"Umlaut, bringing us together" !

© Ole und Alexander Suchy

Online creative competition as part of the German-Turkish Year of Science selects winners.

They have lent German-Turkish cooperation a face: Over the past few months, well over a hundred designers from all over the world have participated in a creative competition as part of the German-Turkish Year of Research, Education and Innovation 2014. The three top participants from the online-based "think tank" have now been chosen.

"Mit Umlauten ein Ausrufezeichen gesetzt" nicely summarises the winning design from graphic artists "Ole" and Alexander Suchy, referring to the visualisation of German-Turkish cooperation. However, the Hamburg-Berlin graphic artist duo, whose poster variations bear the programmatic title "United by Umlaut", were not alone in exceeding the expectations of the competition organisers from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Over the past few months, over 170 drawings, photos, illustrations and collages have been developed via an online platform, which has offered the largest open opportunity for participation possible.

The jury of experts had to choose from a variety of entries

Choosing which of the practitioners and scientists would receive second and third place was also a difficult decision for the five members of the specialist jury from both countries, which is very much evident from the close scores that were awarded. Over the past few weeks, members of the independent jury, comprising the architect Prof. Rainer Gumpp, the cartoonist Stephan Katz, the design and art historian Prof. Claudia Mareis, the design professor Dr. Süheyla Schroeder, founding Vice Chancellor of the German "BAU International University of Applied Sciences", as well as Dr. Cebel Kücükkaraca, regional chairperson of the Türkische Gemeinde (Turkish Community) in Schleswig-Holstein, have chosen the three winning competition entries. These entries stood out from the multitude of creative designs and lend the German-Turkish relationship its very own proverbial face through the choice of theme or through a special innovative portrayal.

The variety of entries is reflected in the winning designs

Alongside the winning entry, whose impact stems from the impressive way in which it focuses on individual letters and the complex linguistic and cultural aspects associated with the portrayed vowels, the entries "Science Bridging Nations" by "andreea" (2nd place) and "Atoms" by Atis Sedlenieks (3rd place) also featured on the winner's podium for the first online competition.

Unlike the winning competition entry, the designs in second and third place work particularly with visual associations from the field of science and inspire viewers to reflect deeply on the topics of science and research and in particular German-Turkish scientific cooperation.

In the coming months, adaptations will be put to use as part of the German-Turkish Year of Science. The selection of their winning design does not mark the end of the competition for graphic artists "Ole" and Alexander Suchy. In March of next year, both will not only "lend their face" online to German-Turkish cooperation as part of the closing ceremony for the current Year of Science, but also in person – an invitation to the high-profile meeting in Turkey is part of the winner's prize in the creative competition.

Winner of Science Bridging Nations Creative Competition

"Umlaut, bringing us together" by Alexander Suchy and Björn Ole Vogt


Alexander Suchy, a Berliner, works as a graphic designer. His team partner Björn Ole Vogt lives in Hamburg and is studying Media and Communications Studies. Together they designed the team idea "Umlaut, bringing us together". The work shows the connection between two very different cultures via the shared linguistic peculiarity of the umlaut. The submission by the two artists was awarded first place by the expert jury of the German-Turkish Year of Science.

Science Bridging Nations von Andreea Hopinca

The 30-old Dutch native has a passion for colours and shapes. The Dutch graphic designer Andrea Hopinca uses molecule-like connected symbols to highlight the fact that, after three successful decades, German-Turkish scientific cooperation has grown into an organic bond between researchers in both countries.

Atoms by Atis Sedlenieks

Designer Atis Sedlenieks, who comes from Riga, highlights the foundations of German-Turkish research cooperation with his contribution "Atoms": five colours taken from the flags of both countries which, combined together, create so much more and build bridges in the diverse world of science. He convinced the expert jury with this presentation.



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Saying of the Day

„One never reaches home. But where paths that have an affinity for each other intersect, the whole world looks like home for a time.”

Hermann Hesse, Demian