In our June newsletter, you can learn about the intriguing Design Story behind the Pinion GmbH company. We spoke to head of design and marketing Dirk Stölting about why gearboxes need design too. In May, our top-notch jury selected the winners of the FOCUS OPEN international design award! In this newsletter, we give you a behind-the-scenes look at the suspenseful few days while the judges made up their minds. And of course we’ve got some new book recommendations from our Design Library.

Enjoy the read!
The Design Center team

Baden-Württemberg International Design Award

The jury has met!

We’re delighted that our top-notch jury was able to evaluate the actual, physical products entered for the competition in person! It was an intense few days, with some very good design, professional exchange and lively discussions!

And once again, it was very clear that professional design has never been as 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.
The winners will be revealed on 8 October, when they’re called up on stage at the FOCUS OPEN 2021 award ceremony.

Click here for a glimpse of this year’s jury at work...

Why gearboxes need design too

Dirk Stölting is actually an industrial designer, but these days he’s also head of design and marketing at Pinion in Denkendorf. The company has been producing gearboxes for bikes since 2012 and has set a new benchmark for precision drive trains. We spoke to Dirk Stölting about his interdisciplinary development team, the design of technical components, the transformation of the bicycle and the understanding of design in the age of climate change.

Read more here.

Sustainable packaging: materials, design, research

Everybody’s talking about sustainability. But what’s going on in the packaging industry? According to the German Environment Agency, Germany generated approx. 18.9 million tonnes of packaging waste in 2018. This increase to what is the highest figure to date is mainly due to changes in how people live and the accompanying shifts in eating and consumption habits – a trend that is no doubt continuing and has probably even gained momentum as a result of the pandemic. A change of thinking is called for, but how sustainable and eco-friendly can packaging actually be? What criteria is sustainability assessed on? Is elaborate packaging always necessary? We provide an overview of today’s – sustainable – packaging materials and discuss the current state of research. A prominent packaging designer reports from the perspective of major brand manufacturers, and contemporary examples of innovative packaging round off the programme.

The Design Center Baden-Württemberg is a cooperation partner and, together with the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH [WRS]), is hosting a virtual workshop from 16:00-18:00 on 16 July 2021 as part of a new partnership between the NaturVision Filmfestival and the German Ecodesign Award. In particular, the event is aimed at young entrepreneurs, designers and researchers from the Stuttgart region.

Book recommendations from our Design Library

Designing Modern Icons and Pictograms
Authors / Eds. [T1] Burkhard Jacob, Vito Oražem, Peter Zec
Hamburg, Ginko Press Verlags GmbH 2020

Iconism is an inspirational reference for contemporary icon, pictogram and symbol design. Divided into three sections — Visual Identity, Wayfinding and Interactive Design — these ingenious and impactful styles from designers around the world highlight the importance of effective communication in our day to day lives. (Ginko Press)

Rethinking Users
The design Guide to User Ecosystem Thinking
Authors / Eds. [T2] Michael Youngblood, Benjamin Chesluk
Amsterdam, BIS Publishers 2020

Knowing your users stimulates your imagination and helps you create more exciting and effective design solutions. But there is a problem: the normal conception of “the user” is incomplete and based on outdated notions. These notions of simple, direct relationships between people and products are no longer valid in today’s complex, technologically interconnected world. (...) (BIS Publishers)

Spaces and Stories
Co-Creating Scenography
Author / Ed. Groenlandbasel
Stuttgart, avedition 2020

It is interdisciplinary teams with complex compositions that develop and realise exhibitions. Groenlandbasel directs a network of specialists and with “Spaces and Stories” enables an insight into the cooperation and the dedicated efforts of a wide range of involved parties. Exhibition thinkers and exhibition makers express themselves alongside each other in essays, shorter highlights and interviews. (...) (avedition)