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Stage Ready

Meet the winners of Take the Big Stage 2022 competition

Earlier this year we invited emerging creatives to participate in Take the Big Stage - a project-based competition, in partnership with Forward Festival. Together, our aim was to give young designers a stage to showcase their work and gain some well-deserved recognition from the international creative community.


The response was amazing, and after sifting through many, many submissions, we selected the four talented winners to join us in Berlin and Vienna to present their projects.

Over the last couple of months, we’ve been so impressed watching them take to the stage and share their creations with the world. Now it’s time for them to share it here on our blog:



Winners for Forward Festival Berlin, September 2022

Name Divya Mirlay | @mirlay_minto

Project Radical Change

Divya created Radical Change, a campaign for a Chinese lingerie brand that aimed to spread awareness of elements of sexism in the Chinese language. She explains: “The campaign centers around the Chinese character that represents women - the radical ‘nǚ’ (女). This radical is used in many negative words like ‘jealousy’, ‘cheating’, ‘trickster’, and more. By replacing the character with images of real women, we can change the way language negatively impacts women. The issue at hand is a complex one. Since neither I nor my teammate knew written Mandarin, we needed to be very well-researched so we interviewed native speakers before moving forward. This awareness project bears special relevance since my grandmother shared this insight with me several years ago. She is a South Indian teacher, who speaks Japanese and several other languages. Learning from her and implementing her insights has been an honor and a privilege.”



Name Kai West Schlosser, Shruthi Subramanian and Rohil Borole | @kaiwestschlosser, ,@shruthisub, @rohilborole

Project Freedom Grams⁠

Freedom Grams is a cannabis brand aimed at raising awareness of people imprisoned for cannabis use even after its legalization in certain US states. “While many people in the U.S. benefit from cannabis legalization, 40,000 people are still in prison for it, forgotten by the public,” the team says. “How can we get those who enjoy cannabis freely to fight for those who lost their freedom for it? Freedom Grams. ⁠All proceeds from Freedom Grams go towards funding legal action for those imprisoned. Our aim is to enable people to use their own freedom to free others. Individual stories unfold through the packaging, with more information and ways to act available on AR and the website.”




Winners for Forward Festival Vienna, October 2022

Name Dominik Einfalt | @einfaltigkeit

Project Troost - Living Memory

Troost - Living Memory offers an alternative burial method, focusing on the cyclical nature of life. Dominik explains: “The biological life cycle and its transformations are the same for every life form and we humans should also become aware of this integrated role in nature. The project is an urn that transforms itself (and its ashes) into life in the form of mushrooms, thus bringing the material remains of the deceased person back into the life cycle. This new form of burial is not only intended to offer an alternative to the current conventional options but also to make one's own position in the circle of life visible. And stimulate discussion around it.

The rites and customs associated with burying the dead are as universal as the phenomenon of death itself. The inevitability of death means it influences our actions during our lifetime. Structures and mechanisms derived from the instinct of self-preservation and the fear of death have existential significance. Our experiences of life result, among other things, from our perception of death as an end. The corpse, which was previously still perceived as a human subject, becomes an object after the onset of death; humans are thereby also confronted with their own mortality and the alienation of subjectivity. Troost is a move away from our current culture of fear of death towards a culture of transformation and life, and an acceptance of death and the dissolution of the self.”



Name Joasia Fidler-Wieruszewska | @fidlerowna_

Project 33 Letters for Ukraine

33 Letters for Ukraine is an Instagram-based initiative that grew as a direct response to the war in Ukraine. The project used the power of the creative community to express solidarity with Ukraine, by encouraging designers to create works using the 33 letters of the Cyrillic alphabet.

Joasia: “It was a spontaneous decision to start the project which was inspired by ‘36 Days of Type’. We loved seeing so many designers getting involved by drawing the letters with us. We wanted to use the power of the design community to show Ukraine as an independent country with its own culture, history, and language. In addition, learning Cyrillic is becoming increasingly important, especially in Poland. The scripts of Polish and Ukrainian alphabets are different, and we wanted to use this opportunity to not only show our support but to also inspire designers to learn to read and draw Cyrillic type.

Many Ukrainian designers saw it as a way to escape their worrying thoughts and design something for the first time in days; to incorporate memories about Ukraine and their childhood using letters; to pay homage to Ukrainian folk art; or simply participate in a challenge closer to their heart during this difficult time.”


Think you can be next to Take the Big Stage? Follow us on Instagram for all the updates on upcoming events and competitions!

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