smow blog compact: Kölner DESIGN Preis 2015

On Thursday October 29th the winners of the Kölner DESIGN Preis 2015 were announced in a ceremony at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln, MAKK.

Open to students from Cologne’s seven creative colleges and their international partner institutions the 8th edition of Germany’s highest endowed prize for student diploma projects carried a total prize money of €15,000 and saw 29 projects nominated, projects ranging from products, to concepts and onto more fundamental research.

For us the use of uppercase for “DESIGN” neatly symbolises the organisers’ very large i.e. very wide understanding of the term “design”; we’d call it a creative prize more than a design prize…. which is no way a criticism or should in any way distract from the quality of the nominated projects.

First prize, and the €6,000 prize money, was awarded to Michael Binz from the Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, KHM, for his project “Herman the German” a short film which plays with classic German stereotypes through playing on the stereotype of the typical film action hero interspersed and exaggerated through a host of abstract and more general phobias that affect us all.

Second place was awarded to Simone Fahrenhorst from Köln International School of Design, KISD, for her project ProMemo, a “first aid kit” for the family and friends of dementia suffers which provides support and advice and thus aids the acceptance of the condition and deconstructs taboos; Franziska Hemel from ecosign/Akademie für Gestaltung secured third place with “Sound of Schopenhauer”, a project which sets Schopenhauer’s philosophical positions in a musical context and thus aims to make his works more accessible: for all who want to test the theory in practice

In addition to the prize winners five Special Recognitions were presented: to Annika Fecke & Sabine Jeleniowski from Rheinische Fachhochschule for their research into barrier-free websites for the blind and visually impaired; Camilo Colmenares from the KHM for his experimental animation film Quimtai; Anna Shapiro from KISD for the film “I’MGRAND in Köln Porz Finkenberg”; Christine Zimmer from ecosign/Akademie für Gestaltung for her kitchen concept Schnittstelle and Jessica Lörs from KHM for her Quattourpus, a four armed record player which allows for the convenient use of such as a musical instrument in its own right rather than simply as a reproducer of recorded sounds.

Congratulations to all!

An exhibition featuring all winning and nominated projects can be viewed at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, MAKK, An der Rechtschule, 50667 Cologne until Sunday November 22nd. Entry is free.

Full details, including information on all nominated projects and guided tours through the exhibition, can be found at

A few impressions from the exhibition:

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