German Design Award

German Design Award Newcomer 2021: the five finalists have been shortlisted

The jury of the German Design Awards 2021 has chosen the finalists for the »Newcomer« category. Initially, 312 up-and-coming designers from German design colleges were nominated for the award. Of these, the following five have the chance to win the commendation, which is worth EUR 15,000: Verena Zirngibl, Lukas Schmidt, Julian Peschel, David Wojcik and Max Witzstrock. The finalists were presented at an exclusive gala held at Soho House Berlin on 24 September. The event offered attendees an exclusive opportunity to engage in dialogue and networking along with a chance to get to know the finalists for the German Design Award Newcomer 2021.

The German Design Council has a history of fostering talented young designers. It is supported in this project by Deutsche Telekom, which donated the prize money totalling EUR 25,000 again this year.

 Those who reach the final round for the German Design Award Newcomer are commended and awarded a monetary prize: each of the finalists will receive EUR 2,500. The winner of the »Newcomer« award and the EUR 15,000 prize money will be announced in spring.

With this distinction, the German Design Council heightens the visibility of young designers and gives them an opportunity to present both themselves and their work. Finalists also have the chance to meet foundation members and forge important contacts at a series of exclusive events organised by the German Design Council. 


About the finalists and their work:


Verena Zirngibl (*1996) already as a child showed an interest in and a talent for drawing and graphic design, a passion that would later become her career. After school, she decided to start a bachelor’s degree at the Faculty of Design at FHWS University of Applied Sciences, Würzburg. In 2019 she gained practical experience as a working student at the creative agency Wynken, Blynken & Nod, Hamburg, before starting a master’s degree at HAW University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, that same year. For her project »Willkür & Drangsal«, she had five two-hour conversations with a friend, Luise Thoma, transcribed them and translated them into graphics and illustration. The piece earned her ADC’s »Grand Prix« and »Goldener Nagel« awards for best term paper of the year.

Lukas Schmidt (*1992) studied communication design at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences after completing his school-leaving examinations. He graduated with a »Diplom« (master’s equivalent) in 2019. Even during his studies, he worked in the arts scene as a freelance designer on behalf of various renowned agencies in Frankfurt, Munich and Darmstadt. He also began teaching work as a typography tutor during his studies, and today he continues this as a lecturer at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. Giving content a spatial experience is also the personal focus of his thesis »Creativity is Not a Talent«, which was awarded a prize by Art Düsseldorf and German Designer Club e. V.

Julian Peschel (*1993) is an information designer with a strong passion for research and narrative visuality. His work is primarily based on data available online, with a focus on satellite imagery. It takes a critical look at political and economic conditions and structures. After school, he first studied information and communication design at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Germany, and subsequently information design at Design Academy Eindhoven, Netherlands, where he graduated with a master’s degree. In the 2020 summer term, Julian Peschel led a seminar on the subject of computer visualisation and design at Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences, Germany, and a seminar on information and communication design in Kamp-Lintfort, Germany.

David Wojcik (*1989) studied product design at the University of Schwäbisch Gmünd. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2016. During his studies, in 2015 he was one of the founders of BOXBOTE LOGISTICS GMBH, a company with 52 employees, where he managed the design department. In 2017 he co-founded the INNOIT Agency, which employs twelve people and where he took on the role of creative director. Another company will follow in 2020: KROOT, which he is also co-founding. »Bloop«, a medical product that is as simple as it is inexpensive, catches blood emerging from wounds during operations so that it is not lost but instead processed to be available for the patient at a later time. This product even made it into an exhibition at the Museum of Science in London. In addition, David Wojcik has received numerous awards for his work to date. 

Max Witzstrock (*1992) studied industrial design at HTW University of Applied Sciences Berlin and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2019. During this time he also spent a semester at Otago Polytechnics, New Zealand. Max Witzstrock pursues a consistently user-centric approach in all of his projects, aiming to make them as simple and intuitive as possible. He always sees the design process as part of a larger context as well. For him, a product to be designed never stands on its own but has to be thought of as part of a system. Max Witzstrock is currently working on a self-employed basis in the fields of industrial design, interior design, trade fair construction and promotion.   

Further information about the newcomers is available at:


The Newcomer Award


Since 2012, the German Design Council has been awarding a Newcomer Award as part of the German Design Awards. Eligible for the award are young designers from all design disciplines; the nominees are chosen by German design schools. Along with the Newcomer Award, awards are also given to outstanding up and coming designers. The goal of these awards is to provide young designers with support and funding after they graduate from design school. The jury will select five finalists from among the young-designer nominees. At the German Design Awards ceremony in Frankfurt, the Newcomer prize will be bestowed on the winner of the competition. The other four finalists will each receive €2,500.