Einreichung 2023

The submission deadline has passed. Thank you for the numerous entries.


Who are German Design Graduates and the German Design Council?

German Design Graduates (GDG) is the only national initiative aimed at promoting young graduates from the fields of product and industrial design as well as presenting renowned German universities, art academies, and technical colleges. The enormous scope of graduation projects, as well as their varied approaches to design, offer room for discourse: not only on the subject of design, but also about research and future issues in particular. The most important task of the GDG is to present and promote the quality and variety of the achievements and solutions developed by the graduates. The graduation projects will be presented in a variety of formats such as a comprehensive online presentation, during international exhibitions, and at networking activities. Awards and individual grants are there to provide a springboard into a career in design for the graduates.

The GDG is supported by the German Design Council foundation, which has held the project sponsorship for the initiative since 2022. The German Design Council has served as the leading international centre of excellence for communication and knowledge exchange in the fields of design, brand, and innovation. It is a part of the global design community with its international services, support for young talents, and memberships, and has always contributed to establishing communication and networks worldwide. The German Design Council provides networking opportunities to its members and numerous other international design and brand experts in the form of events, conferences, awards, jury meetings, and expert panels; promotes discourse; and delivers important stimuli to the global economy. Its members currently include more than 350 companies.


How are works selected for the exhibition and awards? 

A top-class jury of experts will select approximately 45 projects for the GDG Exhibition and 4 award winners for the GDG Awards from all submitted graduation projects in one GDG year. The evaluation will be based on the text and photographic material submitted with the registration form.

The selection by the jury is based on how they individually weight both the general and specific criteria. They are free to weight and interpret the criteria as they see fit. The criteria serve as reference points and are not legally binding.

General Criteria

  • Innovation & Impact
  • Design & Construction 
  • Representation & Communication 

Specific Criteria 

  • Society & Culture
  • Sustainability & Circularity
  • Research & Transfer

What is the exhibition about and what are the benefits for exhibitors?

Outstanding graduation projects from the fields of product and industrial design, created by graduates of the most renowned German art and design colleges, will be presented from September 1 to October 8, 2023 by the German Design Graduates initiative and its sponsor, the German Design Council, in cooperation with the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.  Approximately 45 works will present perspectives on pressing questions and current challenges at the intersection of culture, society, research, technology, and sustainability during the exhibition.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a discursive programme in the museum space. Graduates and experts in the field will discuss the future of design and perspectives for young talents during presentations, workshops, and talks.

Benefits for the 45 Selected Exhibitors:

  • Presentation space in a curated, structured group exhibition
  • Invitations to the opening, talks, and workshops
  • Unlimited use of the exhibitor label for their own communication strategies
  • Press release and PR work
  • Online gallery
  • Presence of the German Design Council and GDG on social media and the internet

Which awards will be presented and what will the winners receive?

In the world of design as a discipline, its roles and responsibilities are constantly changing. Young talents who wish to actively shape this change with their attitude and innovative ideas must remain alert and recognize developments and opportunities as early as possible, and bring relevant concepts into the world at the right time and with appropriate resources. Exceptional design ideas that react to this change will be honoured.

Four prizes will be awarded from the areas of Design Culture, Circular Design, Social Design, and Design Research. The jury reserves the right to award several prizes in one area and to name new categories.

Design Culture
One project will be honoured that reacts to current, urgent societal and cultural challenges. 

Social Design
The chosen project will respond to social challenges with a concrete solution and trigger processes of social change through design. 

Design Research
One project will be selected that operates at the intersection of theory and practice, and which generates special results through its combination with, and integration in, the design process. 

Circular Design
The project that will be distinguished is one that takes consistent circular thinking into account and examines its opportunities, challenges, and (societal) effects.

Benefits for the Award Winners

  • Every award will be accompanied by prize money in the amount of 2,500 EUR, donated by the German Design Council Foundation
  • Unlimited use of the “Award” label for their own communication strategies
  • Photoshoot with an interview / video clip with an interview
  • Press release and PR work
  • Online gallery
  • Presentation of their work in the GDG Exhibition
  • Award ceremony at the opening of the exhibition
  • Invitation to a networking opportunity with the German Design Council community

What awaits graduates at GDG Interconnected?

