We mourn the passing of our founder Prof. Rido Busse, who passed away peacefully on February 12, 2021 at the age of 86. Our sympathy and thoughts are with his family and his long-time companions and friends.

His design spirit and memory lives on in his life's work, the company BUSSE Design+Engineering: because Rido managed to shape a corporate philosophy from his person and personal way of thinking and to successfully lead the company into the next generation with the participation of his family and long-time employees. Thus, the person Rido Busse became a philosophy Rido Busse, which lives on in the daily work in the design and development of products still today and also in the future.

"Designing successful products" - that was Rido Busse's credo. For him, it was never just a matter of creating a personal design monument for himself, but he was only satisfied when the product was truly successful on the market through a perfect fulfillment of function, manufacturability, usability and aesthetics.
And it is precisely this claim to success that Rido has also achieved in his own life.
After all, isn't the goal of every life to leave a mark?
And Rido Busse has truly left great traces:

As one of the first graduates of the legendary Hochschule für Gestaltung hfg in Ulm, he had the courage to found his own office for design and product design directly after graduating in 1959, which is still one of the largest and oldest offices in Europe today.
In addition to this entrepreneurial spirit, he had the foresight to combine in this office all the disciplines necessary for development in an interdisciplinary manner: Designers, constructors, developers, prototyping and small series production. And this recipe is still one of the most important success factors for BUSSE and the projects implemented there today. Even before models like Scrum had even been "invented", he was thus living agile and dynamic project work.

Almost every household has products that come from Rido Busse's pen or from BUSSE Design+Engineering: Be it the 82 million times sold Krups stirring dish,
the Krups all-purpose slicer, one of the different variants of the Dr. Best toothbrush and many other products.

For over 55 years, the company has enjoyed a successful partnership and close friendship with its customer STIHL and its founding family.
of the world market leader.

Many other customers and clients are successfully supported in exactly this
spirit, are also being successfully supported by the next generation.

Even before XING, LinkedIN and digital networking, Rido Busse practiced real and personal networking of personalities from business, politics and culture through his legendary "star tables". Until shortly before his death, Rido maintained this ritual. And everyone who experienced it knows what an outstanding, eloquent host he was. In addition to culinary delights of the highest quality, the rounds were marked by relaxed conversations and as a crowning finale - the phenomenally told jokes of entertainer Rido Busse.

Rido left another large footprint in 1977 in the founding of Aktion Plagiarius.
With absolute dedication and tirelessness was his fight against plagiarists and product piracy.
With the Museum Plagiarius, long-time collaborator Christine Lacorix and the involvement of his daughter Dr. Aliki Busse, this life's work and the fight against counterfeiters also lives on.

And the best souvenir of a person and his or her life is, after all, what they have experienced together. And there was always something to experience with Rido: Anyone who was able to experience him live knows how quickly he could captivate listeners and the audience. He always had his own opinion, never shied away from making clear decisions and statements, and was an excellent partner for creative and constructive discussions. And it is precisely this "clear edge" that makes an entrepreneur and a person: because that is what is remembered.

Farewell Rido,
we will cherish you and your philosophy!

Rido Busse in "action"

From the beginnings with still small staff...

Rido Busse in "action"

...until his time as a prominent representative for the company, plagiarius and as an honorary lecturer.

Formative design classics from Rido Busse's pen

Rido Busse's credo was always "to design successful products". According to this philosophy, countless products and design classics have been created in the company's history, which already spans more than 60 years.


Rido Busse (*14 August 1934 in Wiesbaden, †12 February 2021 in Oberelchingen) was a designer, entrepreneur and honorary professor.

After his apprenticeship as a silversmith, Rido Busse studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm from 1953-1959, and in 1959, the year he graduated, he founded the company that now operates under the name BUSSE Design+Engineering. After the tragic death of his wife Annegret in an accident, Rido Busse withdrew from the management of the company and devoted himself to representative tasks such as the negative award Plagiarius, which he founded in 1977. The most brazen plagiarisms are awarded the negative prize at the Frankfurt consumer goods trade show "Ambiente" every year. He was a sought-after expert and consultant and had teaching assignments at various (technical) universities.

