Future Lights in Ceramics competition 2021

NEW DEADLINE: 30 April 2020


Every year, young people who deal with ceramics in any manner, designers or artists, are called to participate in a competition. People are invoked on a specific topic, which is preselected by the jury, to compete with new ideas as Future Light. From the ideas 18 will be selected. These will be invited to an event in autumn to present their ideas. Afterwards, the best seven have the opportunity to implement their ideas as part of a summer school at a porcelain factory or a workshop. During the year, each Future Light in Ceramics should make the topic ceramics more present, especially for a younger/contemporary target group.

Future Lights – Showcasing the future of ceramics in Europe 

Fountain by Alice Walton

Future Lights is an annual competition for people in the early stages of a career in ceramics. The aims of the competition are to

  • Encourage cross-disciplinary learning and approaches by bringing together the ceramic designers, makers and artists of the future.
  • Support people in the early stages of a career in ceramics by exhibiting their work at high profile ceramics exhibitions across Europe.
  • Promote ceramics to a younger audience, though identifying potential ambassadors.
  • The competition is run by Porzellanikon. Each year, recent graduates from across. Central Europe are invited to apply to Porzellanikon, setting out their experience and responding to the year’s theme.

What is the theme?
In 2020, the Future Lights theme is: 

Modern Techniques 

3D forming and high pressure casting are only two of the modern technics to be used for new creative items produced by artists as well as designers. Besides, there are many particular and extraordinary ways to shape new forms and to find fascinating distinctive forms of decoration, structured relief surfaces as well as unusual colour techniques. Today it is possible to choose between the one and only – the unique piece, a small series, or mass production. Above and beyond it is possible to do just a slight change in programming to reach a uniqueness in a multiplicity. To use also materials like paper, plastics, and rubber to form a surface, or parts of an item in an inimitability never seen before is just one out of several new possibilities and challenges.

The Future Lights of Ceramics Award is looking for those young creatives, who have been inspired by the new technical options and the potential of the unusual, the unorthodox use of methods to create the novel and exceptional.

In 2020 the Future Lights competition invites applications from:
Early career ceramists from art, crafts and design disciplines who are actively creating items – conceptual as well as design oriented.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be residents in EU or associated states at the time of applying. Please note that the main focus will be on applicants living in the programme region of INTERREG VB Central Europe (https://www.interreg-central.eu).

The Applicants should have completed their main full time studies within the last 5 years and should be of an age under 35 years. Applicants should have expertise, experience or innovative ideas that respond to the theme, as described above.

Applicants should have expertise, experience or innovative ideas that respond to the theme. We are happy to receive applications from people from a range of disciplines including design, fine art. 

What is the prize?
7 competition winners will be invited to:
Attend a workshop where participants collaborate across disciplines and develop new work. Showcase their work at high profile events across Europe and through the wider CerDee project.  In February 2021, Future Lights Ambassadors will exhibit at Ambiente, the world’s most important consumer goods trade fair, attended more than 134,000 trade visitors from over 150 countries.  

What are the judges looking for?
The Future Lights competition invites applications from early career ceramics:
       -From art, crafts and design disciplines, who are actively creating items.
       -conceptual as well as design oriented. The “Future Lights” chosen by the jury must demonstrate their vision by concrete examples.  

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:
       • Relevant experience and expertise
       • Quality of work evidenced
       • Response to the theme
       • Ability to be an ambassador for European ceramics Applications will be shortlisted, with 18 finalists invited to present to a panel of          judges in the late summer of 2020. 
How do I apply?
Applications must be submitted in English by 30 April 2020. Please send the following information as a WeTransfer to Jana.Goebel@porzellanikon.org:

     • Your personal details: Name, address, email address, website, social media links
     • Your CV
     • A response to this year’s theme (250 words)
     • Why you think you’d be a good ambassador for ceramics (250 words)
     • At least five but not more than seven photos of your work (printing size at a maximum 21 x 29,7 cm), published articles or research           papers
     • Confirmation that you have read the Terms & Conditions

Please include all 6 items into ONE pdf-file in the order given above and named as follows: Surname_First Name_FLapplication_2020 (e. g. Goebel_Jana_FLapplication_2020.pdf) The organisers of the Future Lights competition wish to be as inclusive as possible. If you have any access or support needs, please get in touch with Jana Göbel from Porzellanikon (jana.goebel@porzellanikon.org | phone: +49 9287 91800 411).  

When will I find out if I’ve been successful?
Porzellanikon will contact all applicants by the end of October to inform them of the outcome of their application.  

Any questions? Feel free to contact Jana Göbel from Porzellanikon on Jana.Goebel@porzellanikon.org.

Terms and Conditions
Use of personal data
All personal data submitted to Porzellanikon – Staatliches Museum für Porzellan will be handled according to the “Code regarding the protection of personal information” by Porzellanikon. In order to exercise their inherent rights under German law, applicants can contact the director of Porzellanikon at Porzellanikon Selb, Werner-Schürer-Platz 1, 95100 Selb.
Publications and exhibitions
Submitted work, including research papers and images of artists and designers’ work may be presented in exhibitions, on posters, published online and in printed publications. Applicants are considered to have granted the right to publish their names, CVs, statements, submitted images and papers, and photographs and footage from events. This includes publishing in both digital and analogue form.  In addition, publishing and reproduction rights for designs and objects produced though workshops supported by the CerDee project will be held by partners in the CerDee project. Finalists and competition winners are encouraged to display their objects at Future Lights and CerDee presentations, events and exhibitions, as per guidelines provided by the event organisers.  Participants remain responsible for the transport, care, presentation and insurance of their own work. CerDee is unable to arrange transportation or insurance and cannot be held responsible for any damage to work during events or transportation to the event.  

Competition finalists and winners can claim up to €300 travel and accommodation costs for travel within Europe to attend Future Lights events. Detailed guidance on eligible costs will be provided on invitation.
For any queries, please contact Jana Göbel on Jana.Goebel@porzellanikon.org.