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iF e.V.

iF Industrie Forum Design e.V.

iF Industrie Forum Design e.V. – or iF e.V. for short – is the oldest independent design institution in the world. Its foundation in 1953 was closely linked to Hannover's status as a major trade fair venue: the aim was to create a partner institution for the annual industry exhibition that would look after and support the “formal design of industrial products” in Germany. Since then, iF e.V. has fulfilled this role in an exemplary manner.

In 2001, iF International Forum Design GmbH took over the operating business that includes organizing and hosting the iF design awards. Since then, iF e.V. has been focusing more strongly on its role as a mediator between design and business. iF e.V. puts emphasis on the inclusion of design at the management level and for considering design in corporate philosophy. iF e.V. creates public awareness for the topic of good design, and the association also maintains a comprehensive design network. As iF e.V. members, both renowned companies and individuals are part of this network.


“formal design of industrial products”

Six years after the British occupying forces had selected Hanover as a venue for industry exhibitions, efforts were made to complement the exhibition with an institution that would focus on and support the “formal design of industrial products” in Germany.

The Messegesellschaft Hannover used as its guideline the ideas of visionary entrepreneur Philip Rosenthal who also played a key role in the Federation of German Industry (BDI) where he was committed to bringing together the worlds of culture and business. This concept was also adopted for the foundation of the new institution.

The trio, consisting of the Messegesellschaft, the entrepreneur and the Federation of German Industry, joined forces and started to develop this very institution: iF e.V. was born.

Wilhelm Wagenfeld

Wilhelm Wagenfeld provided valuable support at the time and wrote a wonderful opening address for the foundation of iF Industrie Forum Design e.V. His address was published in the first book on iF e.V. Although six decades have passed since then, his words have lost none of their significance, enthusiasm and validity.

Wilhelm Wagenfeld Opening Address EN PDF | 364.27kB


As the oldest independent design institution in the world, iF e.V. was founded to create a bridge between the worlds of culture and business. For six decades, both the association and its members have been pursuing this goal with great commitment and success.

Represented by both its board and its members, the association actively tries to create a discourse on design. The aim is to support good design and to establish the idea of design as a success factor in the mind of the public and also in the minds of industry leaders: a company that includes design in its philosophy, in its strategic decisions and in its product development will achieve sustainable success.

Furthermore, the association’s work focuses on discussion and exchange regarding design-relevant issues and on the continuous expansion and maintenance of a worldwide design network.


Structure and Membership

iF e.V. consists of a board, of regular members and of honorary members.
The board comprises up to six members and the managing director.
Currently, we have four honorary members. The regular members award this title to acknowledge longstanding and outstanding commitment to the cause of design.


iF General Meeting 2016, Hamburg, Germany

Our Members

Honorary Members

  • Herbert H. Schultes
    Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany
  • Prof. Herbert Lindinger
    Hannover, Germany
  • Sepp D. Heckmann
    Hannover, Germany


