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Award-winning design: Two Miele products clinch 'Focus Open' awards

Gütersloh, October 13, 2020 No. 057/2020
  • Triflex HX1 rechargeable handstick and GuideLine washing machine prize winners

  • Jury commends design and 'social product solution'

The international 'Focus Open' design prize awarded by the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg pays tribute to the quality of innovation and design of new products, services and concepts created by companies and professional designers the world over. This year's award went to two Miele appliances which convinced the jury: The cordless rechargeable Miele Triflex HX1 handstick was awarded 'Focus Open Gold'. The GuideLine washing machine received the 'Focus Open Meta' special prize.

With their highest-tier 'Focus Open Gold' award, the Design Center Baden-Württemberg commends excellent and trend-setting design. As one of a total of 13 award-winning products, Miele's Triflex HX1 rechargeable handstick vacuum cleaner endeared itself to the jury. Its unique 3-in-1 concept combines three vacuum cleaners in one – characterised by powerful suction and fast cleaning. The heart and soul of the product is the PowerUnit, consisting of a motor assembly, a rechargeable battery and a dust box, which can be reconfigured in just a few seconds. 'Compared with other handsticks, this model demonstrates a subdued yet highly distinctive design', argued the jury. 'Thanks to its reconfiguration options and multi-functionality, this product adapts readily to a wide variety of scenarios. In doing so, it replaces additional units and curbs the explosion in the number of appliances a household owns'.

With the PowerUnit fitted above the suction tube, the Triflex is easy to manoeuvre and convenient to use to clean ceilings or underneath low items of furniture. When fitted down at the floor, the centre of gravity shifts, making this setup ideal for vacuuming large surfaces with ease. In solo mode, the same appliance can be used to remove breakfast crumbs or lint and hairs from car upholstery. For good and fast deep cleaning of all surfaces, the electrobrush's suction power adjusts automatically to floor coverings. The replaceable rechargeable battery allows up to 60 minutes of work.

This year, for the first time ever, a product was selected from all entrants for a special prize with great significance – the 'Focus Open Meta'. This award recognises products which present excellent solutions to address current social, technological, scientific or ecological challenges. The prize was awarded to the GuideLine washing machine which Miele developed together with blind and visually impaired persons in order to offer greater independence and convenience in laundry care and hence enhance their quality of life.

GuideLine uses haptic lines and symbols as well as acoustic signals to navigate the user through programme selection. This allows the wash cycle, temperature, spin speed and further extras to be selected. Operation instructions are provided by specially produced audio instructions in the Daisy format to further simplify machine use. The GuideLine model is based on the W1 Classic range and has been available from specialist retailers since 2017.

The jury’s comments: 'A highly laudable concept which significantly improves the daily lives of the visually impaired and the blind. Of particular interest: This solution is relatively simple to implement as accessibility requires only a limited number of changes to the parent model. By involving this group of users, the washing machine has become an everyday product which is accessible to all – and serves as a role model for pragmatic universal design'.

Click here for further information on the Focus Open 2020 Award:

Company profile: Miele is the world's leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances including cooking, baking and steam-cooking appliances, refrigeration products, coffee makers, dishwashers and laundry and floor care products. This line-up is augmented by dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers for commercial use as well as washer-disinfectors and sterilisers for use in medical and laboratory applications (Miele Professional). The Miele company, founded in 1899, has 8 production plants in Germany as well as one plant each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China, Romania and Poland. These are joined by the two plants belonging to Miele's Italian medical technology subsidiary Steelco.  Turnover in the 2018/19 business year was around € 4.16 bn, with a share of business outside Germany of approx. 71%. Miele is represented with its own sales subsidiaries and via importers in almost 100 countries/regions. Throughout the world, the family-run enterprise, now in its fourth generation, employs a workforce of around 20,500 people, 11,050 of whom are employed in Germany. The company has its headquarters in Gütersloh in Westphalia.

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Miele's Triflex HX1 has received the 'Focus Open Gold' award.

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This year, the 'Focus Open Meta' special prize went to the W1 Classic GuideLine washing machine for the blind and visually impaired

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