Photo: © BUSSE Design+Engineering GmbH

“Design successful products”: his credo sounded as simple as it was persuasive, though it needed to be put into practice first. That is because Rido Busse was only happy with a result when the product had satisfactory function, manufacturability, operability and aesthetics and achieved true market success. Rido Busse was born in Wiesbaden in 1934 and trained as a silversmith and metal sculptor. He was one of the first to graduate from the legendary Ulm School of Design (HfG) after studying there from 1953 to 1959. Directly after his degree in 1959 he started his own firm for design and product development, which he ran as managing director until 1999. He resigned from the company’s leadership after the tragic, accidental death of his wife, Annegret. Products that Rido Busse himself designed or that originated from his firm BUSSE Design+Engineering, which still exists today, can be found in almost every household. The Krups mixing bowl, the Krups slicer, the Dr. Best toothbrush and many other products, for example, were sold millions of times over. Stihl, the chainsaw and garden appliance manufacturer, and its founding family shared a bond with Busse for over 55 years, with successful collaboration and close friendship.

In 1977, Busse came up with the parody award “Plagiarius” for particularly egregious examples of plagiarism and product piracy. The trophy – a black garden gnome with a golden nose – is given to imitation or counterfeit products that harm the original’s manufacturer. Busse came upon the idea of naming and shaming brazen imitations with an award after a surprising encounter with one of his products at Ambiente, a consumer goods fair in Frankfurt. Busse’s critical, revelatory endeavours live on in the form of Museum Plagiarius, as the fight against counterfeits has not ended. Busse was appointed a member of the German Cross of Merit in 2010 for his services to the design industry and his commitment to the struggle against counterfeit products. Rido Busse passed away at 86 years of age on 12 February.

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