Patricia Biebrich
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Munich, Germany, May 2022 | Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW), the largest design event in Germany, has come to an end after a nine-day marathon event with 170 individual activities in various formats, 100 speakers, 160 program partners, 40 registered design shops, and many visitors. Postponed until May, MCBW took place in summery temperatures, enabling participants to view the city through a design lens inside and in the open air. For the organizer, bayern design, the event was favorable for experts and the public alike.

MCBW PUBLIC SPACE – popular, public, interactive

Moving Horizons, the motto of MCBW 2022, also was reflected in MCBW PUBLIC SPACE. The 38-meter-long swing installation set up in the center of Kunstareal München was used approximately 33,000 times. Implemented by OHA (Office Heinzelmann Ayadi), this prominently placed eyecatcher conveyed the event’s guiding theme in a spirited and approachable manner. Along with the rest of this year’s MCBW, this attraction drew attention to a whole new lifestyle propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises: uncertainty due to shifting norms and the need as well as the opportunity to act flexibly in the face of it – and the courage to tackle things in a new way. Lisa Braun, Director of MCBW, commented: “The idea was to illustrate this year’s motto, Moving Horizons, and restore a feeling of lightness for the public.”

Personal encounters were possible again

The joy of being able to meet in person again was palpable at MCBW MEET & GREET. This opening networking event followed a new talk format, MCBW TALK & CONNECT, which addressed desires for emotionally and collaboratively created models and workstyles to cope with necessary technical, sustainable, and cultural changes. “At interdisciplinary talks experts, including Wolfgang Lotter, Ursula Tischner, Sina Port, and Francesca Bria, discussed options for using design actively in personal, scientific, and entrepreneurial settings,” Nadine Vicentini, Managing Director of bayern design, recapped.

Premium-level promotion of young professionals

Focus was not only on opportunities for dialog among established designers. The three-day hybrid SCIENCE MOONSHOT workshopwas designed by VEREIN INNOVATION 4.X to promote young professionals altruistically, supported by teams of researchers who shared their cumulative know-how and skills, complementing all business trades and requirements. The result was a force to be reckoned with: As part of the Lumobag system created by Czech-Austrian physicist Radko Pavlovec, special sunlight reflecting sandbags are being placed in desert regions to help reach the global 1.5 degree target. However, Pavlovec believes the project in no way replaces decarbonization of the earth’s atmosphere, an endeavor that has to be addressed at the same time.

Tested and proven

Popular agenda items again were included in MCBW. For example, DESIGNWALK connected several analog stations – design shops and creative workshops – at Munich’s attractive Glockenbachviertel district via an audio guide. A host of visitors took this walking tour individually over the duration of MCBW.

The economic relevance of design

The economic aspect was included this year as well: In a quantitative study conducted in the run-up to MCBW organizer bayern design explored the influence of design on the economy. “Looking back on the COVID crisis years, the economic situation and the orders on hand, the revenue, and the employment situation all were significantly better than expected,” says Vicentini. “However, the recommendations for action show the need to enhance communication of the potential of design-related consulting services because currently the corporate sector is not taking advantage of them to the extent it could.”

Looking ahead to 2023

MCBW will continue in 2023: From May 6 to 14 Munich again will be transformed into a lively design festival with coveted successful formats and brand-new content.

Munich, Germany, April 2022 | Today, just before International Design Day takes place on April 27, bayern design hosted a press conference titled Design as an Economic Factor – a Discussion on the occasion of MUNICH CREATIVE BUSINESS WEEK 2022. The round of discussions was based on a study of the economic relevance of design. For the study, experienced industry leaders were interviewed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The conference took place at PresseClub München and was streamed live. An eyecatcher and one of the highlights of MCBW 2022, which is at the starting blocks, will be a swing installation at the MCBW Public Space. The installation will pick up on this year’s theme in a spectacular way, offering playful ways to move horizons

