Award winners 2023

Circular Experience Library


»The UX patterns counteract linear consumption and act as a template for conventional online retail. They focus on products retaining their (economic) value and therefore encourage the spread of circular products on the mass market.«

Siddharth Prakash
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Digital material flow management

N1 Trading GmbH

»The construction industry is one of the economy’s most resource-intensive sectors. One problem is the regional availability of secondary raw materials. N1 Trading GmbH’s digital material flow management software makes it easier for building owners and demolition companies to link up and therefore plays an important role in urban mining.«

Dr. Bettina Rechenberg
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»The Klimastein already saves resources at the manufacturing stage, but its exceptional planet friendly characteristics really come to the fore when it’s used. Its innovative design prevents any soil sealing. The paving stores water, allows excess water to seep away and later evaporate via capillary action. And, ultimately, it also really helps to cool down urban spaces.«

Prof. Matthias Held
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GOLD – textiles made of collagen

WINT Design Lab

»GOLD plays with the characteristics of goldbeater’s skin, a tissue from a cow’s stomach. As an alternative to petroleum-based materials, this is a biodegradable, vegan and therefore highly attractive material. The specimen used to present it is a lightweight, water-repellent outdoor jacket, which is outstanding for its splendidly clear design. Gold is innovative, relevant, and well designed.«

Prof. em. Anna Berkenbusch
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hansgrohe Planet Edition

Hansgrohe SE

»The panel of judges paid tribute to hansgrohe’s unwavering desire to be innovative by nominating its Planet Edition shower fitting for an award. The team in hansgrohe’s own lab has spent years trying to minimise water flow and have now got it down to approx. 6 L/minute. In the judges’ opinion, the use of recycled ABS and upcycled PET are brand-new options in the industry and quite a quantum leap.«

Werner Aisslinger
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Layers of Value

Virginia Reil | Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle

»Layers of Value is an example of sophisticated upcycling at a textile design level using a systematic finishing method. Textile waste and deadstock are given a REMAKE using a series of techniques involving layering. This approach is reproducible at scale and also offers a wide range of variety thanks to the ever-changing feedstock.«

Prof. Friederike von Wedel-Parlow
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Mono Vest – circular and local

Neumühle Switzerland GmbH

»Mono Vest is part of a technical cycle, a closed loop system where all core feedstock is sourced locally from the same nylon family. The products are made in Germany and can be recycled later in an existing infrastructure.«

Prof. Friederike von Wedel-Parlow
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Product Design of Resource Scarcity

Raphael Jung & Jan Sagasser | HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd

»Beyond the theory, the guidelines reflect on the whole design process using superb examples. They incorporate handling, aesthetics, and semantics and, above all, the user’s behavioural perspective, while taking environmental aspects into account. As a result, they make up for a lack of instructions on resource friendly design.«

Prof. em. Günter Horntrich
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Reet Aus UPMADE collection

Aus Design OÜ

»The project turns the spotlight on the less well-known issue of pre-consumer waste in textile production. It’s a superb illustration of how crucial the design phase is for resource-efficient recycling of textile waste. And it’s an important practical guide to minimum ecodesign requirements for textile products in the EU.«

Siddharth Prakash
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Repair Rebels

Repair Rebels GmbH

»The Repair Rebels are a network of craft businesses that repair clothing and shoes. They combine contemporary online service with local players and sustainable action. Items are collected by bike, repaired, and returned a few days later. The practical website gives information on the service and the firms providing it. The message is clear: it’s better to repair or alter an item than recycle it.«

Prof. em. Anna Berkenbusch
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Satino PureSoft – Sanitary Paper of the Future

WEPA Professional GmbH

»Satino PureSoft is well-designed because it doesn't deny its origin: it is sand-colored because it is made from recycled cardboard. WEPA has succeeded in creating a soft, multi-layered hygiene paper from this raw material. According to the Federal Environment Agency, it is the biggest innovation in the paper segment in more than a decade.«

Dr. Bettina Hoffmann
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Wrap it up

Lukas Henneberger | Universität der Künste Berlin

»Although it’s a student project, Wrap it up stands apart for its superior design and impressive user experience. The project shows that design’s cross-disciplinary nature predestines it to help solve the problem of a lack of recyclable materials and reduce the materials required. At the same time, it could also tackle design and handling from the user’s perspective.«

Prof. em. Günter Horntrich
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Nominated 2023


Antegon GmbH

The cloud-based FoodTracks software helps bakeries to prevent food waste. The software provides smart recommendations every day to improve quantity planning using AI. A rule-based system automatically flags up stores and items with discrepancies in terms of order quantities and makes suggestions to ensure product availability and cut down on returns. The software-based ordering process also enables daily time savings of 30 to 50%.

