German Design Council presents the winners of the ein&zwanzig 2022 newcomer awards in Milan

Apr 5, 2022

The 21 winners of ein&zwanzig, the German Design Council’s international competition for new design talent, have been chosen. To mark the 60th Salone del Mobile taking place between 6 and 12 June 2022, this year’s awards ceremony will be held in Milan. With three months left to go until the highly regarded newcomer awards are presented, the judges have offered a first glimpse of this year’s product and project ideas. This year, the winning design students and graduates have come up with some impressive combinations of aesthetics and utility by applying their curiosity, uncompromising inquisitiveness and in-depth understanding of intelligent problem-solving.

The successful entries are guided by essential modern design principles such as recycling, upcycling and redesigning. In the judges’ opinion, they succeed in pushing the envelope of design with their synergetic interplay of craftsmanship and industry, drawing on traditional principles and tackling society’s current challenges with ecological awareness and innovativeness.  

The wide-ranging winning designs clearly show that smaller homes, flexible space concepts and a growing sense of responsibility for making sustainable choices present new challenges for product design. The winning designers present alternative production techniques and a powerful ethos of reduction. The impressive range of entries spans everything from flexible systems to seating and office furniture, multifunctional objects, and lamps, everyday items, and textile design. In an experimental approach, textiles are used in a multi-purpose fashion as curtains, wall hangings, room dividers or even sound control panels to restructure living or working spaces. Lamps are not just sources of light: combined with recycled materials, they become objets d’art.  

The change in our living conditions brought about by a new acceptance of remote working, the intense use of private homes, and the need for flexible space concepts all place the focus on modular seating, textiles and tableware. The products are demonstrably sustainable, endorse the power of craftsmanship, and seek bold material combinations and manufacturing methods.  

This year’s winners were particularly keen to experiment with sustainable materials with submissions featuring everything from upcycled banana fibre to natural rubber, glass, jute and black granite. For instance, CO2-binding carbon fibre is transformed into climate-friendly planters and cellulose-based wood fibre is used to make multidimensional textile objects. Is this a call to industry to devote the same intensity to sustainable materials and production and to make widespread, responsible use of them in the mainstream?  

One example of this trend is the chair by Matthias Josef Gschwendtner (Berlin University of the Arts). For “New Sources”, he uses leftover material from the timber industry and a robot-based manufacturing process. The “Active Desk” by Johannes Choe, graduate of the Kunsthochschule Kassel, is a laptop desk which can be adapted to hybrid workspaces. With his “Apio” connection system, Felix Landwehr from the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam also offers a means of combining furniture in a flexible, modular fashion. Practical, suitable for everyday use and aesthetically pleasing, “LoPu” by Lilli Seiler from the Folkwang University of the Arts is both a pump and a bike lock. “LUDO” by Teresa Egger (New Design University Austria) is a hybrid piece of furniture which the whole family can enjoy. It can be used as a side table or a toy: each time it is turned 90 degrees, a different means of interacting with it is revealed. Especially during home schooling, “LUDO” offers new solutions for households with children. Made from moulded plywood, “LUDO” is created in a single pressing process.  

Lutz Dietzold, CEO of the German Design Council, is delighted that the 2022 awards will be presented live in Milan as part of Tortona Design Week after a two-year hiatus: “We are impressed by the innovative creativity expressed in the product ideas submitted to us,” emphasised Dietzold. “The pandemic and the many resulting lifestyle changes had a major effect on the designs. Up-and-coming designers are offering consumers interesting alternatives and intelligent solutions to make a change in their day-to-day lives by choosing sustainable products which are also aesthetically pleasing.”  

The winner of the highest distinction – “Best of Best” – will be announced at the awards ceremony, which will take place on 6 June 2022 during Tortona Design Week at Officina 3, Via Tortona 31, Milan. The winners of last year’s young talent competition will also be at the event.  

Here are the winners of ein&zwanzig 2022:  

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 and 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
Janine Wunder, Vice President Communications and Marketing
Phone +49 (0)69 247 448 699