SeaBed Geophysical begin the CASE Abyss development process.

“The product has become an important tool in order for us to explain the system for our clients. The shape of the product is attention grabbing and unique and reflects the identity of the service in a very god way. Experience tells us that oil firms remember us better when we bring the CASE Abyss with us to sales meeings and can document our presentation in something visual and concrete, says Fredrik Næs, head of SeaBed Geophysicals Trondheim department.


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