What is German Design Graduates (GDG)?

With the German Design Graduates initiative, we want to make your ideas, products and concepts visible and actively network you with players from design, business and culture.

Your projects will be presented in exhibitions, at trade fairs, via our large partner network and a permanently visible online platform.

Where can I find the Call for Entries?

You can download the call for entries here (PDF).

When can a project be submitted?

The submission phase runs from 15 April – 15 May 2024.

How to submit a project?

In order for you to take part, your universities must first register. The registration deadline for universities is 29 March 2024.
If your university has registered, you can submit your projects from 15 April – 15 May 2024 using a online form. Here you have the opportunity to select different funding formats.

You will receive access data for the registration portal from your university contact person. If you have not received access data by 5 May despite registering your university, please contact info(at)germandesigngraduates.com

The submission portal asks for a lot of information about your project. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the questions before submitting. You will find the questions in the call for proposals, which we will publish soon.

Which projects can be submitted?

The annual call is aimed at graduates of participating state-recognised art colleges, universities and universities of applied sciences with a focus on product or industrial design as well as related fields such as design research, UX and service design, material design, social design from the last two semesters (April 2023 to May 2024).

Which universities are taking part?

Only graduates (Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Diploma) of registered universities can submit their projects. Each university is assigned a contact person.
Following universities are registered:

  • Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
  • Bergische Universität Wuppertal
  • Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle
  • Fachhochschule Potsdam
  • Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen
  • Hochschule Darmstadt
  • Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar
  • Hochschule Düsseldorf
  • Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen
  • Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg
  • Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach
  • Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin
  • Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden
  • Hochschule Hannover
  • Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal
  • Kunsthochschule Kassel
  • Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel
  • Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg
  • Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe
  • Technische Universität Dresden
  • Universität der Künste Berlin
  • Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin

Will I incur any costs?

Participation in the GDG initiative and its formats costs nothing for graduates of the participating universities. Possible travel or accommodation costs to exhibitions, festivals, trade fairs or cooperation events that require your presence will be paid or subsidised.

Can I also submit a cooperation project?

Yes, cooperation projects with companies, institutions or other stakeholders may be submitted.

Is it possible to submit group work?

Yes, group works by a maximum of 6 designers may be submitted.

Which support formats are there to choose from?

Participation always includes:

In addition to uploading your work to the GDG Platform, you can apply for the following formats (multiple selection is possible):

Museum Exhibition & Awards: The group exhibition “Dare to Design” will take place in 2024 at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main (1.9. – 22.9.2024). Approximately 40 works will be selected by a jury from all submissions for the exhibition. From these works, four winners will be selected for the GDG Awards.

Festival Exhibition at the Dutch Design Week: A curator will select projects from all submissions for an exhibition at the Dutch Design Week 2024 (19 – 27 October 2024).

Partner formats: Cooperation partners (e.g. companies or cultural institutions) offer individual formats that promote professional and personal development potential.

Who selects the support formats?

There are different selection processes for the different formats:

  • Online platform: All works submitted by a registered university will be presented.
  • Exhibition at the Museum Angewandte Kunst: An independent jury of experts (excluding lecturers from participating universities) selects the most relevant works of the year.
  • Festival exhibition at the Dutch Design Week: a curator selects works on a specific theme.
  • Partner formats: For the partner formats, you must answer separate questions or submit a short concept when registering. Our cooperation partners will select suitable candidates according to specific criteria.

What are the benefits of taking part in the museum exhibition?

  • Presentation opportunity in a curated, designed group exhibition
  • National and international visibility among companies, designers, specialist audiences, culture enthusiasts and the media
  • Invitation to openings, talks and workshops
  • Unlimited use of the exhibitor label for your own communication measures
  • Press releases and PR work
  • Presence in the social media and websites of the German Design Council and GDG

When will I find out if I have been selected for the exhibition at the Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt?

The selection is expected to be announced in July 2024.

What are the selection criteria of the jury and curators?

The basis for the evaluation of your work is the text and image material and information submitted with the registration form.

The selection of the jurors is based on individual weighting of general and specific criteria. They are free in the weighting and interpretation of these criteria. The criteria serve as a guide and are not legally binding.

General criteria

  • Innovation & Impact
  • Design & Construction
  • Presentation & Communication

Specific criteria

  • Society & Culture
  • Sustainability & circular thinking
  • Research & Transfer

What are the advantages of being honoured with an award?

  • Each award is presented with prize money of EUR 2,500, donated by the German Design Council Foundation
  • Unlimited use of the award label for your own communication measures
  • Press release and PR work
  • Presentation of the work in the museum exhibition
  • Award ceremony at the opening of the exhibition
  • Invitation to network meetings of the German Design Council community

Which awards are presented?

There will be four awards in the areas of Sustainability & Circularity, Society & Community, Research & Knowledge Transfer and an annually changing fourth category. The jury reserves the right to award several prizes in one area or to nominate new categories.

When will I be informed whether I have been selected as a finalist for an award and when will I find out whether I have won an award?

The jury will select finalists, who will be announced after the jury meeting in June 2024. The winners will be announced on the opening evening (31 August 2024).

Who will be selected for the festival exhibition at the Dutch Design Week?

A curator selects works on the topic of cooperation and collaboration for a themed exhibition.

What are the advantages of participating in the Dutch Design Week?

  • Presentation in a curated group exhibition
  • Travel allowance and 3 overnight stays
  • Presence in social media and on the GDG website
  • Community Events
  • Press and media relations

When will I find out if I have been selected for the festival exhibition at the Dutch Design Week?

The selection will probably be announced in August.

Who are German Design Graduates and the German Design Council?

German Design Graduates (GDG) is the only national initiative aimed at supporting 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. www.gdc.de


Rat für Formgebung / German Design Council
Team German Design Graduates