This year, the Werkbund award jury commended the work of ten international companies and projects as innovative and future-orientated or praised the extraordinary design quality of their work. Next to their ground-breaking and future-orientated ideas, the award winners also impressed the judges by the extent to which they served as a role model to society and politics, their use of environmentally-friendly technologies and their civic involvement marked by courage, lateral thinking and personal initiative.
The WERKBUND Label Award aims at raising public awareness and appreciation for the projects. By hosting a gala award ceremony, the Deutsche Werkbund directs public attention to the successful projects, which it deems to be playing a significant role in shaping our future or answering societal challenges.
2016 award winners include, among others, the tradition-steeped British sports car manufacturer Morgan Motor Company of Malvern Hills; a project dedicated to construction plans for design classics; an electricity supplier which generates energy from artistic projects; and BRAIN, the pacemakers of the white biotechnology industry.
“The technological utilization of biological processes in a transdisciplinary, integration-oriented and comprehensively networked company is unrivalled and exemplary on a global scale. That alone would be reason enough to consider such a, in the broadest sense, environment-oriented company for a Werkbund Label award,” says Dipl. Ing. Alexander Grünenwald, a member of the award jury.
However, the jury was particularly impressed by BRAIN’s unique corporate philosophy, which is governed by the transfer of creative academic thoughts into industrial applications, as well as by its unique corporate culture and communication strategy, which has already won multiple awards.
“It is a huge honour for me to accept this award not only on behalf of myself but on behalf of all BRAIN AG employees. For us, cultural involvement goes beyond our core competencies such as technology development, production and science and represents a key element of a well-balanced and sustainable corporate culture and communication. This award encourages us to progress along the path that we have chosen and to advance the biologization of industries,” explains Dr Jürgen Eck, CEO of BRAIN.
“This cultural commitment is an intrinsic part of our corporate DNA and we are pleased to hear that the renowned Werkbund association presents BRAIN with the Werkbund Label 2016 Award for our cultural efforts. At BRAIN, we apply the same quality, creativity and diligence standards that govern our research and development partnerships when it comes to the company’s interaction and communication with external parties. In doing so we foster a fruitful and cross-pollinating exchange between science, culture and the arts,” adds Dr Holger Zinke, founder of BRAIN AG.
Over the past few years, BRAIN has been presented with several awards for its arts and culture involvement. The company, which is headquartered in a listed industrial building dating back to the early modern age in Zwingenberg, Germany, has received numerous awards and prizes in the areas of science, architecture and culture; among them the award for exemplary buildings in the federal state of Hesse, the Josef Maria Olbrich Award offered by the Association of German Architects (BDA), as well as design awards such as the 2013 IF Award and the 2014 German Design Award. In 2011 the company was presented with the “Company of the Month” Award of the Hesse federal state government while four years down the road it received the 2015 German Citizen Award, Germany’s most significant nationwide prize honouring volunteers and voluntary commitment.