With the words "Ich bin ein Kronberger," Dr. Mark Breitenberg summarized his speech "Changes and Challenges of International Design Promotion" at the BraunPrize 2009 Award Ceremony on September 16th. Breitenbach, president elect of ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design), provost of California College of the Arts and former member of the BraunPrize jury, knows what he is talking about. Kronberg is not only the hometown of Braun, where the prize was founded in 1968, but also the place where the winners of the BraunPrizes are painstakingly selected.
BraunPrize 2009 Finalists: (clockwise from upper right) Johanna Schoemaker, Karsten Willmann, Stephan Zimmermann, and Tobias Stuntebeck.
No other design competition for young professionals requires so much effort to select a winner - three rounds of judging by two different juries must be passed. In 2009, a record number of 1074 projects from 54 different countries were submitted. The members of the BraunPrize jury included Anna Kirah, design anthropologist from Oslo; Kazuo Tanaka, President of GK Design Group, Tokyo; Florian Seiffert, retired Professor for Product Design, Fachhochschule Mainz (and first BraunPrize Winner in 1968); Rainer Silbernagel, Director of the Braun Engeneering, Kronberg; and Jury Chairman Peter Schneider, Head of Braun Design Department until the beginning of 2009. In the first two rounds, 22 projects were chosen for the BraunPrize exhibition, which debuted during the ceremony and will tour internationally. The 2009 catalogue of all awarded projects, including the winners of the BraunPrize Mexico and China, is also available.
More pics and the winner after the jump...
From these 22, the BraunPrize jury chose four finalists to present their projects to the final jury, an assembly of design experts, including academics, designers and journalists, at the BraunPrize Forum on September 16th, 2009.
Johanna Schoemaker presented her "Clam OLED lamp," a highly functional family of lights based on the latest OLED technology. Schoemaker's design brings together technological innovation and aesthetic value in an extraordinary way, a point that had already convinced the jury of the Lucky Strike Junior Designer Award 2009. There her OLED lamp was awarded a special recognition.
Tobias Stuntebeck redesigned the white cane, the classic navigation tool for the visually impaired, imbuing it with state of the art technology from the tip to the handle. Let's hope that Stuntebeck will soon find a "fearless company" to produce this production-ready design.
Karsten Willmann designed a child restraint system for use in passenger aircrafts. "Skylino" safely secures children up to two years old in an aircraft in flight, including during emergency landings and evacuations. With this concept, Willmann identified and solved a problem that has been unanswered until now - for this reason alone he should be congratulated.
Finally, Stephan Zimmermann introduced his modular cleaning facility for ships entitled "Anemone". Based on the principle of ultrasonic cleaners, "Anemone" will help clean the hulls of ships in an effective and environmentally conscious way. By taking an interdisciplinary approach that incorporated design, engineering and nautical science, Zimmermann's project is a sound model for how successful designers might work in the future.
And the winner is...
BraunPrize 2009 winner Johanna Schoemaker receiving her award from Peter Schneider, retired Head of the Braun Corporate Design Department and Chairman of the jury.
It was not easy for the audience to choose a winner. All four finalists presented elaborate and well-realized projects focused on problems that still await large-scale solutions. In the end, Johanna Schoemaker was declared the winner for her "Clam OLED lamp," with about 150 jurors voting in her favor. While she received a substantial prize of 12,000 Euros, the three other finalists did not go home empty handed, receiving 5,000 Euros each.
(left to right) Peter Schneider, Florian Seiffert, retired Professor for Product Design, Fachhochschule Mainz (and first BraunPrize Winner 1968), Kazuo Tanaka, President of GK Design Group, Johanna Schoemaker, Gerlinde Kress (member of the BraunPrize organizing Team (with flowers), Mark Breitenberg, A.G. Lafley (Chairman of the Board of P&G and former CEO of P&G), Tobias Stuntebeck, Karsten Willmann, Stephan Zimmermann.
The Future of Braun Design
During the BraunPrize Forum and Ceremony, Oliver Grabes was introduced as the new Head of the Corporate Design Department and successor of Peter Schneider as the Chairman of the next BraunPrize jury. Alongside his new duties, Grabes will remain a Professor of Product Design at the University of Wuppertal - a sign that Braun will stress the importance of both practice and education in its design department. As such, Oliver Grabes must be proud that Johanna Schoemaker, one of his former students and graduates, has won this year's BraunPrize, because she will also be presented the opportunity to work a paid six-month internship in Braun's Corporate Design Department. We wait in suspense to find out if Johanna Schoemaker will one day turn Mark Breitenberg's words into: "Ich bin eine Kronbergerin."
Fei-Yi Mao and Shu Yuan, winner of the BraunPrize China 2009.
Mitzi Holohlavsky Garcia and Aramis Herrera Cubillos - two of the three winners of PremioBraun Mexiko 2009.
All photos courtesy of Lutz Sternstein.