It’s spring again – and we’ve got plenty of fresh design ideas for you! We’ve been interviewing some of the most recent Focus Open prize winners and the countdown for 2021 has begun! Register by 1 April and enter your innovations for our FOCUS OPEN 2021 international design award. And don’t miss our intriguing Design Story about wd3 GmbH. The online version of the Success Factor Design exhibition in Karlsruhe is proving very popular with its virtual visitors – see for yourself! Plus, we’re expanding our team – interested? Young designers can sign up for the Mia Seeger Prize and we’ve included some new acquisitions from our Design Library for you again as well.

Enjoy the read!
The Design Center team

wd3 GmbH

The future needs adaptive products

Good design doesn’t just need to encourage adaptations by the user, it has to signal its adaptability as well – says Michael Daubner, managing director of wd3.The Stuttgart firm develops new furniture and tools for what is commonly referred to as the office. But Michael Daubner takes a more universal view. A discussion about reduction, ingenuity, technological know-how and the vagaries of expanded polypropylene.

Read more here.


Baden-Württemberg International Design Award

Shine a spotlight on your design expertise!

Win good arguments for your communications and perfect publicity!

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.

Details of this year’s competition are available here.
Click here to register online.

Design expertise as a route to success

Virtual tour of the exhibition

The Design Center Baden-Württemberg is presenting the exhibition SUCCESS FACTOR DESIGN 2021 in collaboration with Karlsruhe District Government until 12 March.

After that date, you can explore all the presentations in a 360° tour. Interviews with Sylvia Maria Felder, president of Karlsruhe District Government, and Christiane Nicolaus, director of the Design Center Baden-Württemberg, provide additional insights into the exhibition.

Have fun exploring!
More information about the exhibition and its participants is available here.


Audiovisual communication




Graphic design


Here are our latest new acquisitions!

Author / Ed. Miriam Köpf
av edition, Stuttgart 2021

Plants change working environments, adding a touch of nature and style and improving the indoor climate. Through their form, colour and type of growth, they represent a living design material. Whether it is in an open-plan office, co-working space or employee lounge, their positive effect on people is visible and tangible.

This book is targeted towards all those who want to integrate plants into their spatial concepts. With current examples of greenterior design, artistic plant constellations and insights into the design of plant pots, along with background knowledge from exemplary projects and interior architecture with botany.

The qualified carpenter and certified product designer Miriam Köpf is specialised in spatial installations. She has worked at various design agencies in Stuttgart and in 2015 founded the botanical design studio Phyllis. Her focus is on the integration of indoor plant installations, especially in working environments. She has coined the term greenterior design and conveys her approach through conceptual plant pop-up shops, constructive cooperations with architects and inspiring workshops for students. (...)

Die Rolle des Designers im Ästhetischen Kapitalismus (in German)
Author / Ed. Jonas Dinkhoff
Verlag der Ideen, Visionen und Konzepte, Münster 2019

Things are the speech bubbles of our society. But this way of communicating is an ecological and social disaster. Design is the engine of our consumerism. And therefore both an opportunity and responsibility to commit to a realignment. Design is always political. “Buy this shit!” isn’t enough! Designers have to take a stance and reinvent themselves! (...)

Die Handlungsmacht der Dinge (in German)
Authors / Eds. Michelle Christensen & Florian Conradi
Basel, Birkhäuser Verlag 2021

The boundaries between nature and culture, human and machine, object and subject are increasingly disappearing: in this era of entanglement, in which things themselves are increasingly thinking, learning, predicting and guiding our every action, haven’t we ourselves become a device of the devices that we once designed?

Adopting the approach of practice-based design research, the authors analyse the balance of power within the “politics of things” by inverting, shifting and questioning their own everyday routines through design experiments. The researchers thus themselves become the object of research – enabling them, ipso facto, to develop critical perspectives on the negotiating power of humans and things in a time of ontological crisis. (...)