The Future of Communication 24/7 Availability
MCBW 2021 Highlights

The communication of tomorrow is becoming increasingly faster, more efficient and more technological in scope. People’s attention spans are diminishing, and digital dementia and information overload have turned into unintentional discussion points in our society. At the same time, an abundance of services designed to improve our everyday lives and facilitate digital relationships and work processes are showing their potential – not least in times of a pandemic that places substantial importance on digital formats.

New technologies in particular have acquired a key role. The record-breaking profits attained by Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook since the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic speak volumes as does a study conducted by the App Annie analysis platform: The average user spends no less than 3.7 hours per day on his or her smartphone – and rising.

The transition of technological innovation into usability demands a high level of design competence: Technology must be developed by people for people. What will the smartphone of tomorrow look like? How can we picture the future of communication in the trade sector? Can social media platforms get by with appealing user interfaces alone or does design need to delve deeper? What will become of our daily analog communication as a result of this time of social distancing? Last, but not least, how can design help ensure communications are tailored to people?

In many cases design is both the solution and the great hope. Design creates and adds value. Design develops true-to-life perspectives and drives sustainability. The six themes of MCBW 2021 will illuminate how design can help shape the future. One of these themes is The Future of Communication.



In what way does the digital transformation, particularly in the creative arena, impact society? What developments will come to pass in the diverse design-related disciplines? Every time international and national communities of creative minds discuss communication, design, and innovative creatorship, grandiose ideas merge into something big – new solutions arise, new perspectives are unlocked. Over the past seven years, the Forward Festival has evolved into a central platform for the creative sector throughout the German-speaking region. Originating in Vienna, this festival celebrating creativity, design, and communication again will take place in Munich during MCBW. Illustrious and up-and-coming representatives from a variety of creative disciplines will participate. The Forward Festival will be streamed live.



Brand appearances have long since been about much more than ingenious logos and effective slogans. Brands embody more than that: They are about values, emotions, and authenticity and they must be consistently recognizable and at the same time be rediscovered again and again. The objectives of external communication are to identify and cater to needs and thus to ensure identification with the brand. A number of other points are becoming more and more noteworthy as well: The progression of the transformation of technology and climate change comes with its own set of challenges, particularly in the mobility sector, including with regards to communication. Volkswagen’s rebranding process has been one of the largest in the industry. During MCBW, the Volkswagen New Brand Design team will be online providing fascinating insight into the world of mobility design. The team also will show how the Volkswagen New Brand Design was implemented in a record time of only nine months using new agile and connected work processes, resulting in a future-proof system tailored to a T to the new patterns of interaction in a digital society.



MCBW DESIGNWALK is a new format developed this year. Visitors participating in this curated urban walk can stop in at approximately ten stations throughout Munich’s Kunstareal district independently at any time throughout MCBW and can enjoy the accompanying audio interviews and discussions of exhibits showcased by local institutions, companies, and shops – all they need is a web-enabled mobile phone and a headset. The tour begins and ends at the MCBW FORUM at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film (HFF) and goes along Türkenstraße and Amalienstraße.



Please keep your distance. This refrain has been echoing through our society since early 2020. Psychologically speaking, people tend to close ranks when facing threats – a basic human instinct. However, keeping our distance has never been more important than in the battle against the further spread of COVID-19. Driven by the sudden outbreak of the pandemic, numerous virtual opportunities have been mushrooming. MOTOMOTO & UberEck developed the DIS CONNECTED video installation exclusively for MCBW to sensitize people to a new way of living – digitization has impacted the social behavior we have “acquired,” we are communicating in a variety of different ways, the term space has taken on a new meaning, and we are experiencing anonymity in an atypical way. The effect is to bring people together and to distance them at the same time. In DIS CONNECTED, idealized creatures dressed in black and white are shown floating. These creatures embody both contrast and balance in an artificially created space. The video installation can be viewed daily throughout MCBW from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.



How do you communicate a new neighborhood? Companies, primarily in the building industry and the real-estate sector, know about the importance of customizing communication to stakeholders: All target groups, including residents, investors, media, politicians, and other citizens need to be considered and included. Businesses have diverse options to choose from when designing such communication – everything from events and workshops to graphics on their websites or in social media. Steffen Warlich, Head of Communications & Marketing at Jost Hurler Beteiligungs und Verwaltungs GmbH & Co. KG, and a representative of will discuss the Schwabinger Tor project and will present initial ideas for concepts, and the results.



Brands are much more than words – consumers link them with emotions, expectations, and memories. In the same way, offices, stores, and franchises are not mere buildings, they are walk-in, experienceable spaces that illustrate and convey what the respective company stands for, its workstyle, and the values it represents. These spaces have high brand value and can tell stories, differentiate, and/or spark interest – ultimately they can drive branding. How do brand and space find common ground? What strengthens their connection and how can they unlock their potential together? What facilitates the experiencing of a brand in a space and how do brands develop into genuine corporate architecture? Architect Petra Kinne of kinneplus will discuss this symbiosis in her livestream podcast during MCBW.