In 2010, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit with Ribbon for his services to the design industry and his commitment in the fight against product counterfeiters.

He was particularly happy about the design affinity of his two daughters.
Dr. Aliki Busse is an attorney for industrial property protection and works with her Munich-based law firm Busse & Partner to enforce design protection. Joy Busse lives in San Francisco and runs the design agency busse design USA there. Busse has been married to Siegrun Busse since 2006.

Rido Busse lived in Oberelchingen, near the company's longtime headquarters, until his death.

The HfG - The Origin. With interview passages by Rido Busse (from minute 5:00).


"In almost 20 years together, Rido Busse has had a great personal influence on me and has always inspired me.

I can remember many great evenings at the star tables and many creative and friendly conversations, countless kilometers in the car where I always drove and he read me the newspaper on the side and at least as many kilometers on foot on our joint trade fair visits and acquisition meetings.

Rido never let up and was only satisfied when even the last minute until the presentation or the end of the trade fair was used sensibly. Exactly this bite and drive are something that is often in danger of being forgotten nowadays.
Legendary were also his visits to the company, when he had already withdrawn from the operational business and "burst" into the customer meetings dressed in his African Boubou cloak .....

Rido was full of creative ideas right up to the last minute. The day before his death, he left me an enthusiastic message in my mailbox, in which he euphorically reported on the prototype that we had given him for one of his own product ideas, and described further ideas and optimizations for it.

Rido, we will cherish and continue your life's work at BUSSE!"

(Felix Timm, Managing Director)


"Almost thirty years at BUSSE Design+Engineering lead the memory far into the active time of Rido Busse. He had a lifetime of first-hand experience of self-will, openness in direct encounters with customers and employees, and even the cheekiness and missionary zeal with which the first post-war generation of designers fought for their place in the up-and-coming industry.
Conquering people first, then the company, and from there working together to find the right solution for the products - that's done with empathy, not arrogance.



It ultimately leads back to the person and is certainly one of the reasons for the often decades-long customer contacts. When asked about a formative memory, a two-day trip to the Netherlands many years ago comes to mind. Ten cassettes of Buddenbrooks, listened to in their entirety, read brilliantly and with fine irony by Gert Westphal, discovered a valuable common ground on unexpected terrain."

(Martin Hannig, designer at Busse Design since 1992)

Obituary Rido Busse (Action Plagiarius)

We mourn the passing of our founder, designer Rido Busse, who passed away peacefully on February 12, 2021 at the age of 86. Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with his family and his longtime companions and friends.

Rido Busse not only had a decisive influence on industrial design in the 2nd half of the 20th century. His holistic understanding of design continues to point the way forward in the 21st century.

Rido Busse attached great importance to ensuring that his design philosophy lives on in the minds and hearts of his employees. In 2011, a professional heart's desire came true for him. After a few turbulent business years under external management, his daughter-in-law Gabriele Busse-Kilger and long-time employee and designer Felix Timm took over the management in 2011. Busse's company is once again a family-run business that is fit for the future and continues his life's work and values.

One of Rido Busse's heartfelt projects was the Plagiarius. Outraged by the clumsy imitation of a product designed by him, he started in 1977 initially as a one-man-citizen initiative and created the negative prize "Plagiarius", which has since been awarded annually to manufacturers and dealers of particularly brazen plagiarisms and counterfeits. Its aim: to raise public awareness of the unscrupulous business practices of product and brand pirates and to sensitize industry, politicians and consumers in a practical way to the enormous damage and risks of often inferior imitations.

