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Review: the design industry showcases sustainable innovation

+++ MCBW keeps its status as key design event despite coronavirus crisis

+++ Sustain by Design – MCBW 2020 centered on sustainability

+++ Save the date: MCBW 2021 from March 6 to 14

Munich, April 1, 2020 | Organized by bayern design, the 9th edition of Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW) which took place from March 7 to 13, 2020 strengthened its status as Germany’s key design event despite the coronavirus crisis. Although some items on the agenda had to be cancelled and the entire event was cut short because of the increasingly critical situation around the world, numerous remarkable events went ahead as scheduled. Following the motto of this year’s MCBW, Sustain by Design, several companies and organizations introduced their innovative concepts, demonstrating the great strides that have made in the field of sustainable design.

Design increases sustainable value

Good design drives sustainability. Designers work at the interface between people and society and the interface between the economy and the environment. Designers’ skills and craftsmanship enable them to combine form and function and to develop strategies and systems for solutions for a sustainable future. Many events and workshops hosted at MCBW 2020 dealt with ways of working, living, communicating, dressing, and traveling in the future. In cooperation with other disciplines and along with the research and science sectors, design develops the future – a future which must be designed. Divided into six themes – the future of digitization, innovation, communication, cities, fashion, and work – MCBW illustrated in an inspiring manner what design can do, is doing, and will do in these fields.

Sustainability-themed events during MCBW included the clothing swap campaign organized by Green City, the Socio City Conference, and the Schnitzer& sponsored symposium and exhibition titled ÜBERDACHT

Dr. Silke Claus, Managing Director of bayern design GmbH, the organizer of MCBW, says: “A future without sustainability is inconceivable. The interplay of the design industry and the corporate sector facilitates the advancement of solutions to problems and the development of sustainable models for tomorrow. The events at MCBW this year demonstrated ways in which approaches to sustainable design can impact our society.”

Other MCBW highlights

Highlights of MCBW 2020 included the awards ceremony for Münchner Modepreis presented by the City of Munich, the DMI Boston Symposium, and the Interior Congress organized by Münchner Stoff Frühling. Also a sight to see: unique light installations created by celebrity concept artist Jan Kuck. Radiating throughout Munich during MCBW, these installations immersed the Victory Gate and also turned the Isar into the Burning River with a fire-red glow – a warning light. The event attracted numerous spectators and continued until their scheduled end.

Regional Partner: Landshut in Lower Bavaria

This year MCBW’s Regional Partner, the Lower Bavarian region of Landshut, showcased its powers of innovation and its affinity with design at several events concerning architecture, communication, and crafts. One of the main features was Regional Partner Day held at MCBW FORUM. The second report on the cultural and creative industries in Bavaria compiled by bayernkreativ, the center of Bavaria’s cultural and creative sectors, was presented at MCBW FORUM as well. Landshut also will be the Regional Partner of MCBW 2021.


MCBW FORUM, the central point of contact during the design week, again took place at the premises of HFF Munich. Visitors had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with MCBW’s program and to participate in compelling events including MUCBOOK Creative Night, MCBW DESIGNKINO, the opening of the oursuperstore design shop, and Recruiting Day.

The next MCBW will take place from March 6 to 14, 2021.

MCBW 2020 ends prematurely

Munich, March 13, 2020 | Yesterday evening, the German Chancellor made a public call to cancel smaller events with less than 1,000 participants, thereby minimizing social contacts as a whole. As of today, the Bavarian authorities still tolerate events with up to 500 participants. Nonetheless, the MCBW team has asked the program partners to postpone or cancel their remaining MCBW events at short notice. Since the development regarding the corona situation is extremely dynamic, prevention is the order of the day.

The MCBW 2020 will therefore end today.

"We thank all visitors for their interest in the MCBW and all our partners for their stellar commitment, but also for understanding that we had and still have to deal with a situation that is challenging for everyone," states Dr. Silke Claus, Managing Director of bayern design, the organizer of the MCBW.

The next MCBW will take place from 6 to 14 March 2021.

