Designmetropole Aachen (design capital aachen) is a loose network of artists who operate out of the greater aachen region in the very west of germany, and the bordering parts of belgium and the netherlands.
The artists come from various fields around product design, like photography, graphic design, multimedia, web, industrial, jewelry, communication, accessories, interieur, lib arts etc, and even associate with marketers, programmers and engineers.
The provocative name came up when an initial group of four independent designers of the aachen area participated in an international competition for young designers for the prize of one out of twenty free spaces at a renowned trade fair in frankfurt germany. The four had agreed ahead of time that in case one of the four would win a free space, all four would go and try to cram into this one space to exhibit. The chances of winning would be very small in a competition with more than 200 applicants from all over the world and a jury that would base its decisions purely on design quality. All four won a space.
The jury’s first question was: “is aachen the new design capital or what?”