  • Artemide GmbH, Fröndenberg, Germany
  • BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, München, Germany
  • BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany
  • Blomus GmbH, Sundern, Germany
  • BMW AG, München, Germany
  • BOS Best of Steel, Emstetten, Germany
  • Bree Collection GmbH, Isernhagen, Germany
  • Carpet Concept Objekt-Teppichboden GmbH, Bielefeld, Germany
  • CLAGE GmbH, Lüneburg, Germany
  • Crown Gabelstapler GmbH & Co. KG, München, Germany
  • Daimler AG, Sindelfingen, Germany
  • Dassault Systemes 3DExcite GmbH, München, Germany
  • designaffairs GmbH, München, Germany
  • Deutsche Messe AG, Hannover, Germany
  • EnBW AG, Messen und Events, Biberach, Germany
  • Expotechnik Heinz Soschinski GmbH, Taunusstein, Germany
  • FESTO AG & Co. KG, Esslingen, Germany
  • FORUM your brandbuilder GmbH, Krefeld, Germany
  • Gira Giersiepen GmbH & Co. KG, Radevormwald, Germany
  • Grohe AG, Design Studio, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Hansgrohe SE, Schiltach, Germany
  • HEWI Heinrich Wilke GmbH, Bad Arolsen, Germany
  • Hiller Objektmöbel GmbH & Co. KG, Kippenheim, Germany
  • HSK Duschkabinenbau KG, Olsberg, Germany
  • hw.design gmbh, München, Germany
  • IBM Deutschland GmbH, Ehningen, Germany
  • interstil - Diedrichsen GmbH, Steinhagen, Germany
  • Interstuhl Büromöbel GmbH & Co. KG, Meßstetten-Tieringen, Germany
  • Isaria Corporate Design AG, Oberpframmern, Germany
  • JAB Teppiche Heinz Anstoetz KG, Herford, Germany
  • Jürgen Schlösser Armaturen GmbH, Hünsborn, Germany
  • Kermi GmbH, Plattling, Germany
  • KOCHAN & PARTNER GmbH, München, Germany
  • Köttermann GmbH & Co. KG, Uetze, Germany
  • KWC AG, Unterkulm, Switzerland
  • MüllerKälber GmbH, Aspach, Germany
  • Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Technologie u. Verkehr, Hannover, Germany
  • Nils Holger Moormann GmbH, Aschau, Germany
  • OVENTROP GmbH & Co. KG, Olsberg, Germany
  • PLANMECA OY, Helsinki, Finland
  • Poggenpohl Möbelwerke GmbH, Herford, Germany
  • Schneider Electric GmbH, Ratingen, Germany
  • Sedus Stoll AG, Waldshut-Tiengen, Germany
  • Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG, Wedemark, Germany
  • Siemens AG, Erlangen, Germany
  • SKYLOTEC GmbH, Neuwied, Germany
  • SMA Solar Technology AG, Niestetal, Germany
  • Steinberg GmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Storck Bicycle GmbH, Idstein, Germany
  • THONET GmbH, Frankenberg, Germany
  • TRILUX GmbH & Co KG, Arnsberg, Germany
  • Vauth-Sagel, Systemtechnik GmbH & Co. KG, Brakel-Erkeln, Germany
  • Viessmann Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Allendorf/Eder, Germany
  • Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Design, Wolfsburg, Germany
  • Vossius & Partner Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte mbB, München, Germany
  • Wilkhahn Wilkening + Hahne GmbH & Co. KG, Bad Münder, Germany
  • wodtke GmbH, Tübingen-Hirschau, Germany
  • Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Mushashino, Tokyo, Japan
  • Zumtobel Lighting GmbH, Dornbirn, Austria

Designers and Design Studios

  • 3-point concepts GmbH, Berlin, Germany
  • ArGe Design braucht Täter, Köln, Germany
  • ArteFakt Pohl Fiegl, Darmstadt, Germany
  • at-design, Fürth, Germany
  • bayern design forum e.V, Nürnberg, Germany
  • B:SiGN Design & Communications GmbH, Hannover, Germany
  • Braake Design, Stuttgart, Germany
  • D´ART Visuelle Kommunikation GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany
  • design studio hartmut s. engel, Ludwigsburg, Germany
  • Design Tech, Ammerbuch, Germany
  • Deutscher Designer Club e.V., Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • DRWA Das Rudel Werbeagentur, Freiburg, Germany
  • f/p design GmbH, München, Germany
  • Fuenfwerken Design AG, Wiesbaden, Germany
  • GDC Design, Fürth, Germany
  • H H Schultes Design Studio, Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany
  • i / i / d Institut für Integriertes Design an der HfK Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • identis GmbH, Freiburg, Germany
  • INOID Design Group, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Interbrand, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Kolle Rebbe GmbH, Hamburg, Germany
  • Lumod, Baiern, Germany
  • mormedi, Madrid, Spain
  • Nova Design Co., Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan
  • OCO-Design O. K. Nüsse, Münster, Germany
  • Olaf Hoffmann Industrial Design, München, Germany
  • Philips Design, Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • Polvan Design Ltd., Istanbul, Turkey
  • PROMOTIONAL iDEAS Werbeagentur GmbH, Bad Homburg, Germany
  • rahe+rahe design, Bremen, Germany
  • Rokitta Produkt & Markenästhetik, Mühlheim an der Ruhr, Germany
  • SCHOLZ & VOLKMER GmbH, Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Spirit Design-Innovation and Brand GmbH, Wien, Austria
  • Strategy & Marketing Institute - Management Consultants GmbH, Hannover, Germany
  • Taipei Base Design Center, Taipei, Taiwan
  • TRICON Design AG, Kirchentellinsfurt, Germany
  • Ueberholz GmbH, Wuppertal, Germany
  • UNIPLAN GmbH & Co. KG, Köln, Germany
  • VDID/DDV, Berlin, Germany
  • Weinberg & Ruf, Filderstadt, Germany

