Dear Readers,

Welcome to the latest issue of our newsletter!

In March, it’s not just the temperatures that are warming up, the registration phase for our current competitions – the Baden-Württemberg International Design Award FOCUS OPEN 2023 and the Mia Seeger Prize 2023 – is hotting up too as the deadlines approach. But don’t worry, there’s STILL TIME to submit your innovations to us!

After our successful DesignLese events of recent weeks, our next talk – in collaboration with the Patent and Trademark Center Baden-Württemberg – is scheduled for April. This time we’ll be focusing on the essential issue of design protection in our Fit for Market series.

This newsletter also features a fascinating Success Story about Instagrid GmbH, a young startup that caused a sensation in the FOCUS OPEN 2022 competition and has been engaging in an international offensive as a FOCUS Gold winner ever since.

In addition, with its Resonance programme, the Goethe-Institut network in France is offering a platform for the promotion of the cultural and creative industries in Europe. Interested creatives from Germany have until 30 March 2023 to apply.

Last but not least, we’ve got two book tips from our Design Library for you, this time on the up-to-the-minute subject of artificial intelligence and design.

Enjoy the read!

The Design Center Baden-Württemberg team


Win a FOCUS Gold, FOCUS Silver, FOCUS Special Mention or FOCUS Meta award with the Baden-Württemberg International Design Award FOCUS OPEN 2023, as well as huge publicity, excellent arguments for your communications and an international presence for your products!


Companies and design agencies from all over the world are invited to enter their most innovative design solutions. The competition aims to provide its yearly winners with support for the marketing of their innovations.

FOCUS OPEN? Non-commercial.

Click here for the call for entries and further information.


Fit For Market “Design Protection”

In collaboration with the Patent and Trademark Center, we’re continuing our Fit for Market series and holding another presentation (in German) on topical issues concerning design protection.

We would be delighted if you could join us at 18.00 on 18 April 2023.

How can I protect my design? What’s the right time to register a product design and what costs can I expect? Questions such as these come up in relation to any creative work and design output. In addition to an innovative idea, good research and the right protection are vital for success. Failing to protect innovations appropriately at the right time can result in immense financial detriment and the loss of the hoped-for competitive advantage.
Find out how to protect the design of your products, what you need to watch out for when registering a design and what costs are involved in our presentation on design protection!

The speaker for the evening is Helmut Jahnke, head of the Patent and Trademark Center Baden-Württemberg.

The event will take place at the Patent and Trademark Center Baden-Württemberg, on the 1st floor of Haus der Wirtschaft, Willi-Bleicher-Strasse 19, Stuttgart.

The presentation will be held in hybrid form. While we look forward to welcoming lots of guest in person, we will also be making the event available via live stream. All you need to do is go to the Patent and Trademark Center Baden-Württemberg’s YouTube channel. Viewers can use the chat function to ask questions during the event.

Further details of the event are available here (in German).



Sign up to take part by 31 March 2023!

The Mia Seeger Prize is underway again – and that’s good news for young designers whose coursework or finals project addresses one of the many aspects of social design. Because in 2023 too, that means the chance of a place on the winners’ podium for the legendary Mia Seeger Prize.

The deadline for entries is 31 March 2023 – so save the date! Details of the entry conditions are available on the Mia Seeger Foundation’s website (in German).

Find out more here.

instagrid GmbH:
Power packs for pros.

Instagrid develops and produces battery systems that supply energy wherever there is no access to the grid – on construction sites or outdoor film sets, for instance. Founded in Ludwigsburg, the young company has been thinking beyond boundaries right from the start. Design is a key tool that plays a role on multiple levels.

In 2022, Instagrid won the Baden-Württemberg International Design Award in gold for its OneMax portable battery system. OneMax doesn’t just feed energy-hungry tools independently of the grid and without producing emissions, it supplies mobile workers with power too. The storage battery with a huge capacity of enormen2,1 kWh replaces conventional combustion generators. The Ludwigsburg-based company has meanwhile moved beyond the startup phase and presented a new storage system with an even higher capacity. Instagrid is also continuing to pursue internationalisation and is about to venture across the Atlantic. A success story, definitely. And Felix Fuchs knows what role design plays in all that: he’s responsible for the design of the devices, UX design and the company’s visual branding.

Instagrid was founded in 2018 – do you still see yourselves as a startup?
That’s a question that keeps coming up internally as well. I’m sure team members who have been on board for a while would give a different answer than the current onboarders. We’re actually in a kind of transition phase, with one foot firmly in scaleup territory.

The company set out to internationalise early on and is about to enter the US market. Why?
With our products, we’re working on mastering a global challenge. Because…

Click here to read the full interview.

Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries in Europe

Apply now!
Closing date: 31 March 2023.

RESONANCE – Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries is a programme initiated by the Goethe-Institut network in France to promote the cultural and creative industries in Europe.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty in 2023, it will bring together a new generation of young creatives from Germany and France to work in tandem with funding from the Franco-German Youth Office as well as numerous other partners such as the Franco-German Cultural Council, the Franco-German Committee for the Cultural and Creative Industries, the Franco-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Institut français of Germany and the Fördernetzwerk Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft (Cultural and Creative Industries Support Network), thus facilitating innovative Franco-German collaborations at the interface of culture, business and technology. The cross-border initiative creates a platform that opens up new resonance spaces between Germany and France and strengthens forward-looking modes of European cooperation.

Find out more here.



You can visit our Design Library in person too!
Opening times:
Tuesday to Thursday: 09.00-15.00
Friday: 09:00–13:00

The Age of Data
Embracing Algorithms in Art & Design

Christoph Grünberger
Salenstein, Niggli 2021

“Art is constantly evolving, inviting experimentation, and, in today’s digital age, uses artificial intelligence to create entirely new realities. Data as a tool of expression is used by artists as an equal partner to break new ground at eye-level, while at the same time redefining the concept of art to revolutionize the world of design. This volume focuses on the aesthetics and creativity of a new generation of designers who are using algorithm-supported tools along the vertical.

For this compendium, the editor was able to involve the biggest names in the world of data-driven design to present their most important work on the basis of facts, aspects, and stories and to provide insights into their creative processes. These range from the vision via the underlying code and challenges in the implementation concept, to the finished work. On a theoretical level, the presented works, ranging from graphic design to 3D animation, real-time visualisations, robotics and spatial installations, are significantly enriched by interviews and texts by experts and insiders of the scene.”


Design und künstliche Intelligenz
Theoretische und praktische Grundlagen der Gestaltung mit
maschinell lernenden Systemen

Marc Engenhart, Sebastian Löwe
Basel, Birkhäuser 2022

“Designing with intelligent applications
Intelligent machines are no longer merely the stuff of science fiction. Machine learning is already widespread: for example, design tasks are being performed by algorithms and the user experience modified by means of intelligent systems. These applications for artificial intelligence (KI) contrast with a gap in theoretical reflection on intelligent design.

This book shows how designers’ tasks, roles, and understanding expand when machines take on design decisions and when the concept and practice of what we call creativity fundamentally shifts. It thus adds to our knowledge of how designers can apply machine learning productively.”