München, May 31, 2023

  • May 6 to 14, 2023 | 12th edition of munich creative business week
  • 170 events
  • 160 program partners
  • 333 speakers
  • highlights for experts and design enthusiasts

Nine days of design at its best
Why disruption unleashes creativity was the motto of the 12th edition of munich creative business week (mcbw), the largest design event in Germany. Organized by bayern design, mcbw 2023 offered a premium, multi-faceted program that addressed design professionals and enthusiasts from May 6 to 14. Fascinating exhibitions, installations, and discussions provided sources of inspiration, contributed to the interdisciplinary exchange of concepts and ideas, and turned Munich’s city center into a vibrant design festival.

Why disruption unleashes creativity — Creative Explorer
Throughout history, large transformations have unleashed creativity and have helped new concepts come into existence. Leyla Acaroglu, internationally acclaimed expert in the field of disruptive design methods, was the first headliner ever to actively represent the mcbw motto. As Creative Explorer, she provided important input to stimulate ideas at the mcbw talk&connect industry congress. Disruption-related exhibitions, workshops, and interactive installations, including in public spaces, provided design aficionados with opportunities to marvel and experiment. With its eleven stations at start-up and established shops, studios, and cafés located between the Old Town and the Glockenbachviertel district, mcbw designwalk was an inspiring design adventure “in passing.”

mcbw 2023 in numbers:
333 speakers
160 program partners
170 events: mcbw-own formats as well as contributions by program partners including BMW Group, Steelcase, USM, HAY, HENN, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, CreativeNL, IUD Institut für Universal Design, Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, Goethe-Institut, Munich Urban Colab, KISKA, Munich Technical University (TUM), Moonpunks, Münchner Stoff Frühling, and Czech Center Munich.

Design (research) and the corporate world – an inseparable pairing
Because design competence plays a major role in the success of companies, bayern design also has been promoting research and scientific discourse about design for many years in cooperation with the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy. One example is a study on the economic relevance of design commissioned by bayern design and conducted by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The results of the study were presented at USM during mcbw 2023. The need for design research also was highlighted by an exhibition titled Design Research in Bavaria – Present and Future that was staged jointly by the five academic design departments in Bavaria at the Department of Design of Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences. It was complemented by a symposium that addressed the question Design Research – Disruption in Research Operations? In addition, the exhibition hosted by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the world’s leading organization in application-oriented research, shed light on the meaning of design research as a driver of innovation and development.

Selected program highlights
mcbw 2023 encompassed a variety of outstanding events held throughout the city. In particular, the locations at Kunstareal and Munich Urban Colab (MUC) offered a bandwidth of highlights.

For the first time, MUC was the host of mcbw talk&connect with several topcaliber speakers. Leyla Acaroglu (Creative Explorer), Sep Verboom (designer and social entrepreneur), and Prof. Dr. Sacha Friesike (UdK Berlin) joined moderator Prof. Annette Diefenthaler (TUM) and the mcbw advisory committee to discuss the impact of disruption on creativity and society.

The theme of Creative City, a discussion among Dr. Andrea Lissoni (Haus der Kunst), Sabine Hansky (MUC), and Prof. Alexander Gutzmer hosted by MUC, included the special way in which creatives contribute to the city and the strength of Munich’s cultural and tech scenes.

The international DDX Conference brought together the who’s who of global design expertise at the UX & Innovations Conference to highlight the meaning of digital design in the creation of human-machine interfaces and the adoption of innovations by the market.

Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum was host to X-D-E-P-O-T at Kunstareal. It was the perfect venue for the kick-off press conference and enhanced mcbw with the Phoenix – Reborn Beauty installation, a thrilling reuse project designed by Hella Jongerius for Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg in cooperation with Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum. Ebenso in Kooperation mit Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum veranstaltete BMW Group Design im X-D-E-P-O-T die Panel Diskussion „New Modes II / New Collaborations“. David Zilber (food scientist), Kai Langer (BMW i Design) und die Designerin Hella Jongerius erkundeten gemeinsam mit Quentin Walesch (The Futures Collaborative) die verbindende Qualität von Design.

Also cooperating with Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, BMW Group Design organized a panel discussion at X-D-E-P-O-T titled New Modes II / New Collaborations. David Zilber (food scientist), Kai Langer (BMW i Design), Hella Jongerius (designer), and Quentin Walesch (The Futures Collaborative) explored the connecting qualities of design. Jointly with Steelcase, BMW Group Design hosted fans of design at a talk about
locations of creativity. Elena de Kan (Steelcase), Steffi Zimmermann (BMW Group Design), and Stephanie Thatenhorst (thatenhorst interior) spoke with design expert Eva Steidl about approaches to planning creativity and how our places of work influence our creative thinking.

The question of Why disruption unleashes creativity also was addressed by topcaliber participants in a design talk hosted by HAY and rpc. Jointly with moderator Valerie Präkelt, Stefan Diez (designer), Katja Thoring (TUM), Samir Ayoub (Designfunktion), and Vladimir Moldovanu (rpc) provided fascinating insight into current challenges and opportunities facing design professionals. The highlight of this event was the exclusive presentation of the new BOA Table for HAY by Stefan Diez.

mcbw – a strong presence in the public realm
Pop-up containers, interactive installations, mcbw designwalk, and a powerful key visual shaped Munich’s city center for nine days.

A major attraction for visitors of all ages was Naiv Studios’ interactive installation Disruptive Dunes. Until June 5, a walkable design object made of mesh and light can be experienced in a playful manner on the lawn between Alte Pinakothek and Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film. Visitors are invited to climb or lie or sit on the installation and become disruptors themselves.

Other audience magnets included two mcbw pop-up containers at Gasteig HP8 and Königsplatz. The glass container designed by Office Heinzelmann Ayadi (OHA) and the Gustav van Treek historic mosaic and glass painting studio that was installed in front of the propylaea at Königsplatz in the form of an oversized kaleidoscope had passersby in awe.

Save the date for mcbw 2024
The 13th edition of mcbw will take place from May 11 to 19, 2024. A new motto, a new key visual, and many exciting new formats will be announced by the end of this year.


About mcbw
mcbw is organized by bayern design GmbH and sponsored by the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, and the City of Munich. As partners, BMW Group, Steelcase, Ströer, and Gmund provide substantial support to the event. Images are available in the Press Section. The event also can be found on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.