Private individuals

  • Thomas Bade, Stadthagen, Germany
  • Olaf Barski, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Thomas Biswanger, Ingolstadt, Germany
  • Christoph Böninger, Fischbachau , Germany
  • Holger Fricke, Hamburg, Germany
  • Andreas Gantenhammer, Meerbusch, Germany
  • Michael Grüter, Hagenburg, Germany
  • Josef Hasberg, Overath, Germany
  • Bibs Hosak-Robb, München, Germany
  • Janus Huang, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Jens Korte, Hamburg, Germany
  • Sebastian Le Peetz, Hannover, Germany
  • Hildegund Lichtwark, Rommerskirchen, Germany
  • Joahnnes Loer, Selm-Bork, Germany
  • Tim Oelker, Hamburg, Germany
  • Christoph Rohrer, München, Germany
  • HD Schellnack, Essen, Germany
  • Eberhard Schlegel, Dürmentingen, Germany
  • Michael Schlenke, Kaarst, Germany
  • Prof. Gunnar Spellmeyer, Hannover, Germany
  • Andreas Thierry, München, Germany
  • Prof. Martin Topel, Wuppertal, Germany
  • Roland Wagner, Lahr, Germany
  • Wolf Udo Wagner, Dreieich, Germany
  • Gabriel Weber, München, Germany

In compliance with legal provisions, the association holds an annual general meeting where the board presents a statement of accounts and informs the members about the association’s economic situation.

Membership Benefits

Become an iF e.V. member and enjoy the many benefits and our comprehensive service package.

Your iF member card

The iF member card is your key to all the benefits we provide to our members. With the iF member card, you will receive your membership number, which entitles you to use all our services.


Free entry to trade exhibitions

iF members enjoy free entry to the most important trade exhibitions in Hannover (for one year and for two people). This service is offered in cooperation with Messegesellschaft Hannover. Additionally, you can visit trade fairs at other locations for free. Please see all fairs and dates in the PDF.


Invitation to the awards ceremony: iF design award night

Invitation to the awards ceremony: iF design award night at BMW Welt in Munich on 26 February 2016. Invitations will be send via email.


Your event at the iF design exhibition Hamburg

Elbarkaden / HafenCity, Hongkongstraße 6, 20457 Hamburg
11am to 6pm, Tuesday - Sunday

Members can use the iF design exhibition Hamburg space to host their own events. There is no rental fee. Contact us if you’re interested.


Your video profile: iF talking heads

iF design exhibition Hamburg

Let people know about your everyday (design) work; introduce yourself, your company, your team or your design philosophy. iF members have the opportunity to present a short video in the inspiring environment of the iF design exhibition Hamburg. Contact us if you’re interested.


Invitation to the iF design salon: events

iF design exhibition Hamburg

Design experts come together for panel discussions, readings, presentations or talks. As an iF member, you will receive invitations to all iF design salon events.


iF design special

Present yourself in the iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE – the worlds largest virtual design exhibition with an iF design special. We agree on a subject and you put together an iF design special including your personal comments. Contact us if you’re interested.


More good reasons to become a member

Design needs communication: with its widely known and excellent reputation, iF has established itself as an important member of the international design community. This is not least due to the iF design awards, which are among the best known and most important design awards in the world.

  • iF supports design on a public, political and international level: we participate in panel discussions and conferences, we give talks, and we are campaigning for a sustainable design idea.
  • Our newsletters, video podcasts and press releases reach thousands of recipients each month and all over the world. This is how we continuously extend our international design network.
  • Each month, the iF website records visitors from more than 100 countries. Obviously, iF e.V. and its members are also introduced at the iF website.
  • As the only design institution of its kind, iF presents all the data available on all iF award winners from 1953 onwards. We can thus offer a publicly accessible historical database and excellent research tool.
  • With our iF design exhibitions, which are organized annually at different locations, we reach thousands of visitors and we spread the message of 'award-winning design'.
  • An iF design award is a seal of quality recognized all over the world. The international reputation of the iF label is extremely high and constantly growing. For our iF design award winners, the label is a valuable advertising tool and, for users and consumers, it serves as a measure of quality and as an objective aid for decision-making.
  • Retailers are also increasingly looking for good design: the demand for iF design award-winning products is constantly growing.


