Initiator German Design Graduates

Herman Weizzenegger, Ineke Hans, Mark Braun

At the start of her professorship at the UdK, Ineke Hans was surprised about the way in which graduation work from German design programs was brought into the spotlight. In 2019 she initiated the German Design Graduates with her collegues prof. Hermann Weizenegger (FH Potsdam) and prof. Mark Braun (HBK-Saar)

German Design Graduates is a platform for graduates that annually come out of German Design education.
It fosters an online website where information and backgrounds can be found and filtered per graduate.
It presents – annually – an offline exhibition in a renown German Design Museum with a selection of work of all participating design schools on the themes and topics that are on the mind of young designers today.

German Design Graduates has a network of ambassadors in five design domains. They offer financial support and / or work experience, production and presentation opportunities to the graduates.

ambassadors 2020:
– Design Culture: Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, Museum für Kunst & Gestaltung Hamburg, Die Neue Samlung/Design Museum München
– Design Presentation: IMM Cologne, Ambiente Frankfurt, Ein-und-zwanzig (German Design Council), Interzum (Haute Innovation) Wasserschloss Klaffenbach
– Design Perspectives: Hans Sauer Stiftung, Constructlab, Haute Innovation, ifDRA
– Design Praxis:  BASF-Designfabrik, Magazin, Gerhard Nüssler (former BSH-group), Designfarm Berlin, Läufer & Keichel, Daniel Lorch & Anna Badur, Moormann Möbel
– Design Press: Form Magazin, Stilwerk Magazine, Dear Magazin/ Baunetz, Jasmin Jouhar

Germany has a rich history of Product and Industrial Design, but what does German Design stand for nowadays? How do the students that come out of education tick? What is their attitude? The profession of a designer has changed a lot in the last decades and accordingly the position of the designer. German design schools have annual exhibitions, but for a (inter)national audience an overall view of the quality that comes out of German design schools is missing. Based on all this, the idea came up to start up the German Design Graduates.

A platform & diving board for young designers:
• German Design Graduates hosts an online archive of degree works that can be filtered per year, theme or school.
In 2019 twelve Design Universities with 137 graduates with a graduation date from 01.01.2018 to 30.04.2019 in the field of product and industrial design, as well as interface graduates with a link to physical objects uploaded their degree work. In 2020 fourteen Design Universities participate.
• German Design Graduates offers a platform for the vast world that design covers today
 and links young designers to relevant design networks. Professional ambassadors from the design field (culture, presentation, perspectives, praxis and press) are linked to German Design Graduates and give green cards and prizes to starting designers in the form of exhibitions and work experience.
At the opening of the exhibition the curator and directors of Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, Neue Sammlung München and the Museum for Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg hand out the GDG Culture Prize – an annual cash prize – awarded to a project that stands out by attitude, innovation and social impact.
• German Design Graduates shows current design attitudes and themes of German Graduates in an annual exhibition in the Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin to a wide and professional audience.
• German Design Graduates discusses chosen design positions and directions to come,
 underpinned with a series of events and debates with professionals and experts on the themes, current positions and the state of design today.

In March 2022 the German Design Graduates initiative joined forces with the German Design Council, see more