Ever since its inception, MCBW has given center stage to designers and their contributions to society. To what extent do creatives influence economic developments through their work? In the run-up to MCBW 2022, the organizer, bayern design, commissioned a study. Headed by lecturer, publicist and author Joachim Kobuss, the study addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the creative sector in Bavaria. The results are fascinating: The unique set of circumstances brought about by the pandemic affected the economic situation to a much lesser extent than expected. However, the Ukraine war has put a damper on the positivity. Almost 60% of companies interviewed employ designers. The other 40% are freelancers active in the design industry, and medium-sized enterprises without in-house design departments. Only 10% of respondents offer design consultation, even though these services show great potential for the sector. Moreover, the results of the study show significant differences where skills are concerned, in particular relating to future-oriented fields of development. This represents a major opportunity for designers in Bavaria. In total, 84% of respondents classified the economic relevance of design as high. Nadine Vicentini, MCBW organizer and managing director of bayern design GmbH, and Dr. Markus Eder, head of section at the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, also shared their perspectives on the current situation. 

MCBW 2022 program preview

The official launch of MCBW 2022 will take place 18 days from today. From May 14 through 22, designers across disciplines will provide experts and all others interested in design with insights into their world and with opportunities to share experiences digitally or on site. The portfolio of events includes the following:

A teaser will be set up on Tuesday, May 3 at the MCBW Public Space on the south lawn of Alte Pinakothek at Gabelsbergerstraße 33. The 38 meter long installation, a traverse spanning the entirety of the lawn, will have twelve swings – an open invitation to everybody to interact. Designed by OHA (Office Heinzelmann Ayadi) exclusively for MCBW, the installation will allow users and passersby to experience this year’s theme, Moving Horizons, in a spectacular manner. The state of swinging symbolizes the juxtaposition of the horizon and the user’s self-perception.

MCBW TALK & CONNECT will be held on Monday, May 16 and also will follow this year’s theme. The talk will address requests for emotionally and cooperatively designed models and workstyles that can help people cope with unavoidable technical, sustainable, or cultural changes. Contributing to the interdisciplinary discussions along with Francesca Bria, president of the Italian National Innovation Fund and member of the European Commission’s New European Bauhaus High-level Roundtable, will be author and journalist Wolf Lotter, whose work is focused on transformation and innovation; author, podcaster and brand strategist Sina Port; and Ursula Tischner, CEO of the Agency for Sustainable Design econcept.

An MCBW highlight, the guided tour titled VanMoof x Kunstareal München will take place on kick-off day, Saturday, May 14, at Atelierstraße 14. During guided test rides on VanMoof e-bikes, visitors will be able to experience the Kunstareal München, one of Munich’s most fascinating neighborhoods and one of the most impressive cultural quarters in Europe, from another angle. Fans of art, culture, and biking will get their thrills during the guided VanMoof rides organized in cooperation with Kunstareal München.

SCIENCE MOONSHOT, a hybrid workshop for young professionals offered by VEREIN INNOVATION 4.X, will take place Wednesday, May 18 through Saturday, May 21 at SPACES – MUNICH WERKSVIERTEL located at Mühldorfstraße 8. The objective of this unique project is for altruistic teams of researchers to make available their cumulative skills and expertise and to complement them with all trades and requirements – in only 72 hours.

Awe-inspiring prototypes and products centered around the industrial Internet of Things will be showcased as part of an afterwork event in the ProGlove open studio exhibition hosted by Workaround GmbH on Thursday, May 19 at Rupert-Mayer-Str. 44. Industrial design, UX, UI, and communication design will merge in this exhibition in an exemplary manner.

The opening of FJORD Munich’s studio also is eagerly anticipated. In cooperation with designers, researchers, and creative technologists, internationally renowned mastermind FJORD will introduce industrial design related works and trends to everyone at Balanstraße 73 on Thursday, May 19.

MCBW partner plan A is organizing Architecture Matters, an international conference on architecture, urban planning, and the future, to take place at Munich Urban Colab at Freddie-Mercury-Straße 5 on Thursday, May 19 and Friday, May 20. Following the motto Dense City, experts will discuss the density of mixed-use cities which many view as a prerequisite to the achievement of climate neutrality by mid-century.

Close to 170 events, approximately 100 speakers, 160 program partners, and 40 registered design shops will make MCBW 2022 at least as impactful as its pre-COVID predecessors. While this MCBW will include a series of digital and hybrid events to enable people from beyond Munich and Germany to participate, analog events will again prevail, making encounters and experiences all the more memorable.