Neon-Siegestor and Burning Isar: The MCBW makes Munich think

+++ The artist Jan Kuck transforms the Siegestor on the occasion of the MCBW into a radiant design artwork made of neon colors

+++ Additionally, the Isar becomes the Burning River

Munich, February 18, 2020 | Munich will become a showplace of design and art on the occasion of the Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW): Not only the Siegestor shines in neon colors as a landmark of the Bavarian capital, but also the Isar river radiates in a fiery red glow as a warning light sign. The well-known concept artist Jan Kuck is the creator of these installations.

DESIGN! or NO SIGN?, from February 18 until March 17

Munich's Siegestor sets a clear signal – and it does so with a profound question: "DESIGN! or NO SIGN? In his work, the artist Jan Kuck deals with the responsibility of design to shape the future. The design process is more than just the creation of an aesthetic product. Successful design means attitude, it sets clear signs. An architectural monument with high quality in design and symbolic meaning reflects exactly this aspect. The neon installation will be created exclusively for the MCBW 2020 and shine far beyond Leopoldstraße from February 18 until March 17. It is sponsored by the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy and as well as Allianz. The installation is curated by Bernheimer Contemporary.

The Burning River, 7th till the 15th of March

Not only the Siegestor is illuminated during the MCBW but also the Isar river becomes a spectacular work of light art by Jan Kuck: every day at 6 p.m., the river around the Praterinsel transforms into a ‘Burning River’ and shines in a fiery red glow as a warning light sign. Projected onto the bank wall of the island, the question ‘What are you burning for?’ shows the different values and passionate goals of Munich residents and their guests who can submit them to Bernheimer Contemporary at from February 18. The aim is to deal with personal convictions on a deeper level and make them visible.

To draw attention to the campaign, Jan Kuck will also be illuminating 14 shop windows of the Ludwig Beck department store starting March 5.

The project is supported by MONSUN GmbH, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Munich Trade Fair Center, environmental authorities and regional sponsors, all of whom hold the river, the city, design and art as well as involving the citizens very close to their hearts.

"The two light installations by Jan Kuck show the leverage design can develop besides the purely aesthetic expression and to what extent design can support a social discourse. The MCBW creates the space for this,” says Dr. Silke Claus, Managing Director of bayern design, organiser of the MCBW.

"Designing means taking responsibility," says concept artist Jan Kuck. "For me, art is philosophy that starts where words alone are no longer sufficient to ask disturbing and burning questions."

Design and e-commerce entering into a promising alliance during MCBW

+++ Munich Creative Business Week (March 7 to 15, 2020) to cooperate with INTERNET WORLD EXPO (March 10 and 11, 2020) for the first time

+++ Focus on linking design and e-commerce

Munich, Germany, January 28, 2020 | Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW), the largest design event in Germany, and INTERNET WORLD EXPO, the leading trade fair for e-commerce in German-speaking regions, today announced their partnership following the theme Design and E-Commerce. 

MCBW has set out to emphasize its conceptual-contextual orientation with changing themes in line with society's major trends: Based on the background of debates about climate change and an exit from nuclear and fossil-fuel energy, Sustain by Design will be the focal point in 2020 because good design drives sustainability in the ecological, economic and social ambits. In addition, special attention will be paid to these topics: Future of Innovation, Cities, Fashion, Work, Communication, and Digitization.

Dr. Silke Claus, Managing Director of bayern design, explains the benefits of the alliance: “The partnership between MCBW and INTERNET WORLD EXPO is a great opportunity, especially in the areas of communication and digitization. At both events, entrepreneurs and designers can share their expertise and views on technological trends and user-centered design. Thanks to its comprehensive focus on users, user-experience design in e-commerce facilitates sustainable customer experiences.”

Carsten Szameitat, Director of INTERNET WORLD EXPO and Director of LBMA e.V., says: “Explaining, illustrating, and inspiring are the core competences for retailers to score, to address their customers in a targeted manner, and to facilitate unique customer experiences. Of course, technologies such as interactive displays or Augmented Reality solutions play an important role in this scenario as do comprehensive design concepts that enable customers to immerse themselves in digital shopping worlds and experiences. This is why I believe our partnership with MCBW not only is a logical consequence, it also is the ideal framework for retailers, entrepreneurs and designers to discuss retailing of the future and create essential synergies.”

