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Having begun in October 2022, the first edition of the RIMOWA Design Prize has come to a great end. To mark the completion of the annual student competition, the German Maison honoured the student finalists in an award ceremony held in Berlin.

After the deliberations by the prize’s esteemed jury as supported by RIMOWA’s Chief Executive Officer Hugues Bonnet-Masimbert and Chairman at RIMOWA Alexandre Arnault, the German Maison awarded seven finalists with a series of prizes. Alongside the jury members, honourable guests that include Mustafah Abdulaziz, Diandra Donecker, Christian Friedel, Marcus Gaab, Marc Göhring, Robert Grunenberg and Gerrit Jacob were also in attendance, alongside Oumi Janta, Zebra Katz, Stefan Marx, Kostas Murkudis, Serkan Sarier, Fabian Schöneich, Sam Staples, and Valentina Vapaux.

Garnering the award in first place was Noa Grgic (ABK Stuttgart) who was mentored by designer Gesa Hansen. Grgic explored physical mobility and body positivity, creating the A.B.P app; an online shop for prosthetic accessories. The application also showcases innovative and creative projects around prosthetic accessories, and offers users the ability to design their own individually customised accessories.

A special mention went to Jesse Jacobsen and Paul Meyer (Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel). Mentored by Mateo Kries, the Director of the Vitra Design Museum, Jacobsen and Meyer presented ‘Frame For All’, a project that aims to mediate the complexities of mobility around the world. The piece is a universal tool that can be converted into a variety of different commodities such as a load carrier, display table, shelter, or even a camping bed. The aim is for ‘Frame For All’ to fulfil a greater variety of mobility needs, regardless of social status, condition, or location.

Finalists Bastian Hau and Jan-Marcel Voggenreiter (ABK Stuttgart), who were mentored by Belinda Günther, Head of Colour and Trim at Mercedes Benz presented a project titled ‘/imagine’. The work took a speculative design approach to mobility in climate-affected regions. Under the belief that detrimental effects to the environment will lead to nomadic lifestyles, Hau and Voggenreiter used bioluminescent mushrooms and algae as a light source, creating fully sustainable elements that can form points and paths that can be used by nomadic societies in cases of climate disaster.

Gunnar Kähler and Tjard Tensfeldt (Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel), mentees of the Senior Editor at Taschen, Julius Wiedemann, presented the Alcôve Shelter. Alcôve is a network of public shelter units placed inside natural parks and recreational areas. With a digital interface that provides helpful information, maps and instructions, the shelter system supports travellers while minimizing the wall of infrastructure between them and nature. Sustainable and self-sufficient, the shelter also features a rain water collection system and solar power units.

Karl Sperhake (Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel), mentored by Mike Meiré, the Head of Creation at Meiré und Meiré, presented his creation ‘ELEVATE’. The project is an accessible luggage storage system which can be installed on train platforms and public spaces. With a focus on improving the convenience of public transport, ‘ELEVATE’ aims to cultivate more spontaneous travel behaviour by ensuring temporary independence during travel.

Lennard Blank and Lukas Dechau (Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe) created ‘TWOFOLD’. Mentored by Manuel Goller, the Founder and Creative Director of New Tendency, Blank and Dechau look to bicycles as the most important vehicles of the future. The design features two modes, enabling it to be used as a rear-mounted passenger seat with a dedicated handle, foot rests, and internal storage, or it can be opened to serve as a large, weight-bearing basket. TWOFOLD is presented as a cost-effective alternative to cargo bikes that enables bicycles to carry two passengers or heavy luggage.

Mentored by Industrial Designer and Owner of Läufer & Keichel, Julia Läufer, Lukas Bauer and Benjamin Stäbler (ABK Stuttgart) created ‘Revival’, an autonomous and intuitive urban furniture system that uses urban spaces to enhance in-person social interaction. Moving social interaction away from the digital sphere, Revival offers a multitude of furniture compositions that can be grouped functionally by a city’s administrative body, or arranged variably by the day-to-day citizen.

The RIMOWA Design Prize celebrated the seven finalists with a series of monetary awards. The winner was awarded the sum of €20.000. The special mention took a €10.000 prize. Those in third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh place won a prize of €5.000.