Munich, Germany, February 24, 2022 | Today bayern design is announcing specifics of the program for Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW), the largest design event in Germany. With the theme ‘Moving Horizons’, this year’s edition of MCBW will take place in May. Close to 100 analog, hybrid, and digital exhibitions, conferences, streams, workshops, and webinars will address fans and experts in the field of design. MCBW 2022 will be implemented in cooperation with large renowned companies and well-known local heroes. One of the highlights will be an interactive show revolving around the theme ‘Moving Horizons’. The 38 meter long installation made up of 12 swings will be set up on May 3 at the MCBW Public Space on the lawn in front of Alte Pinakothek. The show will invite the public to move horizons.

Flexibility in changing times – Moving Horizons

Organized by bayern design, the state of Bavaria’s center for design competence, the upcoming MCBW about ‘Moving Horizons’ will address society’s situation today where one thing – flexibility – is more present and more in demand than ever before. Challenges, including climate change and the COVID-19 crisis, have redefined the framework in many areas of our lives. Some of these remain uncertain. We now have to move, orient ourselves, and work within these frameworks. Nadine Vicentini, managing director of bayern design and organizer of MCBW, emphasizes: “Design can shift horizons. Practically speaking, design surprises us with solutions for new standards in virtually all areas of our lives. This will be highlighted during MCBW 2022.”

Moving Horizons swing installation

Developed exclusively for MCBW by Studio OHA, the swing installation set up on the lawn facing Alte Pinakothek will be an absolute eyecatcher. The installation has been designed to pick up on the ‘Moving Horizons’ theme in a spectacular way. The intention of this attraction is to sensitize people to a new lifestyle which has been amplified even further by the pandemic and other crises: uncertainty with regard to shifting standards, and the need and opportunity to act flexibly within these standards. The installation makes shifting horizons a playful experience.
Swinging - a state that stands for the contrast between the tension lines horizon and one's own location, but is also a decelerating, carefree activity that creates courage and confidence to embrace new concepts. Big and small discoverers wanted!

The MCBW 2022 program

Global Design Talk  is a new item on the MCBW agenda. This series of events being hosted in cooperation with Arctic Design Week will be presented in a special Munich Edition. In three rounds, Päivi Tahkokallio, former president of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA), and her guests from diverse industries will discuss topical matters including climate change and circularity – live at the ARRI movie theater. Several workshops will support companies with their first steps towards sustainability and circular thinking. MCBW Talk & Connect, another speaking format that will be presented for the first time in 2022, will highlight the ‘Moving Horizons’ theme in five brief inspirational speeches. A recurring favorite will be MCBW Designwalk where design aficionados can take a ten-station tour through Munich’s popular Glockenbachviertel district. Either alone or in a guided group, participants will discover exciting works by young designers at selected design shops. Two transparent MCBW Pop-Ups will provide fascinating insights into the world of design to passers-by short of time. As part of MCBW Designkino, six selected design films will be available for streaming digitally throughout the entire week.

Participating MCBW partners include COBE, KMS Team, Ingo Maurer, Phoenix, Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, Kunstareal München, Calligaris Flagship Store, Schnitzer&, User Interface Design, and Verein Innovation 4.X M. Together with many other participants they will host compelling events relating to the entire bandwidth of industry-related topics including patent law, film technology, digital education for children, retail performance, new work, self-marketing, mobility, recruiting, and many more. Other distinguished supporters include Google, Steelcase, Vitra, HENN Architekten, and Munich Urban Colab (UnternehmerTUM). Finally, the BMW Group is once again involved as a sponsor and program partner from the very beginning.

About MCBW

MCBW is organized by bayern design GmbH and is sponsored by the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, and the City of Munich. BMW Group, Steelcase and Ströer contribute to MCBW significantly as partners.

Munich, December 9, 2021 | In view of the current situation, bayern design’s MCBW team has decided to postpone this year’s edition to May 14 through 22, 2022. The theme, Moving Horizons, will remain the same.  