Organized by bayern design and held in the first quarter of every year since 2012, MCBW highlights the potential of design: More than 120 committed Program Partners create a platform for design-affiliated companies, designers, and design agencies across disciplines including architecture and advertising, as well as for the broad public interested in design. More than 70,000 visitors can take advantage of the substantial opportunities to transfer knowledge and explore inspiring design experiences offered in two programs, CREATE BUSINESS! for professionals, and DESIGN SCHAU! for all others who have an affinity with design, under the claim Design connects!.

INTERNET WORLD EXPO has been the leading trade fair for e-commerce since 1997. The organizers have chosen the theme INTERNET WORLD EXPO – the commerce e-xperience, to address the increasing intertwining of online and stationary retail and illustrate it in an extended trade fair concept.

In 2020, INTERNET WORLD EXPO also will evolve gradually into Commerce Week filled with events, conferences, best practices discussions, tours, and workshops concerning the future of e-commerce. Commerce Week will be an overarching platform for diverse events and adjacent themes including MCBW. Revolving around design, MCBW will be the perfect match for INTERNET WORLD EXPO’s focus on trade and commerce.

In addition to the large central stages in the halls and numerous exhibitors, immediately upon entering the trade fair premises on March 10 and 11, 2020, visitors will have the opportunity to explore themed areas including E-Logistics and Packaging, Marketing, Payment, and Seamless Commerce. A highlight will be the Trendarena where the floor will be given to the who-is-who of the digital industry, for example, Gerfried Stocker (Managing Director and Creative Director of Ars Electronica Centers), Dominik Krimpmann (Managing Director & Technology Strategy Industry Lead at Accenture), Tobias Krüger (Manager of the Cultural Transformation 4.0 Division at OTTO Group), and former Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Middelhoff.

Sustain by Design: MCBW Program 2020 is online

  • Over 200 events of the Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW) from 7 to 15 March have been announced
  • The focus lies on sustainability
  • New highlights: Greenstyle, #3 Good Health & Well-being and Socio City

Munich, December 11, 2019 | The MCBW today announces the program for the long week of design taking place from 7 to 15 March, which this year will focus on sustainability: 'Sustain by Design.' Alongside recurring, popular events such as the Creative Night, the Universal Design Program, the Stijlmarkt and the Munich Fashion Award, exciting highlights all about the topic of sustainability take place this year - including the Greenstyle Fair, the innovation workshop #3 Good Health & Well-being and the conference Socio City.

Fridays for Future, Made by Vielfalt and many more initiatives on sustainability demonstrate: It's time to act. And not only with regards to climate change, but also when it comes to education, integration, traffic, housing, etc. Good design advances sustainability: ecologically, economically and socially. With its emphasis on 'Sustain by Design', the MCBW, organized by bayern design, presents the program for the long week of design 2020. A special focus lies on the topics of communication, innovation, digitalization, urbanization, fashion and new work.

For the first time at the MCBW, the Forward Festival, the Munich Stofffrühling and the Internet World Expo are among the exhibitors. In addition, more than 20 events take place in the Lower Bavarian region of Landshut, which presents itself for the first time at the MCBW as well. Moreover, in cooperation with Munich Airport, bayern design presents innovative startups at Terminal 2.

As of today, the MCBW program is available online. With their diverse topics, the more than 200 first-rate events address design experts and design lovers likewise. Many events are free of charge and accessible without reservations. During the MCBW, visitors may obtain information and advice on events, watch design films or shop socially responsible in the oursuperstore at the MCBW FORUM at the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF).

MCBW Presents New Key Visual for 2020

  • Zebra + Monstera leaf - Sustainable design in nature becomes the key visual of the Munich Creative Business Week 2020
  • Design connects! Surprising phenomena create new connections

Munich, September 17, 2019 | In the MCBW's new key visual, memorable design creates completely new connections: At first glance, a zebra, prototype camouflage wrap, and a monstera leaf don't seem to belong together. The framework of the key visual succeeds through the device of the analogy. The extravagant pattern connects across all disparities in species, size, color and function. Design connects! - True to the theme of Germany's largest design week.

