Sustainable design is aesthetic and ecological. With sustainable design, quality takes precedence over quantity. What is wanted are simple, functional products of high quality that last a long time and can be used in a variety of ways. Not only is the product itself manufactured sustainably, but designers also prevent the wasting of resources by constantly replacing such products due to quality defects.
The German Design Council
For many years, the German Design Council has been the world's leading competence center for communication and knowledge transfer in the field of design, branding and innovation. He observes, analyzes and evaluates the international design scene. It thus defines trends and changes in the design world. The German Design Council also sets standards for designers worldwide by awarding numerous awards such as the German Design Award or the ICONIC Awards.
German Design Award
With the award of the German Design Award, the German Design Council has established one of the most recognized design awards worldwide. With this award he honors particularly innovative products and projects that are groundbreaking for the German, but also international design landscape. The German Design Award discovers and presents unique design trends. The winners are held in high regard in the design industry around the world.
ICONIC Awards: Innovative Interiors
The ICONIC AWARDS of the German Design Council each year honor particularly innovative products in the interior and architecture industry. The manufacturers, interior designers and property developers who receive the ICONIC AWARD “Innovative Interior” join a network with decision-makers from the furnishing industry and shape the development of interior design worldwide. This year, particular importance is attached to three design trends:
1. New simplicity: Stands for higher demands on quality and longevity in the course of a new awareness of the changed living conditions during the pandemic. These changes should also be reflected in their own living space, because people spend more time at home.
2. Ecology 2.0: Nowadays design should not only be aesthetic, but also ecological. Interior designers are also increasingly conveying an ethical model. The demands on sustainable design are higher than ever this year. As part of the circular economy, they include sustainable manufacturing processes, supply chains and materials.
3. Living multispaces: The pandemic has not only shaped our understanding of quality, living spaces must be one thing above all this year: functional. Because living and working spaces are merging with more home offices and a flexible working environment is likely to continue to prevail even after the pandemic. The interior world should also be prepared for such living mulitspaces. Thanks to their longevity, these also stand for sustainable design.
Newcomer Award and Personality of the Year
With the Newcomer Awards, the German Design Council particularly supports young designers who draw attention to themselves through extraordinary achievements and creative talent. The Personality of the Year also received a special honor, this year awarded to the Italian-American architect and curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York Paola Antonelli.
Sustainable design as a success factor and a change in values
Sustainable designers are increasingly creating a balance between design and environmental compatibility. They make it their business to design their products in such a way that they comply with the principles of sustainability - from development to manufacture. And all of that, without any deductions in terms of aesthetics:
The production of sustainable design products should be based on ecological processes right from the start. Energy-efficient production and the use of renewable energy sources should be ensured. Manufacturers should minimize water consumption and avoid using pollutants. A circular economy also minimizes the waste of important resources and local production helps prevent long delivery routes and non-transparent work in production.
2. Raw materials
When making their products, designers should use sustainable materials. This includes renewable and compostable raw materials such as wood or cotton, but also natural materials such as stone or wool. The upcycling of old materials such as plastic also offers a sustainable alternative to new raw materials.
3. Supply chain
Designers can make their supply chain sustainable by choosing the most ecological alternative from the procurement of materials to the means of transport and by offering transparency, for example through the Fairtrade seal. By processing regional materials, you can keep transport routes short and save CO2 by using more environmentally friendly means of transport such as electric vehicles.
4. Carbon footprint
In order to keep their carbon footprint as small as possible, designers and companies should rely on renewable energies instead of fossil fuels and use energy-efficient devices for production. The type of work, whether in the office or on the move with a laptop, as well as journeys and business trips, also have an impact on the company's carbon footprint. The aim should be to achieve climate neutrality in production