The next MCBW will take place in May 2022

The circumstances of MCBW 2021 were special: event formats were digitized, and the entire design week took place in a hybrid version. Hopes that MCBW 2022 could include more on-site activities again have been thwarted by the unforeseeable situation resulting from the pandemic. The largest design event in Germany therefore has been moved from March to May 2022. Nadine Vicentini, Managing Director of bayern design: “MCBW thrives on the exchange among participants and their shared enthusiasm for design. With a view to ensuring a more intense feeling of this ambiance, we have chosen to postpone MCBW for two months.” The program for the upcoming MCBW will be communicated in spring. In line with the event’s theme, Moving Horizons, bayern design and the entire MCBW team are looking ahead and hope for a large audience in May 2022.

About MCBW

MCBW is organized by bayern design GmbH and is sponsored by the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, and the City of Munich. bayern design helps implement the state’s design promotion programs and fosters connections among designers and stakeholders across disciplines, companies, universities, institutions, and associations in line with the MCBW leitmotiv Design connects!. Together with the two MCBW program areas – CREATE BUSINESS! for professionals and DESIGN SCHAU! for all other lovers of design – the leitmotiv forms the framework of MCBW.

+++ MCBW will take place from March 5 to 13, 2022

+++ The annual theme is a fusion of desire and design

+++ Anette Lenz created the key visual

+++ Program partners can register now

Munich, Germany,September 16, 2021 | Plans for next year’s Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW) are well underway and the presentation of Anette Lenz’s new key visual represents a major milestone. Guided by the theme Moving Horizons, MCBW 2022 is organized by bayern design and will take place from March 5 to 13. An assortment of workshops, conferences, symposiums, webinars, exhibitions, and streams will be offered at various locations throughout the city. Companies and individuals interested in joining MCBW as program partners can register now.

Moving Horizons – desire meets design

The year 2020 was shaped by desire – desire for normalcy, for balance, and first and foremost, for solutions to a multitude of challenges facing society. Climate change, sustainability, and equal rights are omnipresent topics that have manifested in the public discourse. In all of this, design is society’s mirror – driving change and inspiring trends. “Designers take people’s desires on as a task, discover surprising gateways and turn them into experiences. MCBW 2022 focuses on the topics that stir our society today and will continue to do so tomorrow. The event looks beyond the horizon. It fuses desire and design and opens up space for innovative solutions,” says Nadine Vicentini, the new managing director of bayern design. The focal theme Moving Horizons was selected to highlight MCBW 2022 as a platform for places of longing that set out to expand, challenge, and shift horizons through design and to discover and rediscover.

Key visual – Anette Lenz visualizes MCBW 2022

The MCBW 2022 key visual was penned by German graphic designer Anette Lenz, one of the most influential designers of our time. Lenz, who lives in Paris, has made a name for herself through her unique play with typography and color and her representations of a new form of visual communication in public spaces. Her interpretation of Moving Horizons transfers society’s desire for change into visual elements: altering notions of lettering, delicate details gaining strength, heavy sections dissolving into graceful ones, letters stretching horizontally. New gateways, interspaces, and opportunities become visible. Vertical planes structure the space and add rhythm. The multi-colored system was designed to be complementary; the variable overlay ensures tangible depths and stark contrasts that enter into dialog rather than opposing each other. Lenz explains: “The intention behind the new MCBW key visual was to envision transformation and emotion through graphic means and to portray a type of new beginning following the motto Back to Basics. This way, text can turn into picture and unite color, structure, and lines.” Depending on the channel, the key visual will be integrated in an animated form so its organic nature and versatile dynamics can unfurl.

Successful introduction of hybrid events

Because it was MCBW’s tenth anniversary and due to the COVID-19 situation, in 2020 the event took place in both digital and analog forms for the first time. The program themed Shaping futures by Design was comprised of a variety of creative concepts for web streaming, virtual exhibitions, and design walks available to visitors up close and remotely. For the largest design event of its kind in Germany, this step meant navigating uncharted territory. Lisa Braun, director of MCBW, values the developments as positive: “We went through an extensive change process over the past year that included redesigning events and restructuring our MCBW team. Inspired by the favorable experiences we had during MCBW 2020, we now look forward to the upcoming event which will direct our attention to new horizons and beyond.” Digital event formats will remain key parts of MCBW in the future.

New program partners wanted

Despite the pandemic, MCBW 2021 offered a wealth of content and appeal. More than 90 partners and their events, exhibitions, and activities were essential to MCBW and guaranteed diversity in action. MCBW is a network, a platform, and a multiplier bringing together companies, agencies, and creative people in the fields of design, marketing and architecture and enabling them, among many other benefits, to become part of the program. Companies and individuals interested in joining us as a program partner in 2022 can select from among a number of packages and are welcome to apply by December 1, 2021. Details about benefits and registration are available here and on the MCBW website.

