Our very best wishes for the new year – and welcome to the Design Center Baden-Württemberg! These are difficult times, but let’s be confident as we look to the future together. We’ve got a new Design Story for you: meet Supernova Design, a company that has been developing intelligent products for bicycles for many years. You can also pay a virtual visit to our Entdeckt! exhibition. Take a virtual stroll through the Steinbeis Hall at the Haus der Wirtschaft and meet successful young design talents from Baden-Württemberg. The Focus Open international design award is getting underway again too! See below for answers to any questions you might have about taking part. We’ve also compiled another selection of new acquisitions from our Design Library for you.

Enjoy the read!
The Design Center team
Bike light design for the mobility transformation
When it comes to bike lights, Supernova is an innovation leader and has won the Focus Open Gold multiple times. The company’s founder, Marcus Wallmeyer, is actually a designer – and a long-distance cyclist. It all started with an empty tomato puree can – find out why in our interview with Marcus Wallmeyer. He also shares his favourite cycling route in the Freiburg area with us.

Read more here.


Baden-Württemberg International Design Award

Shine a spotlight on your design expertise!

Win good arguments for your communications and perfect publicity!

You can register to take part as of now! The registration deadline is 1 April 2021.

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 even Meta – plus feedback from an independent jury and a publicity boost in the form of our yearbook, exhibition and online presentation.

Click here for all the facts and figures on the competition.
Details of this year’s competition are available here.
Click here to register online.

Young design firms in the spotlight!

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

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: design@rps.bwl.de

The ENTDECKT! exhibition series shines a spotlight on young designers and all the different facets they represent and gives them the opportunity to present their portfolio or special, exceptional projects to a broad public. This Design Center programme aims to encourage young people from all over Baden-Württemberg regardless of which field they come from – product design, communication design, game design, fashion design, animation design, exhibition design, textile design etc.

Although unfortunately the exhibition isn’t open to the public, you can still explore and enjoy it! Click here to experience all the remarkable works by young design talents from Baden-Württemberg in a virtual tour, including videos in which the individual exhibitors introduce themselves.

The brochure is also now available – as a download or in print. Just send a mail to: design@rps.bwl.de 

In February, we’ll be showing the exhibition Success Factor Design in collaboration with Karlsruhe District Government. In addition to award-winning products from Focus Open 2020 and much more, the Entdeckt! exhibits will also be on show there.

Plagiarius Competition 2021

Registration deadline: 22 January 2021 (latecomers: 29.1.2021)
(Deadlines extended by 1 week due to lockdown)

Since 1977, the Plagiarius anti-award has been presented to manufacturers and distributors of particularly brazen imitations and fakes. The goal of the Plagiarius campaign is to raise public awareness of product and brand pirates and sensitise industry, politicians and consumers to the problem. In addition, the award aims to increase appreciation of intellectual property, i.e. of innovative and creative achievements. The trophy that comes with the anti-prize is a black gnome with a golden nose – an allusion to the German idiom “to earn yourself a golden nose”, which means to earn a fortune. It symbolises the huge profits that copycats with no ideas of their own earn at the expense of creatives and industry.

If you’re affected by unfair plagiarism, you can send a clear signal to the copycat that you’re prepared to fight back with all means available and won’t let anybody take your success away from you.

Take part in the Plagiarius Competition 2021 and enter the cases that involve your work. The Plagiarius anti-award shines a spotlight on unscrupulous plagiarisms so as to sensitise the public to the problem. At the same time, it increases appreciation of intellectual property, i.e. of your innovative and creative achievements.
This year too, entrepreneurs, designers and inventors can enter their original products together with the alleged imitations and nominate the plagiariser – regardless of whether it’s a manufacturer or a distributor – for the anti-prize.
Read more here.
Click here for the registration documents.

A roundup of our new acquisitions!

Das Streben nach Vollkommenheit
Japanisches Handwerk zwischen Tradition und Moderne (in German)
Author / Eds. gestalten & Irwin Wong
Berlin, gestalten 2020

In an era where global interest in handmade, small-batch products is heightening as a response to mass production, this book takes a look inside the workshops of the country’s artisans, revealing their endless pursuit of excellence, and what it means to dedicate one’s life to the stewardship of irreplaceable cultural heritage. Find inspiration in the exploration of handmade processes using sustainable materials and discover the lengths these makers go to in ensuring every product is perfect.

From hand-painted kimono dyeing to wooden trays carving, Das Streben nach Vollkommenheit meets the craftspeople of Japan’s diverse regions with unique insights into their traditions and how they work.

Radical Matter.
Rethinking materials for a sustainable future.
Authors / Eds. Kate Franklin, Caroline Till
London, Thames & Hudson 2019

Rejecting old assumptions and revitalising the principles of sustainable production, Radical Matter reimagines material and process to provide the manifesto for a revolution in material innovation.

Guaranteed to inform and inspire in equal measure, this book celebrates the designer and maker as an agent for radical change, disrupting the way we design, make and consume through material innovation. Framed by eight “Big Ideas”, with over 60 fully illustrated case studies featuring testimonies from global industry experts, this is an essential introduction to the cutting edge of design for a sustainable future.
Fit for designers at any level, this is nose-to-tail eating for the design world – a vital resource for those looking to understand how to connect materials with manufacturing and the means of distribution and consumption.
It’s time to turn the cycle from take–make–waste to make–waste–make.

Corporate Language. Das Praxisbuch.
Warum Marken in der digitalen Welt eine stärkere Stimme brauchen
Wie Sprache zum Branding-Tool für Mittelstand und große Unternehmen wird (in German)
Authors / Eds. Armin Reins, Veronika Classen, Géza Czopf
Mainz, Verlag Hermann Schmidt 2020

Companies that successfully position themselves on the market have one thing in common: they speak a unique, distinctive and recognisable language as part of their corporate identity. A corporate language.
They talk to their customers and not about them. The way they speak is recognisable and understandable, consistent and logical. Across all brand touchpoints, and often in different national languages. They see this language as an essential part of their corporate identity and culture. And they make this language come alive.
How do you create a distinctive and original corporate language for your company, brand or institution? Or for your client?
This book provides the answer. With real-life, tried-and-tested guidance.
Not with boring theory, but based on real cases that have led to success. And which provide inspiration, know-how and arguments. Underpinned with tools that make your day-to-day dealings with corporate language easier and guarantee success and efficiency. With numerous before-and-after examples as vivid and effective inspiration for improving your textual skills. (...)