“The new award trophy has wings”
A trophy is the expression of the highest honor. That is why for the 10th Supplier Award Daimler has come up with something special and created a completely new sculpture.
Be it the Oscar, the Bambi or just the Daimler Supplier Award: Receiving a trophy is a unique moment. Once a year, Daimler pays tribute to the “Top 10” of all global suppliers. The new trophy is also intended to express this appreciation, which will make its world premiere on February 28 at the Daimler Supplier Award in Sindelfingen.
The editors talked with Florian Wisotzki and Andreas Kurbos in the run-up to the event. Wisotzki is a conceptioner and designer at the German agency Siegelwerk. Kurbos is the founder of the Stuttgart design studio studiokurbos. Both companies were commissioned by Daimler to implement the new award trophy.
Editors: The trophy as it stands here on the table: very successful. Beautiful.
Wisotzki: You like to hear ‘thank you’ (smiles). We hope that the guests on February 28 will also like it.
Kurbos: I sincerely think so. You all have created a lot of ideas and concepts, which we then developed, designed and put into a beautiful shape.
Why is there a new trophy?
Wisotzki: The Daimler Supplier Award is celebrating its anniversary. On the 10th birthday, Daimler came to our agency and said: “We’re making a new trophy.” The motto is now also “Enter the next chapter”. It stands for a departure. Reinvention. A new trophy can perfectly transport and symbolize this.
And how do you translate that into a sculpture idea?
Wisotzki: By thinking about what the symbolism of the trophy should consist of. Daimler very clearly said: “Partnership is the greatest asset in our relationship with our suppliers.” We want to express this.
I then went into the design phase with these core thoughts. The inspiration came to me in the morning in the shower (laughs): Two interlocking hands symbolize a partnership relationship. One hand stands for Daimler, while the other stands for its partner on the supplier side.
The idea then matured further and was refined together with studiokurbos. This means: all kinds of sketches and renderings. Feedback loops and optimizations. These phases were then really intense. Incidentally, the design language of the trophy with its curved and organic shape is based on the designs of Daimler vehicle products.
In the end we then had what we now see in the final sculpture: The wings grab each other like hands. This is symbolic of connectedness, togetherness, being open to one another.
Wisotzki: Yes, the new award trophy has wings, so to speak (laughs). No, joking aside! that’s what we called the two interlocking parts in the design internally.
And then what happened?
Wisotzki: Daimler really liked the trophy and we received the “go” for the concept and design finalization. This means that we had to create a three-dimensional CAD model. At this point you then define the exact parameters of the trophy. such as the course of the curves, the material selection and thickness, surfaces, etc. We started looking around for this purpose and found an ideal partner in Andreas and his team – the colleagues simply have an excellent feeling for design.
Mr. Kurbos, what did your designers and you do then?
Kurbos: studiokurbos then translated the design template developed and refined with Siegelwerk it into a CAD model. Then we thought about the parameters. You always have to have a focus here: The value of the concept and design idea must be reflected in the finished product. Especially at this point: It’s a trophy – and it has to feel that way too.
Incidentally, the approach of the CAD model development comes from automotive development. I found this particularly exciting in this case, because we designed a trophy for a vehicle manufacturer.
In the 3D printing process, we then made a model to evaluate the size, proportions, etc. After everything fit perfectly, we then made a prototype.
This one here on the table?
Kurbos: Exactly. The trophy consists of three elements and is made entirely of aluminum. Each of the elements is milled from a block of this material. A lot of work was put into that, since the trophy is curved and very malleable. Milling takes a lot of time – over 30 hours.
Kurbos: Exactly. And since we still have to make ten for the event on February 28, we are currently running at full speed (laughs). Afterwards, the trophies will be painstakingly painted and sealed. So that on the award evening everything will be perfect and the lucky winners can hold their trophies in their hands.
And the Daimler Supplier Magazine Online will report on it – including pictures that will show the final trophy in the winning hands. Mr. Wisotzki, Mr. Kurbos: Thank you for speaking with us.
The Daimler Supplier Magazine Online editorial team held the interview in early February in Stuttgart, Germany.