About MCBW

MCBW is organized by bayern design GmbH and is sponsored by the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, and the City of Munich. bayern design helps implement the state’s design promotion programs and fosters connections among designers and stakeholders across disciplines, companies, universities, institutions, and associations in line with the MCBW leitmotiv Design connects!. Together with the two MCBW program areas – CREATE BUSINESS! for professionals and DESIGN SCHAU! for all other lovers of design – the leitmotiv forms the framework of MCBW.

  • The predominantly virtual 10th edition of Munich Creative Business Week presented by the cultural and creative sectors was both a beacon and a role model during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • More than 120 digital and hybrid workshops, conferences, symposiums, webinars, exhibitions, and streaming opportunities

Munich, Germany, March 18, 2021 | This year saw the tenth anniversary of the annually held Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW), the largest event of its kind in Germany. Almost all the events took place digitally or in a hybrid manner. Over the course of nine days, the virtual design week broke the constraints of geography and time with its newly developed digital “space” and established entirely new formats. MCBW proved to be an exemplary beacon during the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing once again the relevance and radiance of the creative and cultural sectors.

Matthias Horx: Designers as agents of future design

In line with the theme of this year’s MCBW, Shaping futures by Design, during the digital MCBW reception broadcast from BMW Welt, futurologist and founder of Zukunftsinstitut Matthias Horx discussed the retrograde view on the future in the form of a “regnosis.” He said: “It can be helpful if we jump into tomorrow mentally and ask ourselves retrospectively how we got there. The regnosis enables us to enter into a productive relationship with the future. In this scenario, designers assume the important role of agents by escorting society and the industrial sector on their journeys.”

10 years of MCBW: a successful transformation process

While MCBW typically takes place within Munich’s borders and in the MCBW partner region of Landshut, for its tenth anniversary this year it founded a virtual platform that will be continued, at least in part, going forward. “Personal encounters and networking locally are the essence of MCBW and our industry, however, the connection between the analog and the digital has enriched our lives and will continue to do so in the future. For example, it allows us to extend our community at the national and international levels and to create a new form of connectivity. In addition, by combining digital and analog we can develop new formats with even greater added value,” says Lisa Braun, Director of MCBW.

New formats: digital and analog connected

An example of a successful new format was the DESIGNWALK which was well-received and earned a great deal of positive feedback. The tour led visitors to several analog stations throughout Munich’s Kunstareal area including the DIS CONNECTED video installation and the MCBW POP UP exhibition container. The QR code at each station provided digital background information including interviews. Visitors were able to embark on this urban tour at any time during the nine days without having to register – all they needed was a smartphone. Jan Kuck’s interactive light installation and the video performances by Miro Craemer at Westpark also made impressive examples of the connection between the analog and the digital. At fans of art, families, and walkers had the opportunity to send in their preferred responses to the question “What would you change?” and have their entries projected onto the water screen on site. However, the diverse digital conferences, workshops, and live streams on the MCBW website recorded the lion’s share of visitors.[1]

MCBW’s value for society and the economy

Hubert Aiwanger, Bavarian State Minister of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, emphasized: “MCBW is an essential silver lining for the cultural and creative sectors. The overwhelming acceptance of the many digital formats makes me optimistic for the future. In particular, the large bandwidth of topics shows how important the industry is to the mastering of the wide array of challenges currently being faced. I am very happy the Ministry of Economic Affairs supports this industry event every year!” At 20.3 bn euros in gross value added, the share of the creative and cultural sectors in the value creation of the state of Bavaria amounted to 3.6 percent making it the sector with the third highest contribution among those referenced after the automotive sector with 7.9 percent and the healthcare sector with 7.7 percent.[2]

About MCBW

MCBW is organized by bayern design GmbH and is sponsored by the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, and the City of Munich. As partners, BMW Group, Steelcase, and Ströer provide substantial support to the event.

[1] Figures on participants will be available in late March and can be requested at pressoffice @

[2]Report of the Cultural and Creative Sectors