"The key visual of the MCBW exemplifies the effectivity and sustainability of nature's design in a special way. Through formal and content-related analogies, it produces all manner of connections to the design. Fashion and graphic designers, for example, prefer working with black and white contrasts. The camouflage wrap in the car industry uses the visual confusion of the pattern. Furthermore, formal analogies have been a popular stylistic device in advertising, but also the design of everyday objects. Just think of the citrus press 'Juicy Salif' by Philippe Starck or the foam seating sculpture 'Pratone' by the Gruppo Strum," explains Dr. Silke Claus, Managing Director of bayern design, the organizer of the MCBW.

Further information on the background of the key visual, such as the confusing effect of the black and white contrast and the role of the 'monstera deliciosa', is available in the MCBW story on the key visual of the MCBW 2020.

Design, conception and idea of the key visual was once again realized by the Munich marketing agency KOCHAN & PARTNER.

MCBW 2020 sets new accent: SUSTAIN BY DESIGN

Start of application phase for the Munich Design Week


  • MCBW provides local, regional and global impulses for Munich and Bavaria as creative locations

  • Lower Bavarian region Landshut becomes MCBW regional partner 2020/2021

Munich, July 25th 2019 | Today starts the application phase for the program partners of the 9th MUNICH CREATIVE BUSINESS WEEK (MCBW) from March 7th to March 15th 2020. Until the 20th of October 2019 interested designers, architects, companies, organizations and institutions can register for Germany's largest design event on the website at

The MCBW, organized annually in the first quarter of the year by bayern design GmbH, is the networking platform in Germany for design and business on which new local, regional and global impulses are set for Munich and Bavaria as a location for creative industries. The leitmotif Design connects! will continue to be the driving force behind outstanding and moving design themes during the next Design Week. However the next MCBW will have a special focus: SUSTAIN BY DESIGN. "Design and business need each other more than ever, work on current tasks, create problem solutions and design sustainable models for tomorrow. Good design drives sustainability - ecologically, economically and socially. We invite our program partners to present their inspiring views on SUSTAIN BY DESIGN to a professional audience as well as design interested people at the MCBW 2020 and look forward to a sustainable exchange," explains Dr. Silke Claus, Managing Director of bayern design, organizer of the MCBW. The future is inconceivable without sustainability. In this context, there will be further theme clusters for the program partners of the MCBW under the main theme of SUSTAIN BY DESIGN, dedicated to the future of innovation, digitization, communication, work, cities and fashion. "We have developed theme clusters such as design-driven innovations in start-up culture, New Works design thinking approaches or urban planning to inspire our partners", Dr. Claus continues.


Landshut becomes new MCBW regional partner

The Lower Bavarian region of Landshut will be the MCBW regional partner in 2020/2021. This partnership is supported by the district of Lower Bavaria, the district of Landshut, the city of Landshut, the Silicon Vilstal initiative and the Lower Bavaria Forum. The region is characterized by great economic dynamism. It provides numerous creative impulses which are to be presented to a broader public within the framework of the MCBW regional partnership. Also important is networking of companies, creative people and cultural workers beyond the region.


MCBW - The long week of Design

At the last MCBW there were around 215 events and over 120 program partners. Germany's largest design week presented itself for nine days as a lively, sympathetic and forward-looking event for design. More than 70,000 visitors found substantial knowledge transfer and inspiring design experiences in the two program areas CREATE BUSINESS! for the trade public and DESIGN SCHAU! for the design interested public.

In the CREATE BUSINESS! program area, design can be experienced as a source of inspiration for innovations and an active and humane shaping of change: great ideas, sustainable trends and new products are presented in conferences, symposia and workshops, at receptions and many other events. The initiation of business contacts is promoted as well as the exchange of knowledge and discussions - on the one hand between business and design and on the other hand between various creative disciplines such as design, marketing and architecture.

At DESIGN SCHAU! for design lovers, good design in all its facets can be experienced, tried out and understood up close. Exhibitions, vernissages, events and campaigns at more than 150 locations in Munich and Bavaria lead right into the heart of German and international design culture, in which architecture also has its place.