At this year's Design Month, an event traditionally happening each fall, taking place from October 13th to November 13th 2011, Gorenje Simple&Logical washing machine was inaugurated in the roster of legendary products of Slovenian design. The Timeless Slovenian Design was presented to the mastermind behind this appliance, Professor Janez Smerdelj, a long-standing chief designer at Gorenje, who designed the appliance in 1995, working with co-designer Mr. Tone Holobar. Another award was presented for Gorenje home appliance control interface. The jury's honourable mention in the category of Design of the Year for 2011 went to the interface designers Matevž Popič, Lidija Pritržnik, and Borut Keržič of the Gorenje Design Studio.
Each instalment of the Design Month includes an award ceremony where designers are acknowledged for their work in four categories – Design of the Year, Interior of the Year, Timeless Design, and Promising Design. In the Timeless Design category, Prof. Janez Smerdelj, a long-standing chief designer and head of design department at Gorenje, was honoured with a spot among the most reputable designers for a product that has stood the test of time and has proven its permanent value – the Simple&Logical washing machine, co-designed by Anton Holobar of the Gorenje Design Studio. The Simple&Logical washing machine represents a milestone in home appliance design – not only at Gorenje, but in the entire industry – as it introduces a philosophy of simple control.
Gorenje launched the design of Simple&Logical in 1995. The appliance stands out with simple control, as well as with being the first such appliance in the world to offer touch control. The control panel consists of an electronic keyboard with embossed symbols, designed to be friendly to users with impaired vision as well. The panel includes four keys/symbols used to select the type of laundry and how heavily the laundry is soiled.
Simple&Logical is the home appliance that introduced a new frame of mind to Gorenje in the period immediately after Slovenia's declaration of independence; it was the harbinger of focus on superior design and advanced technology. When presented to the markets in 1996, its innovative touch control set a new trend in appliance controls and design, and elevated Gorenje from the role of a follower to the role of a trendsetter. Modern feel evoked by the design of the control module on the upper plane of the appliance housing, and elegance of fully integrated door on the front wall soon propelled the Simple&Logical washing machine to the status of a legendary Gorenje designer product.
Janez Smerdelj, long-standing chief designer at Gorenje and a professor at the Academy of Visual Arts in Ljubljana, commented upon receiving the award: »I am proud of the machine; 15 years after designing it, I can still stand behind the solutions that my colleague Tone Holobar and I developed at the time. It is true, however, that timelessness regarding electrical appliances and devices is a different story. Development of new technologies and materials constantly brings new technological solutions; the Simple&Logical washing machine and its user-friendly solutions represents an approach to design that yields a timeless value at the level of inspiration. It solutions also inspired, for example, the new line of home appliances Gorenje Simplicity.«
In the category of Design of the Year 2011, the control interface for Gorenje home appliances was awarded an honourable mention. The honour was presented to the designers Matevž Popič, Lidija Pritržnik, and Borut Keržič of the Gorenje Design Studio. In designing the oven and washing machine interface, they translated complex touch slider technology into a user-friendly and logical touch control.
Lidija Pritržnik, creative director for Gorenje Group projects: »We are pleased that the professional community, represented by a truly eminent jury, recognized outstanding quality in our design solutions. We work in a saturated and highly challenging white goods industry where any acknowledgement of design and innovation can be considered a great achievement. We wish that the awarded product finds success not only with professional acknowledgement, but also with many end users.«
Nominees for the Design of the Year Award 2011 also included the Innbox device designed by David Cugelj and co-author Miha Črtalič of the Gorenje Design Studio, commissioned by the Studio's client Iskratel. Innbox device also won this year's red dot design award.
Design Month presents the achievements of Slovenian design, the best designers, and companies with the most intriguing and innovative design strategies to the professional and lay public. The event includes a conference, lectures by many reputable designers from across the globe, biennial exhibition, and a range of additional events throughout the city. Slovenian Design Awards are presented to designers with distinguished achievements, in four categories: Design of the Year for the best design in the previous year; Interior of the Year for outstanding achievements in interior design in the previous year; Timeless Design for design that has stood the test of time and proven its permanent value; and Promising Design for distinguished achievements of young designers and architects in their field of work Each year, Design Month is devoted to a particular topic, exploring the role of design in creative industries, business world, or cultural and social practices. The main theme of this year's Design Month was Design and the City.