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German Design Awards Newcomer, the finalists 2024: (from left) Nicolas König, Leonie Burkhardt, studio formagora (Finn Blankenberg, Esra Heuermann, Nick Potter), Justus Hilfenhaus, Sebastian Winter © GRAND VISIONS

The jury of the German Design Awards 2024 has selected the five finalists for the “Newcomer” award of the German Design Awards 2024: Leonie Burkhardt, Justus Hilfenhaus, Nicolas König, studio formagora (Finn Blankenberg, Esra Heuermann, Nick Potter) and Sebastian Winter impressed the jury with their portfolios from the disciplines of textile design, product design, architecture, participatory design and digital design.

Collaborative work, interdisciplinary exchange, openness, a love of experimentation and a spirit of research run through the finalists’ portfolios. They all deal with opportunities for change, react to an ever faster changing world, work both conceptually and experimentally and dare to find playful solutions to complex challenges. The jury of the German Design Awards 2024 was impressed by the wide range of content, diversity of perspectives and their respective implementation in practice. They have the chance to win the German Design Awards prize of 15,000 euros, which will be presented on 26 January 2024 in Frankfurt am Main.

The finalists and their work:

Leonie Burkhardt (Textile design)
Leonie Burkhardt (*1994) completed her Bachelor’s degree in Textile Design at HAW Hamburg and KMITL in Bangkok. For her Master’s degree, she went to the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås. From 2019 to 2022, she was also a scholarship holder of the German National Academic Foundation. She has already shown her work in numerous international exhibitions such as the Dutch Design Week, Milan Design Week and the International Biennal of Crafts and Creation in Paris. Today Leonie Burkhardt works as a freelancer in the field of textile design. The core of her work is experimenting with textiles. In her three-dimensional textile objects, material and technology, innovation and craftsmanship are directly linked.

Justus Hilfenhaus (Product design)
Justus Hilfenhaus (* 1997) studied product design at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and industrial design at the Pratt Institute in New York. He went to the ECAL in Lausanne for his master’s degree in product design. He also completed an internship at Studio Hanne Willmann in Berlin, where he continued to work as a designer after completing his bachelor’s degree in 2021. Justus Hilfenhaus works naturally in different product worlds: In the lighting, electrical appliances or furniture that he develops with great precision, the focus is always on designing products that offer exceptional and surprising added value.

Nicolas König (Architecture)
Nicolas König (*1994) studied architecture at the Berlin University of the Arts and the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen. In spring 2023, he completed his Master of Science with distinction at ETH Zurich as a DAAD scholarship holder. In addition to numerous engagements as a student assistant with Professors Christ & Gantenbein, Günther Vogt and Anne Holtrop, among others, he has already gained professional experience at OFFICE kgdvs in Brussels and at Muck Petzet and Felgendreher Olfs Köchling in Berlin. With his research-oriented work, Nicolas König pursues the goal of creating structures in the built environment that relate to and are in harmony with the natural environment. His techno-ecological narratives move between physical fragments, experimental documentation and spatial investigations.

studio formagora (Product design / Participatory design)
studio formagora is a young studio for social design and transformative processes in Münster, founded in 2022. studio formagora was founded by Finn Blankenberg (1996), Nick Potter (1994) and Esra Heuermann (*1992). The three designers, who are also carpenters, met at the Academy for Design at the Münster Chamber of Crafts. studio formagora sees the design process as a tool and catalyst for change processes, whereby design is always understood politically by the three founders. Their subject areas are socio-ecological change and participation. Encounters, furnishing public spaces and craftsmanship are core elements of their work.

Sebastian Winter (Communication Design / Digital Design)
Sebastian Winter (*1996 ) started working as a trainee developer at Strichpunkt Design in Stuttgart in 2016 and began studying media design at DHBW Ravensburg in 2017. In 2020, Winter focused on interaction design at Strichpunkt Design. He has been working as a freelance Interaction Designer & Creative Developer since December 2022. He has been teaching seminars and workshops on interface design and creative coding at the HBK Essen and on interface design at the DHBW Ravensburg and the Bauhaus University Weimar. With his work, Sebastian Winter aims to make complex content as easily accessible as possible, particularly in the fields of education and science. The designer uses creative coding to promote interaction and open up a dialog.

Further information can be found under: https://www.german-design-award.com/en/the-newcomer.html

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