German Design Award

German Design Awards 2021: the winners and Personality of the Year have been decided

The winning projects for the German Design Awards 2021 have been decided and are being presented online as of now. The German Design Council – the organiser of the international award – has also announced the recipient of the “Personality of the Year” distinction: Italian architect and museum curator Paola Antonelli. All prizewinners will be presented and honoured at an awards exhibition at Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main in February 2021. Additionally, the winners of the “German Design Award-Newcomer” and “Public Choice Award” distinctions will be announced on this occasion.

Personality of the Year


Paola Antonelli is a Senior Curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, where she has been working since 1994. Antonelli graduated from Politecnico di Milano in 1990 with a Laurea degree in architecture. She was an active contributor to Italian magazine Domus even when she was just a student. Moreover, she was also a design editor for Abitare magazine. Until 1994, Antonelli was a lecturer of design theory and history at the University of California, Los Angeles before being appointed a curator at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City in February that year.

“Through her previous work, whether as a curator, editor or author, Paola Antonelli has made an extraordinary contribution to design being perceived by a broad audience as a diverse cultural asset – and therefore as part of both an individual and societal identity – rather than being reduced to just aesthetics and functionality,” says Lutz Dietzold, CEO of the German Design Council, reciting the jury’s decision. For many years now, she has used her roles as curator and author to impressively visualise the strength with which design influences the development of culture and society and shapes the world we live in. Simultaneously, she uses her work to hone an awareness for a conscientious approach to design in connection with people and nature. Not only among designers, but also among anyone who buys products and integrates them into everyday life.”

Antonelli was born in Sardinia in 1963 and studied architecture in Milan. She has curated various different design exhibitions in Italy, France and Japan, and writes articles on the subject of design for numerous magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Metropolis, Metropolitan Home and The Harvard Design Review.


Information about prize winners and awards


Presentation of winners in exhibition at Museum Angewandte Kunst


The winners of the German Design Awards 2021 will be presented in various digital and live formats from 12 February to 14 March 2021. The winning projects will be presented as part of the German Design Awards exhibition at Museum Angewandte Kunst. Anyone interested is cordially invited to visit the winners’ exhibitions for “Excellent Product Design”, “Excellent Communications Design” and “Excellent Architecture” or to take part in the digital formats with thematic content. More detailed information about the schedule for the awards exhibition at Museum Angewandte Kunst will come early next year in accordance with the currently developing circumstances.

The German Design Awards 2021 were given out in three award disciplines: “Excellent Product Design”, “Excellent Communications Design” and “Excellent Architecture”. This year saw over 4,200 entries from 60 different countries. Accordingly, the international jury with representatives of business, science and design worked arduously to make their selection from the superb submissions. In the end, it picked a total of 75 “Gold” recipients in 71 categories.


German Design Awards


Since it was founded in 1953, one of the core duties of the German Design Council has been to observe, analyse and evaluate international developments in design. The German Design Council has established one of the world’s most recognised design awards with the German Design Awards. The winners of each year’s German Design Awards are an example of the commercial and cultural value of outstanding design. They also offer a point of orientation while representing current issues and directions of design.


German Design Council

The German Design Council has been operating since 1953 as one of the world’s leading centres of expertise in communication and knowledge transfer within design, branding and innovation. It is part of the worldwide design community and has always contributed to the establishment of global exchange and networking thanks to its international offering, promotion of new talent and memberships. With events, conventions, awards, jury meetings and expert committees, the Council connects its members and numerous other international design and branding experts, fosters discourse and provides important stimulation for the global economy. More than 340 businesses currently count among its members.


Janine Wunder, Vice President Communications and Marketing
Phone +49 (0)69 247 448 699