Woman sat on chair
 Led by CEO Enni Karikoski, Niimaar seeks to bring dynamic and sustainable designs with a uniquely Finnish twist for quality and function. Image: Niimaar

Finns win at German Design Awards

Finnish companies have been recognised in multiple categories at the German Design Awards, to be held in February 2021.

Samuli Ojala


The German Design Council organises the awards annually and this year gathered a total of 4 172 entries from 60 countries. Out of the entries, 362 winners and 67 gold medal recipients have been selected, along with 955 special mentions. The aim of the awards is to celebrate and advance pioneering design in three main areas – product design, communications design and architecture – which are divided into various subcategories.

Various Finnish projects and campaigns have been named winners in communication design. These include children’s clothing manufacturer Reima’s weather app, and Reaktor’s The world’s first festival to plant a forest campaign and contribution to the onboard service platform of Finnair.

Finnish winners are aplenty also in the product design category. Reima was recognised for its Voyager Jacket and Woodnotes for its Earth Collection of paper yarn carpets.

Woodio’s tabletop washbasin Woodio Soft40 received a special mention. Meanwhile, Niimaar’s sustainable innovation Ecogrande Design Recycling Station was recognised in the public design and eco design subcategories.

“This is a huge honour and endorsement for what we stand for: accessible quality design with a sustainability aspect, built to serve and last generations,” commented Enni Karikoski, founder and CEO of Niimaar. The international exposure afforded by the awards arrives at a timely moment for Niimaar, whose recycling stations are also playing a prominent role at the Metsä Pavilion in Tokyo.

Reima Weather app

The Reima Weather app helps users to dress their kids according to the weather. Image: Reima

Driving design

Elsewhere at the German Design Awards, the Origo steering wheel has been named a gold winner in the human-machine interface (HMI) category for groundbreaking design. The brainchild of companies CanatuSiili AutoTactoTekNorthern Works and Rightware from the Finnish automotive ecosystem, the intelligent concept aims to enhance user experience, safety and driver’s decision-making.

“The initial idea of the Origo steering wheel was to challenge the status quo of the existing steering wheel HMI and not just take the easy route of converting analogue controls into digital versions,” told Miika Heikkinen, lead designer at Northern Works. “Our lives have become cluttered with information and overstimulated with choices, so we wanted to offer the driver clarity with our steering wheel concept and reduce functions and controls to just the bare necessities.”

See a complete list of the winners here.


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