To mark the occasion of the 70th anniversary of their sponsor, the German Design Council, the GDG 2023 has initiated an additional exhibition format to present the graduates of German universities in a broader European context. GDG Interconnected will present the most fascinating concepts from approximately 25 outstanding graduates of the most renowned German universities during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. GDG Interconnected is a platform for young German talents which enables them to come into contact with the most interesting designers in Europe, as well as a wider international expert audience from the design community.  The exhibition will demonstrate a broad spectrum of the perspectives of young product design talents, from industrial to experimental, artistic, and explorative points of view.

During our accompanying, discursive community events, the exhibitors will discuss the future-oriented role of design in a European context with designers from all over Europe and experts in culture and the economy in a series of conversations.

What opportunities arise through supports from industry partners?

GDG is the platform for industry experts from the fields of culture and economics to find young talents. GDG ambassadors select young design talents according to company-specific criteria. The graduates are fostered with individual supports which offer in-depth opportunities for professionalization. The GDG Supports promote essential professional and personal development potential.

Why is it worth submitting the graduation project?

GDG is a door opener for graduates and helps them achieve visibility in front of a professional audience and in the media. We are using targeted measures to close the gap between a university degree and a professional design career.

The potential of young designers lies in their ability to recognize that the urgent challenges of both our time and the future are an opportunity, and that they can use design methods to actively shape an economy that more compatible for both people and the environment. GDG helps to address the interests, topic, and ideas of the young generation in society and to advance the discourse about the role and value of design and its methods today and for the future, both nationally and internationally.

How to submit a graduation project?

Theses can be submitted by graduates of the universities listed below in 2023. The universities will be nominated by the GDG advisory board in advance of the Call for Entries. The access data for the application form will be distributed by the responsible contact person at the respective university.

The project upload and thus access to the selection processes for funding formats is free of charge for graduates of the participating universities.

Which universities will participate in 2023?

The following universities are part of GDG 23. Listed below you will find the resonsivle contact persons who will receive & distribute the login data.

Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle
Frau Claudia Pulcini

Fachhochschule Potsdam
Prof. Hermann Weizenegger

Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen
Prof.in Anke Bernotat

Hochschule Darmstadt
Prof. Philipp Thesen

Hochschule Düsseldorf
Prof. Uli Budde

Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften und Kunst Hildesheim
Herr Andreas Kreichelt

Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg
Prof. Jesko Fezer

Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach
Frau Christiane Kühn-Wilkens
K.M. Daniel Rese

Hochschule für Bildende Künste Saar
Prof.in Maike Fraas

Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin
Prof.in Pelin Celik

Hochschule Hannover
Prof. Gunnar Spellmeyer

Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal
Prof. Jan Bäse

Hochschule Pforzheim
Frau Birgit Meyer

Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee
Prof.in Carola Zwick
K.M. Hanna Wiesner

Kunsthochschule Kassel
Prof.in Ayzit Bostan

Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel 
Prof.in Annika Frye
Koordination Sina Kähler

Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg
Prof. Jakob Timpe

Staatliche Akademie für Bildende Künste Stuttgart
Prof. Uwe Fischer

Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe
Stefan Legner

TU Dresden
Dr. Christian Wölfel

Universität der Künste Berlin
Prof.in Ineke Hans

Call for Entries 2023

Submission of graduation projects will take place exclusively via a digital submission form during the annual Call for Entries from 15 April – 28 May.

Further information on formalities and funding formats can be found in the GDG Call for Entries 2023.

Contact for questions

Rat für Formgebung / German Design Council
Team German Design Graduates



Registration Schools

15 APRIL – 28 MAY

Call for Entries


Jury Meeting GDG Exhibition
Curation GDG Interconnected


Opening GDG Exhibition
@ MK&G Hamburg

1 September – 08 OCtoBER

GDG Exhibition
@ MK&G Hamburg

21 – 29 OCTOBER

GDG Interconnected
@ Dutch Design Week