Become a Member

Are you interested in becoming a member? An application takes just a few steps.

Articles of Association and Bylaws of “iF Industrie Forum Design e. V."


Article 1.  Name and registered office of the Association

  1. The name of the Association is “iF Industrie Forum Design”.
  2. iF Industrie Forum Design is listed in the Register of Associations (Vereinsregister).
  3. The Association’s registered office is in Hannover, Germany.

Article 2.  Object of the Association

The object of the Association is to support and gain acceptance for design as a link in the value chain and as a cultural component of society. The Association considers the targeted design of products, public and private living spaces, and user-friendly software applications as constituting its own civic and cultural mission. The Association aims to:

  1. Recognize design achievements that help companies achieve their business goals and cement their economic success
  2. Organize competitions, exhibitions, conferences, lectures, and other events
  3. Issue publications to serve as the basis for discussions
  4. Bolster the public’s awareness of design
  5. Provide a forum for objective dialogue on design-related issues.

The Association’s activities give it a regional, national, and international presence.

Article 3.  Financial year

The financial year corresponds to the calendar year.

Article 4.  Membership

  1. Any natural person or legal entity may become a member of the Association. Executive Management shall examine and decide on membership applications, which are to be submitted in writing. In cases where Executive Management is unsure, the Board of Management shall decide on whether to grant membership by means of a simple majority vote. The Association is not required to justify a negative decision on membership.
  2. In addition to members, the Association also consists of honorary members. Honorary members are individuals who have been particularly meritorious in their support of “iF Industrie Forum Design”. They may be elected to honorary membership by way of a unanimous resolution passed at the General Meeting. They are not entitled to vote at the General Meeting.
  3. Membership shall end
    a)  Through resignation, which must be declared to the Association in writing. This declaration requires a minimum of three months’ advance notice before the end of the financial year, and takes effect at the end of the financial year.
    b)  By way of expulsion upon a unanimous resolution by the Board of Management.
    c)  At the time of a member’s death.

Article 5.  Official bodies

The Association’s official bodies are:

  1. The General Meeting
  2. The Board of Management
  3. Executive Management

Article 6.  General Meeting

  1. The General Meeting is responsible for:
    a)  Receiving the reports of the Board of Management and the independent auditors
    b)  Electing the Board of Management
    c)  Approving the actions of the Board of Management and the Executive Management
    d)  Changing the Articles of Association
    e)  Dissolving the Association
    f)  Using the Association’s assets in the event that it should be dissolved
    g)  Using the annual profits or handling of any loss
    h)  Setting the annual membership fee
    i)  Electing honorary members

  2. A regular General Meeting will be held annually. All members of the Association shall be invited to attend the General Meeting.  The agenda of the regular General Meeting will, in particular, include reports on the preceding financial year, on the Association’s financial statements, and on the results of the auditing of accounts.
  3. General Meeting shall be called in writing by the Chairperson of the Board of Management, with a minimum of one week’s advance notice and with such notice containing a meeting agenda. The agenda of the General Meeting is set by the Chairperson of the Board of Management or by another member of the Board of Management appointed by the Chairperson. Topics requested by individual members may be added to the agenda if the General Meeting gives its unanimous consent.
  4. The Chairperson of the Board of Management may call an extraordinary General Meeting if an important reason exists for doing so. A meeting of this kind must be called if it has been requested in writing by at least one third of all members. Two day’s advance notice is required. In urgent cases, invitations may be transmitted by telephone or fax.
  5. General Meetings shall be presided over by the Chairperson of the Board of Management or, in the event that he or she should be prevented from doing so, by another member of the Board of Management appointed by the Chairperson.
  6. A General Meeting that has been properly called has a quorum if, in addition to the individual presiding over the Meeting, at least three other members in possession of voting rights are present.
  7. Each member has one vote at the General Meeting. Unless otherwise stipulated in these Articles, resolutions of the General Meeting shall be passed by way of a simple majority of those members present and entitled to vote. Passing a resolution on the appropriation of profit carried forward or the treatment of a loss requires a majority of 80 percent among the voting members present. Members entitled to vote may appoint a proxy to attend the General Meeting in their place, including a proxy voting right. In the of a tie, the deciding vote shall be cast by the individual presiding over the Meeting.
  8. Urgent resolutions may be passed by round-robin procedure.
  9. Resolutions on amendments to the Articles of Association shall require a three-quarters majority vote by the attending members who are eligible to vote.
  10. Approved resolutions must be recorded in writing and signed by both the individual presiding over the Meeting and the keeper of the minutes. All members shall receive a copy of the minutes of the General Meeting.


