“That which helps more than yourself”

The Mia Seeger Foundation has been nurturing next-gen designers for 30 years.

Design | Social | |

The 2018 Mia Seeger Award

In 1986 design arbiter and consultant Mia Seeger established the foundation that bears her name to nurture and promote new generations of talented designers. In doing so, Seeger was also determined to encourage them and other young people to address more actively social issues related to how we all share our world.

Since then, the motto of the Mia Seeger Award has been “Was mehr als einem nützt” (loosely translated: “That which helps more than yourself”). Its goal is to celebrate products that inspire by evoking positive emotions with their form while also being useful and beneficial to people’s well-being. These are the same objectives that RECARO pursues through its design approach and seeks to achieve with all its products. Not least for this reason, RECARO feels a special connection to this award and supports the Mia Seeger Foundation as a donor.

A strikingly wide range of ideas were vying for the 10,000 Euro prize this year. The submissions included proposals for and in a wide variety of fields and contexts – from urban living to health care to the environment. This diversity was also reflected in the design proposals that were officially honored on October 12, 2018, alongside the Focus Open International Design Award in Ludwigsburg, Germany. The jury presented the Mia Seeger Award to the following four candidates. Two further candidates received an honorable mention.

Interactive Urban Illumination
Armin Warnecke, Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Kiel

Cities pollute the night with light. Comprehensive dimming is no solution, but demand-adaptive lighting based on an innovative light mast likely is. The concept’s central element is a column equipped with a “digital mirror” device and embedded in a prefabricated foundation with a live current connection and an Internet connection. At the installation site, the light fields can be precisely matched to local conditions in terms of brightness, expanse, and duration of lighting. Column versions in three or four heights cover the requirements of any urban area. By fitting the column with a mains socket, the light mast can also be used as a service station for electric cars and other power consumers.


Moor Monitoring
Merle-Christin Leuschner, Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Kiel

According to a study, renaturing drained moors can reduce emissions effectively and economically. This is supported by a comprehensive field monitoring survey, which the present design proposal examines. It automates and standardizes the respective measurement technology and is suitable for serial production while keeping labor costs and the number of required devices within limits. The concept envisages that the gases emanating from a moor would be analyzed by each of the measuring instruments and that the data would be transmitted to a control center. After a few days, they would be moved and resupplied with energy. Using drones to bring the measuring stations into moors would not disturb the renaturing process as much as boots and land vehicles.


Sensa – an aid for breast self-examination
Daniela Böhrer, Coburg University of Applied Sciences

Sensa is intended to assist women with breast self-examination. A thin, pressure-sensitive membrane lies between the fingertip and the breast, which registers the distance traveled and continuously measures the tissue’s counter pressure. The woman is also guided through each stage of the self-examination by an accompanying smartphone app, which displays the palpated areas and compares the measurement data with those of previous exams. If the app, in evaluating the results, identifies that a lump has become larger or firmer, it advises the woman to see a physician.


Breaze – training the tongue to lick sleep apnea
Andrea Alvarez Botero, Medical Design, Studienarbeit
Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel

The most common cause of sleep apnea – i.e. pauses in breathing while asleep – is slack tissue in the pharynx or upper airway. Tongue exercises inspired by speech therapy could help to correct the condition. The design concept consists of a small training device equipped with a rotating disk and a little sliding knob. A smartphone app guides the patient through the exercises, records progress by means of integrated sensors, determines further training measures, and generates data about the patient’s performance for the physician.


Until November 25, 2018, these award-winning and acclaimed design proposals can be viewed in an exhibition at the MIK Museum – Information – Kunst (Eberhardstraße 1 in Ludwigsburg, Germany).

Winners of Mia Seeger Prize 2018

For further information on the exhibition click here: https://mik.ludwigsburg.de/site/Ludwigsburg-MIK/node/2645023/Lde/zmdetail_523118278871/index.html?nodeID=523118278871

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