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The German Design Awards celebrate its tenth anniversary this year. aware_ has taken a look at this year’s award winners and presents five exciting products and projects. 

For aware_, sustainability and aesthetics go hand in hand. A sustainable lifestyle does not have to be pursued with a raised forefinger, nor does it have to be pushed into a green corner. Sustainability includes innovation, zeitgeist, and a high degree of aesthetics. For the German Design Awards, outstanding design means providing answers to the challenges of our time and thinking into the future. Each year, an international jury of leading experts from all areas of design honors companies with pioneering products and projects in the fields of Excellent Product Design, Excellent Communications Design or Excellent Architecture. The internationally renowned prize is awarded by the German Design Council, the German brand and design authority, which was established as a foundation in 1953 on the initiative of the German Bundestag. It supports business in consistently achieving brand added value through design. This center for communication and brand management in the field of design includes not only business associations and institutions but also the content and brand managers of well-known companies; the membership of the German Design Council currently consists of more than 350 companies.

In addition, the German Design Council is an official partner of the New European Bauhaus Initiative – an EU foundation for a sustainable, aesthetic, and inclusive future. At the interface between art, culture, science and technology, the initiative aims to explore how our future living environments can be designed to make Europe climate neutral by 2050 as part of the European Green Deal. As part of the German Design Awards 2022, a jury will forward all projects considered for use as part of the New European Bauhaus to the initiative’s panel with a recommendation.

With their awarded products or projects, the participants demonstrate a high level of expertise in design innovation and a keen eye for the requirements of their own customers and the market. In addition to the main prize, there is also the Newcomer Awards – a unique award for young designers who attract attention through exceptional achievements and creative talent. For the award-winning young designers, the reputation of the prize and the international attention associated with it are particularly valuable. The German Design Council offers all finalists the opportunity to meet leading figures in the design-oriented business community in Germany at a series of exclusive events with its foundation members. This year, five finalists are nominated for the Newcomer Awards.  

The winners of the German Design Awards 2022 will be on display in the exhibition at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main from February 11 to 27, 2022, and at www.german-design-award.com. 

Starting in February, there will be a curated online program dedicated to the evolution of design over the past ten years and inspired by the work of visionary designer and design theorist Horst Rittel. This year’s theme of the award is How Designers Think: How to Find Solutions to Those Challenges for which Rittel coined the term “Wicked Problems” with Melvin Webber in the 1960s. For Lutz Dietzold, Chief Executive Officer of the German Design Council, the further development of the award is particularly relevant: from digitalization to AI to sustainability, designers must find answers to current topics. 

aware_ has taken a look at this year’s award winners and presents five innovative projects:

design awards

Level 2 Charger 

The Level 2 Charger from Canoo, winner in the Energy category of Excellent Product Design, can be used in a home garage or industrial facility. Modular pegboard design allows it to be configured and endlessly expanded as a wall mount and freestanding version to meet individual needs and requirements. A product concept for urban mobility needs that is both modern and high quality.

wodtke samurai iClean 

The wodtke samurai iClean from Robert Beil, winner in the Energy category of Excellent Product Design, makes environmental conscious and low-emission heating with the almost CO2 neutral fuel wood possible. In addition, the stove has been awarded the Blue Angel. Comfort and user-friendliness are part of the high-quality standards. 

design awards

instagrid ONE max 

The world’s first portable 230V battery unit designed for professional use by designer Felix Fuchs of instagrid GmbH is the winner in the Energy category of Excellent Product Design. The shaping frame is protection for the Li-Ion unit and offers grip as well as stacking possibility. The battery provides grid-like power at 3600W continuous output as well as 2.1KWh of energy without direct emissions – enough for a day’s work. As many parts as possible were designed to be disassembled and then returned to the recycling process. This ensures the greatest possible reparability and thus maximum service life. In addition, recycled materials were used. 

UP! 

The Berlin department store built in 1977 by SIGNA Development Selection AG is the winner in the Eco Design category of Excellent Architecture. The shell was completely refurbished, raised, and opened with striking incisions on all sides and converted into a business location. The building has its own energy center, which generates thermal energy by means of heat exchangers in the sewer and recooling units on the roof. The conversion, while retaining the existing structure in combination with the innovative energy solution, makes the project particularly sustainable. 

design awards

Eco Village Rügen 

The three three-sided courtyards made of prefabricated wooden components, a design by STUDIO SUSANNE BRORSON, wins in the Eco Design category of Excellent Architecture. The layout of the buildings was tested using wind simulations. Following climate-adapted design principles of the Baltic Sea region, the ensemble creates modern sustainable architecture that ties in with the traditional local architecture. The village consists of a main residence and two adjacent barn buildings with vacation homes around a paved courtyard. Passive strategies for climate-smart building played an important role in the design of the three-sided courtyards; a triumph in design, the building lives in harmony with its beautiful surrounding landscape. 

by Marie Klimczak