Article 7. Board of Management

  1. The Association’s Board of Management consists of the Chairperson and a maximum of six other members. The members of the Board of Management will be elected by the  members of the Association for a term of four years. They shall remain in office until new elections take place. Elections may be revoked at General Meetings for good cause.  
  2. The Association will be represented in and out of court by the Chairperson of the Board of Management, who shall be permitted to delegate a power of attorney to third persons in individual cases.
  3. The Board of Management shall support Executive Management in the running of the Association and shall decide on all matters concerning the Association, providing that the right to such decision-making is not reserved by the General Meeting. The Board of Management may elect other individuals required to assume administrative tasks and will decide on all of the Association’s income and expenditures.
  4. At the General Meeting, the members will decide on special activities and related expenditures as presented by the Board of Management.
  5. The General Meeting may provide the Board of Management with rules of procedure governing the Association’s operation.

Article 8.  Executive Management

The Board of Management shall appoint the executive management, which will be charged with executing the ongoing tasks of the Association in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Board of Management. Executive Management is authorized to make decisions on membership applications for new members. Executive Management shall inform the Board of Management about all significant matters affecting the Association. Executive Management shall follow all instructions issued by the Board of Management und shall consult the Board of Management in advance regarding all important matters.

Article 9.  Membership fees

The annual membership fee will be set at the General Meeting and is currently as follows:

  • Companies: €600 minimum
  • Designers and design studios: €300 minimum
  • Individuals: €150 minimum

Article 10.  Auditing

Accounting control will be assigned to Deutsche Messe AG’s auditing department or to an independent auditor. The results of auditing will be reported at the regular General Meeting.

Article 11.  Dissolution of the Association

  1. A resolution to dissolve the Association shall require a three-fourths majority vote by the members who are entitled to vote, provided that at least two thirds of the members entitled to vote are present at the General Meeting.
  2. Upon dissolution or annulment of the Association or in the event that the current object of the Association should cease to be applicable, any assets exceeding the capital shares deposited by the members and the fair market value of non-cash capital contributions made by members shall go to a public corporation that will use the assets for cultural or community welfare purposes. Resolutions on the future application of such assets may only be acted upon subsequent to consent thereto by the tax authorities.
  3. The General Meeting which resolves to dissolve the Association shall pass a resolution on the application of the Association’s assets by way of a three-fourths majority vote.

Article 12.  Profits, expenditures, accounting

  1. Any profits produced by the Association shall be used exclusively for the tax-privileged purposes of these Articles of Association. Members shall not receive shares of profit, nor shall they, in their capacity as members, receive any other forms of bestowal from Association funds.
  2. No individual may be favored by receiving disproportionately high remuneration for administrative tasks not in keeping with the object of the Association.
  3. Proof that the Association’s funds are being used properly shall be guaranteed by way of adequate and orderly accounting procedures.

Hannover, 5 June 2008
Ernst Raue



Answers to the question of how design can save the world ‘QUO VADIS DESIGN’ was the first workshop to be organized by iF e.V. The workshop was intended as a call to rethink current approaches and to develop design-oriented solutions to the problems and crises of our time. We were able to attract six renowned personalities from the areas of architecture, new media, research, business, academia and business ethics who, in mid September, joined the other workshop participants in an effort to highlight the immense importance of integrating design in all areas of life, work and business.

Read more and download the documentation

Contact us

Louisa Erbguth

iF e.V.
Member Services

Louisa Erbguth
Schleißheimer Str. 4
80333 München

Phone +49.89.54727936