Merry Christmas and all the best for 2021!
We wish you and your team a healthy and relaxed time over the Christmas period. In times like these, it’s important to think about positive things. That’s why we’d like to put you in the right frame of mind for the new year with lots of interesting design news and information! We’ve got another fascinating Design Story for you: in our latest interview Alexander Schlag, CEO of yellow design, talks about its three-axis design process, brand experiences and how design is changing in an age when digitalisation is causing products to disappear. The call for entries for our international design award Focus Open will be announced in January 2021, and you’ll find some impressions of our current Entdeckt! exhibition on our website – take a look! Plus, we’ve got some great tips for you too: the aed neuland 2021 competition and the Ulm School of Design anniversary. Find out more below!

With all good wishes for the festive season,
The Design Center team

Without strategy, design is just short-lived superficiality

In 2004, yellow design was responsible for designing the first mobile navigation devices. And for Japanese air-conditioning giant Daikin, the Pforzheim-based company developed a comprehensive product language. We spoke to the firm’s CEO Alexander Schlag about its three-axis design process, brand experiences and how design is changing in an age when digitalisation is causing products to disappear.

Read more here.

Baden-Württemberg International Design Award

Never before has professional design been so important and so much a matter of course as it is today. The Baden-Württemberg state award Focus Open provides an annual and transparent roundup of what’s state of the art when it comes to design, innovation and sustainability. In 2021, Focus Open will once again be rewarding new products, services and concepts for their innovativeness and design quality.

With Focus Open, startups, newcomers and founders have the same chances of winning an award for their exciting projects as established design agencies and companies do!

Win Gold, Silver, Special Mention – or Meta – plus feedback from an independent jury and a publicity boost in the form of our yearbook, exhibition and online presentation.

The call for entries opens in mid-January and closes on 1 April 2021.

The Focus Open 2020 yearbook
A comprehensive yearbook that presents all the award-winning products from this year’s exhibition in both German and English is out now. The top-quality images and detailed product descriptions are supplemented by vivid commentary from the jury.
The yearbook is available from retailers.

Published by Design Center Baden-Württemberg
av edition
ISBN: 978-3-89986-335-2
The exhibition brochure is now available!

The ENTDECKT! exhibition is complete. Unfortunately, due to corona-related restrictions, the exhibition is not open to the public. However, you can click here to see some impressions of the remarkable works by talented young designers from Baden-Württemberg. The brochure is also now available – as a download or in print. Just send a mail to: 

ENTDECKT! is a very special initiative by the Design Center Baden-Württemberg.

The intention: to track down design talents from Baden-Württemberg and give them the opportunity to present themselves to a broad public at the Haus der Wirtschaft, right in the heart of Stuttgart.

The prerequisite: the participating designers have their studio in Baden-Württemberg and can present a compelling portfolio and exceptional projects!
aed neuland 2021 – call for entries

In 2021 aed Stuttgart e.V. is calling for entries for the eighth edition of its interdisciplinary “neuland” competition for young talent, which is organised with the support of the Karl Schlecht Foundation. Students and graduates of universities, academies and colleges who are no older than 28 when the call for entries closes on 31 March 2021 are eligible to participate. There will be one gold prize winner in each of the five categories, each of whom will receive prize money of €2,000. In addition, there will be up to four silver prizes per category, as well as five special mentions – a distinction that will be awarded for the first time this coming year. The prize winners and special mentions will be announced in early July 2021.

In 2021, the aed’s “neuland” sponsorship prize will be presented in the following categories:

• Architecture + Engineering
• Exhibition Design + Interior Design
• Product Design
• Communication Design
• Interaction Design

In early May 2021, an independent jury consisting of 20 experts from the fields of architecture, engineering and design will decide which entrants will be awarded the “neuland” prize. The winners of each category will be presented at, together with the corresponding jury statements. As a result, students are already able to list competition achievements when they start making applications.
… nothing should be too much for us when it comes to turning the plan into reality.
Inge Scholl to Max Bill, 1950

Ulm School of Design – Anniversary!
70 years ago: foundation of the Geschwister-Scholl-Stiftung on 5 December 1950
“Now that the foundation is sorted, we ought to celebrate somehow. Then again, the entire endowment capital could easily end up going down the drain,” wrote Max Bill from Zurich on 7 December 1950 in a letter to Inge Scholl in Ulm.

But while that might still have been the case in early December 1950, things soon changed: John J. McCloy, the US High Commissioner for Germany, had promised her a donation of 1,000,000 Deutschmarks for her project to establish a “Geschwister-Scholl School”, which later became the HfG Ulm (Ulm School of Design). However, the pledge came with a condition: the founders had to raise the same sum of money from donations and grants.

Inge Scholl and her staff set to work immediately: they negotiated, travelled, made phone calls, wrote letters – and established a foundation that the money for their project could be paid in to. So it was the Geschwister-Scholl-Stiftung (GSS) that provided the funding for the HfG – and continued to exist after the school had closed.

Now called the HfG Ulm Foundation, it continues to this very day to promote the science, research and development of design and preserve the listed HfG buildings on the slopes of Kuhberg Hill in Ulm.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the GSS foundation’s creation, the Ulm foundation and the HfG Archive Ulm have recorded a podcast with excerpts from original letters that bring the exciting period of raising donations and establishing the foundation to life.

Link to podcast:
Link to participating institutions: and