Revolutionary sustainable designs: German Ecodesign Awards 2018


Fashion4Biodiversity, 1 for 4 Paper, Shift6m, Velospeeder, Magnic Microlights, Refill, M-Frame, Shards and Urban Terrazzo. Check out these wonderful eco-projects from the sectors architecture, energy, communication, household, interior, transportation and fashion. Yesterday, they were honored as winners during the German Federal Ecodesign Award 2018 Ceremony,  celebrated at the Federal Ministry for Environment. We attended the event to get to know the designers behind these revolutionary good designs that benefits humans and the environment alike. 

Within the Awards there are four categories: Product, Service, Concept and Young Talent. The Young Talent category is  a cross-section category for projects from all areas of design. The three projects "M-frame", "Shards" and "Urban Terrazzo" went on to win the 2018 Award. The awards in this category also include a cash prize of 1.000 euros.



1 für 4 Papier (1 for 4 paper) is a pure cellulose paper produced from timber. Thanks to a specific mechanical treatment, the paper is greaseproof, heat resistant and suitable for direct contact with food. As such, it can replace conventional household products such as aluminium and plastic wrap, as well as siliconised baking paper. The Scandinavian timber derives from thinnings obtained during forest maintenance.

The use of chemicals in silkworm breeding poses a threat to numerous species of animals and plants. Cocccon has developed a natural product that achieves results similar to those of chemical fungicides and pesticides but which does not interrupt the metamorphosis of the silkworms. In this way, Cocccon has successfully manufactured GOTS-certified organic silk that has already been used in fashion collections. In addition, information about the silk making process is passed on with every piece of silk that is sold.

SHIFT6m is a modularly constructed smartphone. Click and screw connections facilitate the repair of components and help to extend the service life. The company also offers tutorials and supplies corresponding tools to assist in the process of repair and maintenance. The warranty is not affected if the device is opened and the company has also set up a deposit return system if it needs replacing. SHIFT6m is produced under fair working conditions.

VELOSPEEDER is an ultra-light retrofittable bicycle engine. Once attached to the rear wheel rim, the friction wheel drive transforms any conventional bicycle into a pedelec. The bicycle is driven by a pair of electric motors fastened to the rims, with no damage or alterations to the rims themselves. Significant resources are saved in the course of manufacturing compared to larger hub- or centrally-mounted motors.

Magnic Microlights are brake blocks with integrated dynamo bicycle lights. The combination of brake block and lighting element is non-contact and functions on the basis of eddy-currents. Moreover, it does not require any additional components and can also be fitted on bikes with aluminium wheel rims. The novel product does away with the need for batteries, failure-prone cables or additional brackets.

The voluntary initiative Refill is committed to providing free-of-charge tap water for people on the move. Participating shops fill the water bottles without payment. All of those taking part in the action are listed and locatable online or can be identified by the ‘Refill’ sticker on the outside of the premises. Refill Deutschland was founded in spring 2017 in Hamburg and has now been expanded to a number of other cities.

M-Frame is a door frame with an integrated module interface that enables diverse objects positioned in the vicinity of the door, such as light switches or thermostats, to be collectively supplied with power. As a result, there is no need to open walls or wire devices individually. The individual modules can also be exchanged, swapped out or adjusted in height.

Shards is a project for ‘urban mining’: Bricks made of rubble and recycled glass are crushed, mixed and baked into tiles. The colour and feel is determined by the type of bricks used, the proportion of glass and the parameters of the temperature curve. Shards is a circular system in which broken tiles are processed into new tiles without quality loss and with low energy consumption.

URBAN TERRAZZO uses building rubble as a basis for a new surface material. Assisted by modern technology, the concrete, bricks and other building materials are assembled according to the principles of traditional terrazzo art. Ultra high-strength concrete gives the material its structural stability, while ground pigments from old bricks lend the product its aesthetic character. Through the reuse of rubble, the material contributes to the creation of a closed-loop economy in the construction sector.


+ info: Bundespreis Eco Design