TOKYO (TR) – Japanese adult-products company Tenga was this year among those awarded the prestigious “Red Dot Award: Product Design 2012” as coordinated by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany, it has been learned.
The firm’s Tenga 3D Series, which is a state-of-the-art masturbation tool for men and a sponsor of The Tokyo Reporter this month, was among the products awarded by a panel of 30 international experts with the competition’s symbolic red dot, a distinctive seal that signifies top design merit as related to innovation, functionality, ergonomics, ecology, and durability.
According to the competition’s Web site, 1,800 large companies and independent designers from 58 countries registered 4,515 products in 19 different categories for this year’s judging. Entries, which are required to have been issued within the last two years, ranged from household items to sporting goods to works of architecture.
The “Red Dot Awards” date back to 1955. Bose, Philips, BMW, Apple, Nokia, and Samsonite are among the corporations that have claimed red dots in past years. The Tenga 3D Series is the first ever male masturbation item to be recognized.
“With growing competitive pressure on international markets, it is now more important than ever for manufacturers to set themselves apart from the competition by proving quality rather than simply pursuing an aggressive pricing policy,” reads the company’s Web site. “More and more designers are also benefiting from the award. They are using the red dot to present themselves to their clients and as a visual aid that emphasizes their own strength.”
Takeshi Kaneko, a lead designer of the Tenga 3D Series, said that the company has always maintained a desire to bring sexual wellness to the mainstream, which has in the past attached a somewhat negative connotation to such items due to shortfalls in appearance and practicality. “To change this, we’ve endeavored to release products that are the pinnacle of design, functionality, safety, and accessibility,” he said.
The Tenga 3D Series offers five hand-sized sleeves possessing white external shells lined with various repeating indentations that are visible to the consumer during the washing, drying, and storage stages. Just prior to application, the device is to be turned inside out.
Each variation is made from a special anti-bacterial material that ensures a hygienic experience and boasts “a soft, supple texture that will stretch to suit almost any size of man,” explains Tenga’s promotional literature.
A four-week exhibition titled “Design On Stage — Winners Red Dot Award: Product Design 2012” will begin on July 2 at the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen.
Tenga intends to continue releasing pleasurable products to the world. “For Tenga to receive this award it shows the world that we do not make simple sex toys,” said Kaneko, “but rather that we produce good products capable of bringing joy to many.”