Winner of German Design Awards: Can Hessian design solve the climate crisis? |

Sustainability, inclusion, rural emigration: The winners of this year’s German Design Awards provide answers to socially relevant issues. Your ideas are timelessly beautiful, amazing – sometimes 770 pages long.

Good design is emotional – and there are answers to the challenges of our time. This is the impression given by this year’s winners of the German Design Awards. presents three award-winning ideas.

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The German design awards

Every year, the German Design Council based in Frankfurt honors designers in the categories of communication design, product design, architecture and newcomers. In 2022, the award will celebrate its tenth anniversary.

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Idea 1: Including packed lunch

German Design Awards

How do visually impaired people find out that they should not eat the yoghurt they have just taken out of the fridge because it is musty? So far not at all. The upcoming designer Anne Bansen comes up with a proposal that has now been awarded the German Design Award 2022.

She has designed packaging for foods that change surface texture when the contents get bad. Visually impaired people can feel this – but it is also a useful additional indicator for everyone else, after all, the chop or mozzarella does not always depend on the best-before date.

Idea 2: Chairs that are good for the climate and the back

Two chairs and a side table of light wood and metal stand on a staircase.

Comfortable, sustainable, aesthetic – is it not possible? Then go. This is proven by Sascha Kleczka and Leonhard Berger, who together founded the furniture manufacturer Fuchs & Habicht in Ahnatal (Kassel). The company of product design students has been in existence since 2020. Her goal: your furniture should not only look beautiful, but also “bring emotional added value,” explains Sascha Kleczka.

Her very first collection “Dickicht” was awarded in the gold category of the German Design Award. The constructions consist of one or two straight wooden surfaces, which are supported by a filigree, matt lacquered steel wire. For the collection, it was especially important for them that only a few raw materials were used, says Kleczka. The steel used is recycled, the wood comes directly from the Habichtswald at Kassel, so it travels short distances.

Because they are dependent on flat surfaces and, for example, do not mill depressions in seat surfaces, less energy is also used in production and processing. And although the chairs at first glance do not look really comfortable: the proportions and slightly resilient steel tubes provide surprisingly much seating comfort, as the self-experiment shows.

Idea 3: A prayer for village life

The picture shows four excerpts from an open book.  You can see pictures, for example of a tractor.

Everyone is moving to the city. Not Armin Illion. The graphic designer has for 25 years developed brand concepts for large companies such as Deutsche Bahn, Lufthansa and Aldi Süd. But his heart project is “Seldersch”, as his residence Selters im Taunus (Limburg-Weilburg) is called by the locals. He is “burned” for life in the village and has therefore dedicated a 770-page book to his homeland.

“Seldersch” combines short texts with more than 600 historical and current photographs of Selters: of the people who live, work and celebrate here in the inn. It’s a book for the locals, Illion says, “to show that this village is worth getting involved in.”

The graphic designer combines text and photos with recurring floral and other graphic elements. As a result, the book appears to have been cast in one piece without appearing kitschy or outdated. The German Design Award has awarded Illion’s declaration of love for village life in the highest category gold.

So is design a problem solver?

In the end, good design will probably neither solve the problem of inclusion nor prevent the climate crisis or the disappearance of village structures. But it can help push social processes in other, more compatible directions.

You can convince yourself of that until February 27 in the Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt: The exhibition “How designers think” shows the winners of this year’s German Design Awards ideas.

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