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KUORI, waste turns material


KUORI develops sustainable alternatives to conventional elastic plastics. The materials are biological and produced using food waste, such as banana peel or nut shells. To reflect a sustainable circular economy, the products are kind to the planet because the biocomposites are biodegradable. The microplastic rubbed off from shoe soles is broken down and doesn’t contaminate the environment.

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Lumoview Building Analytics GmbH

Lumoview’s analysis service helps ensure the energy efficiency of building refurbishments. The LumoScanner captures extensive building data, such as panoramic and infrared images, air quality information, as well as position and distance data. The device requires no on-site experts. Customers can survey buildings themselves, or request the all-inclusive service where a team comes and does the job for them.

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Material Hub Berlin

Marlón Escobar Saupe | HTW Berlin

The Material Hub concept is all about enhancing a DIY store so that consumers can hand in and purchase used materials. The main objective is to save resources by incorporating the circular use of materials into everyday life. This approach encourages the reuse of used materials, prolongs their useful lives and fosters a culture of repairing, reusing, and upcycling. To start with, the concept will be rolled out as a pilot project with a local DIY store.

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MOOT – Made Out Of Trash

MOOT Upcycling GmbH

MOOT – Made Out Of Trash is all about producing new clothing exclusively from supposed trash. It all started with T-shirts made of bed linen, but ten other items have now joined the growing collection. For instance, the range includes strappy T-shirts, long-sleeved tops and dresses made of bed linen, jackets, scarves, and coats fashioned from woollen blankets, bum bags from leather jackets, bags from cushion covers, belts from seat belts and hair ties from fabric remnants as well as the elastic in FFP2 face masks.

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David Soche | FH Salzburg

To embrace the circular economy, MOTEX reduces the consumption of resources in power tools by considering the whole value chain rather than individual components. Several tools share one drive train so that the motor and battery can be removed and inserted into other tools using a clever click-in system. This stops electronic waste and plays a key role in saving resources.

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Jacobo Cuesta Wolf | Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle

NEW GRID is synonymous with a new attitude to furniture design. In addition to using safe, recycled, or recyclable materials, this design focuses on, quite literally, maximising the product’s shelf life. To respond to new requirements, users can even modify the shelving solution many years later. To shift responsibility for the product, the furniture is part of a deposit system, so producers are answerable for all stages of its life, from production to recycling.

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nkm reusable system

nkm Naturkosmetik München GmbH

The nkm reusable system cuts waste, while extending the life of limited resources. Product bottles and glass test tubes are cleaned after use and pipette tips and screw caps recycled. The reusable bottle has a rinse friendly shape so that condensation drains away completely. Because no composite material is used, the virgin plastic can be fully recycled after use.

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Franziska Dehm & Dominic Hahn | HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd

PlantScrew is an ergonomic forestry tool that effectively uproots seedlings without damaging the roots. A healthy root boosts the seedlings’ chances of survival and leads to more effective reforestation. If more seedlings survive planting, more trees can be planted in the future. Forest owners can also use their own resources by transplanting the seedlings, created through natural regeneration, in their own forest.

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Plus Energy housing development made of timber modules

AH Aktiv-Haus GmbH

Stuttgart’s future P18 urban housing development combines sustainability and modularity because the timber modules are made with mono materials, which are easy to separate and recycle. As a result, the load on the building is lower, which leads to a 75% decrease in the material mass. Furthermore, a Plus Energy development complies with the KfW 40 Plus standard and produces more renewable energy than it consumes.

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Second Life Energy Storage System

e.battery systems GmbH

e.battery systems develops energy storage systems based on used electric vehicles. ESSs are core technologies that combine battery systems to store and provide energy in a smart way. Second-life batteries are used as storage modules by electrical-vehicle applications, such as electric cars or buses. Recycling used lithium-ion batteries can extend their service lives by up to ten years, keeping resources in the loop for longer.

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Switching to Design from Recycling

Raphael Vogler | TU Dresden

The Switching to Design from Recycling approach focuses on recyclable plastics. Using post-consumer recyclates saves fossil fuels and increases the material efficiency of consumer products. By substituting primary plastics, the material cycle is closed. The designs are a potential answer to the tricky issue of inferior secondary plastics and encourage their acceptance in industrial sectors.

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Trigger for the circular economy

Werner & Merz GmbH

The trigger spray head for cleaning agents is all about reducing, reusing, and recycling. Its light weight and top performance mean a long useful life. And it’s resource efficient because it’s made from recycled material. To save resources and make it recyclable, the trigger spray head is produced from homogenous plastic (polypropylene). It uses highly durable post-consumer recyclate and compact pumping technology for pre-compression.

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Kira Becker | Bauhaus Universität Weimar

The project entailed researching and identifying the potential for processing regional sheep’s wool because of its dramatic drop in value over the past few years. By applying Kemafil® technology, strands were produced from various types of coarse wool. Placed in a textile sheath, these strands produce a versatile, padded layer for all sorts of uses.

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