Winner of the ICONIC AWARD 2024: Interior Products

Revolutionary HMI panel for household appliances

LEONHARD KURZ, together with Marquardt and KURZ subsidiary PolyIC, won the ICONIC AWARD, presented by the German Design Council, for their pioneering user interface that seamlessly combines design and technology. In the Product Design - Kitchen and Household category, the innovative control panel concept impressed the international expert jury with its tactile, visual, and technological excellence.

Household appliances: From utility objects to designer pieces

This innovative HMI panel concept impressively proves that the monotonous design of white goods is finally a thing of the past. In the future, washing machines, dryers, and the like will move into living spaces as lifestyle products. An extremely esthetic example of this trend is the award-winning panel in a high-quality wood look, whose functionality is only visible when you approach or touch it thanks to the Shy Tech design. Integrated sensor technology allows you to control backlit function keys and sliders via touch. Meanwhile, the surface of the panel impresses with a unique texture reminiscent of wood structures. The intuitive operation is complemented by a haptic push-turn control with a round display integrated into the switch surface - a sophisticated style element that immediately catches the eye. When the device is switched off, the backlit controls disappear and the elegant wooden look of the panel comes back into focus.

Pooled expertise created an award-winning concept

Three partners pooled their expertise for this revolutionary and smart panel concept: LEONHARD KURZ, the expert for highly functional and decorative surfaces, the mechatronics specialist Marquardt, and the KURZ subsidiary PolyIC, a specialist in touch sensors and printed electronics.

The decoration process used is the efficient In-Mold Dekoration (IMD) process. It enables cost-effective and CO₂-efficient implementation of the control panels, as injection molding of the panels, decoration of the front, and integration of the sensors can be carried out in a single step. IMD also opens up completely new design and customization options for product designers. Tactile designs, deceptively real looks, a variety of colors, and unique haptic surface effects make household appliances a multi-sensory experience.

Here's how we won over the jury:

  • Concept enables customized special editions and quick adaptations to current trends
  • 70% CO₂ savings thanks to efficient IMD technology
  • Time and energy savings through bundling of several processes in the IMD process
  • Sustainable production through compatibility with recycled materials
  • Intuitive operation thanks to smart sensor technology

Project partners

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