“ein&zwanzig” newcomer awards: “Best of Best” distinction goes to the modular furniture system Apio

Jun 7, 2022

Each year, the German Design Council commends outstanding work by up-and-coming designers with its international young talent competition, “ein&zwanzig”. A jury of well-known designers pick the 21 best product and project ideas from the many entries made by young talent, design students and graduates. One project which particularly impresses the jury is also given the coveted “Best of Best” special award.

Today, the jury announced the winner of this year’s “Best of Best” prize. It goes to Felix Landwehr for his Apio project – a node-based connection system for modular furniture. The jury praised the modular system as an affordable, sustainable and modern solution which can be used flexibly in even the smallest of spaces. Felix Landwehr is a graduate of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. He received his award at a ceremony held at Officina 3, Zona Tortona, during Milan Design Week. This year’s “ein&zwanzig” young talent competition will culminate with two highlights in Milan: in addition to the awards ceremony, the city will host an exhibition of the 21 winning entries lasting until 12 June. Along with this year’s 21 winners, the 21 talented young people who won last year will attend the event. They will all have the opportunity to present their concepts and visions to the German Design Council’s international network and to establish contacts within the international design scene.

“Best of Best”: Apio by Felix Landwehr

These days, a shelving unit has to be about more than just storage. It should provide a spatial structure which adapts to different stages of life and the users’ individuality. Limited living space also calls for customisable solutions to make the best possible use of niches and small rooms. Restrictive, rigid specifications and unnecessarily complex components reduce user-friendliness and the options for long-term use. Flexibility, mobility and adaptability are therefore crucial requirements that tomorrow’s shelving units should meet.  

With his node-based connection system Apio, designer Felix Landwehr has created a customisable piece of furniture which adapts flexibly to our day-to-day lives thanks to its intelligent system for linking individual elements. Users can put their own ideas into practice cost-effectively using a single connector and conventional tubing bought from a DIY store or recycled materials. The unit can be put together without tools, meeting users’ desire for simplification and less time-consuming assembly. Thanks to the innovative connector, the elements can be arranged in any position on the tubes. Maximum flexibility and adaptability make the system suitable for use in private homes as well as office or retail premises. Financially speaking, Apio is a low-cost connector which is manufactured efficiently and cost-effectively in Brandenburg (Germany) using 3D laser technology and a CNC lathe. It is therefore available at a low price.  

Felix Landwehr designed the piece of furniture with the whole life cycle in mind: the connector uses mono-materials which are completely separable and can be returned to the materials cycle. The connector is made up of four individual components. Two durable materials are used – steel and webbing made from bio-based Dyneema fibre, which is up to 15 times stronger than steel. These have very long useful lives and can be reused at the end of their lifespan. All of the individual components in the connector can be replaced by the user without any tools. The innovative connection system could also be used in other scenarios.

The jury for this year’s “ein&zwanzig” young talent competition

The 14-strong jury for “ein&zwanzig” consists of young designers like Hanne Willmann, Eva Marguerre and Marcel Besau, the Dutch design duo Raw Color (Daniera ter Haar, Christoph Brach), Chen Min from China, the Canadian James Wolfond and Bethan Laura Wood from Britain.

The award-winning products will be on show from 6 to 12 June at Officina 3, Via Tortona 31, Milan.  

You will have the opportunity to meet the 21 up-and-coming designers from this year’s competition and last year’s 21 winners in person on Monday 6 June and Tuesday 7 June between 5 and 7 p.m.

The Best of Best” awards ceremony took place today at 7 p.m. at Officina 3, Via Tortona 31, Milan.  

All awardees in the “Winner” 2022 category:

“Best of Best” awardee:
Project: Apio
Designer: Felix Landwehr/D  

Project: A softer wood
Designer: Isabella Braunreuther/D  

Project: LoPu – lock‘n‘pump
Designer: Lilli Seiler/D  

Project: Etagenregal 1200Y
Designer: Steffen Och/D  

Project: Active Desk
Designer: Johannes Choe/D  

Project: Layers of time
Designer: Lucie Ponard/F  

Project: Converging disciplines – exploring digital crafts
Designer: Henrieke Neumeyer and Moritz Müller/D  

Project: Caparica
Designer: Justus Hilfenhaus/D  

Project: Future Artifact – Charby
Designer: Massimo Scheidegger and Nora Giuliana Iannone/D/CH  

Project: Living Beings
Designer: Nelli Singer/D  

Project: Sneature – waste based footwear
Designer: Emilie Burfeind/D  

Project: Knit
Designer: Lucy Braun and Lars Schiwietz/D  

Project: Ludo – a hybrid furniture
Designer: Teresa Egger/A  

Project: Sabu
Designer: Julia Huisken/D  

Project: Tele-nomadic textiles
Designer: Anna Resei/A

Project: Volta
Designer: Marie Radke/D

Project: New Sources
Designer: Matthias Josef Gschwendtner/D

Project: Traditional heritage, a collage of my origin
Designer: Lenn Gerlach/D

Project: Fagus noir
Designer: Lars Zinniker ad Gabriel Köferli/CH  

Project: Rythm
Designer: Judith Kamp/D  

Project: Gongsaeng Garden: PLANT Collection
Designer: Jinwoo Chae/KR


Since 2017, the German Design Council has been supporting young design talent with the “ein&zwanzig” competition, which calls for entries internationally. The awards are aimed at design students and graduates with innovative and trendsetting work in the categories of interior design, lifestyle, eco design, social design, medical and rehabilitation, materials and textiles, techniques and processes for design, public design and digitally supported design. An international expert jury selects 21 outstanding works from among the entries, with 20 of these being designated as winners and one receiving the “Best of Best” distinction.

German Design Council

The German Design Council has been operating since 1953 as one of the world’s leading centres of expertise in communication and knowledge transfer within design, branding and innovation. It is part of the worldwide design community and has always contributed to the establishment of global exchange and networking thanks to its international offering, promotion of new talent and memberships. With events, conventions, awards, jury meetings and expert committees, the German Design Council connects its members and numerous other international design and branding experts, fosters discourse and provides important stimulation for the global economy. More than 350 businesses currently count among its members.

German Design Council
Alexandra Sender, Vice President Communications and Marketing
Phone +49 (0)69 247 448 699

Download the press release