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Eight shortlisted projects from 2023 Design Europa Awards

Modular climbing wall and workspace on wheels among finalists of DesignEuropa Awards 2023

Promotion: the European Union Intellectual Property Office has announced the shortlist for its industrial design prize and named Swedish designer Maria Benktzon as the recipient of this year's lifetime achievement award.

Now in its fourth edition, EUIPO's DesignEuropa Awards have named four finalists in each of its two categories – one for industry and one for emerging companies.

ZigZag Boulder (Hungary): Outdoor modular climbing wall system. (Hard Body Hang; Designer: H3Hungary Kft./ Erdélyi, Tamás)
ZigZag Boulder is among eight finalists for the Design Europa Awards 2023

The award aims to recognise great products and designers in the field of industrial design, with the ultimate winners in each category set to be announced in a ceremony in Berlin on 5 September.

"The DesignEuropa Awards highlight the effective use of design and how its protection can help drive economic, social, cultural and environmental development," said EUIPO's executive director Christian Archambeau.

RemigoOne (Slovenia): Integrated electric outboard motor. (Remigo, d.o.o.; Designer: Ajda Bertok)
Also shorted is the electric boat motor RemigoOne

Among the projects shortlisted in the small and emerging companies category was an electric outboard motor for boats from Slovenian company Remigo, and ZigZag Boulder – a modular climbing wall that can be folded down and assembled like a puzzle.

Also in the running are two kitchen gadgets: a ceramic pour-over coffee dripper by Mindful Design and Craft and a multitasking container called Jarsty, which can be used for cooking, transporting and reheating food all in the same place.

Mindful Design Coffee Brewer (Austria): Pour over filter coffee set. (Mindful Design and Craft; Designer: Petra Wieser)
Mindful Design and Craft was shortlisted for its ceramic pour-over coffee dripper

In the industry category for large and medium-sized businesses, Smeg was shortlisted for its fully automatic espresso coffee machine, while Cleveron from Estonia bagged a nomination for a self-service pick-up locker for online orders that can process up to 3,000 parcels every day.

Two office solutions were also among the finalists.

These were the WithME swivel chair, designed to offer advanced ergonomics with minimal adjustments, and Performer – a compact workspace on wheels with various functional surfaces that is "reminiscent of the Swiss Army knife", according to Croatian manufacturer Sobočan.

Full Automatic Espresso Coffee Machine (Italy): Coffee machine which offers the possibility of grinding coffee beans and makes up to 7 different types of coffee. (Smeg Spa; Designers: Vittorio Bertazzoni, Matteo Bazzicalupo, Raffaella Mangiarotti)
Smeg submitted a fully automated bean-to-cup coffee machine

EUIPO also announced that this year's DesignEuropa Lifetime Achievement award will go to Benktzon "for her innovative and inclusive designs of everyday objects".

Among her most well-known designs are the drip-free coffee pots she created for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and the Knork Fork for Tupperware, widely considered the world's first angled kitchen knife.

WithME (Poland): Collaborative office chair offering advanced ergonomics with minimal adjustments. (Nowy Styl sp. z o.o; Designer: Martin Ballendat (Design Ballendat))
WithME is a simplified ergonomic swivel chair

Benktzon was also an early pioneer of accessible design, reimagining everyday objects from knives to personal hygiene tools to allow people with disabilities to go through their day-to-day lives without relying on aid from others.

"Maria's work demonstrates an exceptional and well-recognised ability to design inclusive, ergonomic, easy-to-use products with strong aesthetic quality," said the DesignEuropa Awards jury, which this year was led by the president of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) Isabelle Vérilhac.

The Performer (Croatia): Compact workspace for remote working. (Sobočan d.o.o; Designer: Jakov Fatovic/ Sobocan design studio)
The Performer is a compact workspace on wheels

The shortlisted projects were selected from almost 700 applications hailing from 43 different countries.

For more information, visit the website of the Design Europa Awards.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for EUIPO as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.