For the "Plagiarius" trophy, he demonstrated his creativity: a black dwarf with a golden nose - symbolizing the immense profits that unimaginative imitators literally earn at the expense of creative people and industry. At the same time, he was particularly concerned to encourage creatives to protect their intellectual property through industrial property rights so that they could hold imitators accountable. And it was always important to him to emphasize that innovative products should not be taken for granted and that technical and creative achievements deserve more appreciation. He was proud in 2007 at the opening of the Museum Plagiarius in Solingen, which presents the collection of Plagiarius award winners from 1977 to the present day. The extraordinary exhibition shows more than 350 originals and plagiarisms from a wide range of industries in direct comparison. Rido Busse is considered a pioneer in clarifying and combating product and brand piracy, a problem that is more topical than ever due to globalization and digitalization.

Rido Busse leaves his mark on society with his work.

In gratitude for the time we spent together and in honorable memory,

Aktion Plagiarius / Museum Plagiarius

In deep grief over the death of companion Rido Busse (Red Dot)

Professor Rido Busse founded one of Germany's oldest and most successful design companies and understood like no other how to combine design work with engineering performance. As a long-time companion and friend of Red Dot, he helped shape the development of the competition. On 12 February 2021, the designer passed away at the age of 86.

Red Dot CEO Prof. Dr. Peter Zec about Rido Busse 
"Rido Busse was a mentor, accomplice, comrade and a very special friend to me. Right after I took over the management at the VDID, he invited me to one of his legendary 'star tables'. He was not only the owner of one of the largest and most successful design offices in Germany, but he also knew how to win people over for himself and his projects. In doing so, he always radiated a very special kind of joie de vivre and had an exceptionally high level of self-confidence," Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot, says about Rido Busse. "For me, he was the grand seigneur of German design, who kept both feet firmly on the ground. A very special person who could not only always tell the latest joke, but also kept an overview and whom no situation could really surprise or present with a problem," Zec continues.

In the Red Dot Design Award, Rido Busse was honoured countless times for his outstanding design achievements. In 1986, for example, the STIHL petrol chainsaw received no less than four awards in the competition from Essen, Germany. In 1991, the knife sharpener "TWIN SHARP" by J.A. HENCKELS ZWILLINGSWERK was awarded a prize. This was followed by further successes with products of all kinds - from the G 3 head loupe by Carl Zeiss to the MA 450 cordless lawn mower by VIKING and the Flexi® Form silicone baking mould series by Lurch.

Even beyond participation in the competition, there was a close connection between Rido Busse and Red Dot. The management and the entire team appreciated the designer for his continuous support and friendly, appreciative interaction. With him, the German design industry loses a true icon. Red Dot mourns Rido Busse and will remember him as an open-hearted companion with a strong character.

Red Dot

Remembering Rido Busse (iF Design)

We mourn the loss of Professor Rido Busse, the tireless fighter against plagiarism who, according to reports from his office, fell asleep peacefully on February 12, 2021, at the age of 86.

Not only the black garden gnome, who unmistakably deserves a golden nose, reminds of the successful product designer. The initiative and the negative price "Plagiarius" remain inextricably linked with Rido Busse. He, who went against the grain as early as 1977 when rights to drafts and good design were disregarded without shame, has become a memorial with the Museum Plagiarius in Solingen and the negative award of the same name.

His collaboration with Stihl, whose chainsaws and garden tools he breathed new life into, has lasted for more than half a century. The field of medical technology also played an increasingly important role in its design.

Busse was never driven by the eternity of things. He was able to adapt quickly and flexibly to new situations, even when his own health thwarted his plans and restricted his mobility, his ingenuity never gave up.

With Rido Busse, the design world is losing a pioneer and wonderfully communicative designer. His work and work lives on in his design office Busse Design+Engineering, his "child", as he once called it. Many of his designs and those of the Busse team have received an iF DESIGN AWARD over the decades.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends. R.I.P.

iF Design

BUSSE Design+Engineering GmbH
Nersinger Straße 18
89275 Elchingen

Phone +49 (0) 7308 811 499 0
Fax +49 (0) 7308 811 499 99


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