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Strong in design and technology: the winners of the ‘Design Plus powered by Light + Building 2018’ competition have been decided

Feb 12, 2018

The ‘Design Plus powered by Light + Building’ competition has again proved very popular at Light + Building 2018: no fewer than 154 companies have submitted a total of 222 products. The competition is particularly well supported from outside Germany: companies from 26 countries took part, including entries from countries outside Europe such as Japan, Columbia, China, Taiwan, India, Canada and the USA. The distinguished adjudicating panel, which met at the beginning of January, selected 39 of the entries for an award, with five of them nominated as “Best of...” Moreover, they also selected 13 of the 70 pieces of work submitted by young, up-and-coming members of the profession, with three of them nominated as “Best of...” The competition, which is organised by Messe Frankfurt, in collaboration with the German Design Council, honours innovations that meet the triple requirements of design, ecological awareness and technological excellence in exceptional ways. The products selected will be on display for the entire duration of the show from 18 to 23 March in Hall 1.2. And it is there, too, that the award ceremony will take place on Sunday 18 March 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Messe Frankfurt, explains the significance of the competition in the following terms: “Some 2,600 exhibitors attend Light + Building to showcase their new products in the field of lighting, electrical and electronic engineering and home and building services technology. The ‘Design Plus powered by Light + Building’ competition is all about the careful selection of outstanding innovations from the Light + Building exhibitors. I should particularly like to recommend a visit to the special exhibition, which provides, in a concentrated and accessible form, information about current trends in both design and technology.

And for Andrej Kupetz, Senior Chief Executive of the German Design Council, the competition is a real barometer for current trends. As well as digitalisation and building automation, the potential of LED technology is, in his view, a long way from being fully exploited: “Not only has it been possible to continually improve light quality over the past few years; the practically unlimited freedom of form has opened up hitherto undreamed of possibilities for designers, planners and architects alike. Particularly in situations where major change is in the air, however, a consistent brand management strategy is as important as the technical development of a product. It does not surprise me, therefore, that some of the major brands are amongst the winners selected for an award by the distinguished panel of adjudicators for this year’s ‘Design Plus powered by Light + Building’.

An adjudication panel, with a broad range of expertise in many areas, assessed the entries for the competition at a meeting on 4 January 2018. Till Armbrüster, Head of Product Design, Licht Kunst Licht AG and one of the adjudicators, sums up the trends as follows: “From the products submitted, we were able to distinguish two major developments. As far as approaches to product design are concerned, the opportunities that arise from the miniaturisation of the technology and the use of LEDs have increasingly been better used. Moreover, the interface between humans and machines has been changing in ways that make things ever more convenient to use - via an app, for instance.”

The adjudicators were:

  • Barbara Friedrich, Design Consulting & Publishing, Hamburg
  • Volker Hohmann, Founder and Managing Director, Ikarus Design Handel GmbH, Gelnhausen
  • Prof. Michael Lanz, Managing Partner, design affairs Group, Munich
  • Sabine Loeser-Schoeps, Managing Director, LS Architecture & Interiors, Frankfurt

The list of winners, together with photos of the winning products can be downloaded here:

German Design Council

The German Design Council is an independent institution that operates internationally to help companies effectively communicate their design achievements and skill whilst, at the same time, aiming to enhance awareness and understanding of design amongst the public at large. Founded in 1953 as an initiative of the German government, the German Design Council seeks to promote good design through its competitions, exhibitions, conferences, seminars and publications. More than 290 companies are currently involved as sponsors of the German Design Council. Further information can be obtained at:

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,500 employees at some 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €661* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent). * preliminary figures for 2017

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