Audi Mentor Prize



Again in 2011, the award for up-and-coming design by Architektur & Wohnen, traditionally given by the A&W Designer of the Year to emerging talent, is sponsored by Audi. Tokujin Yoshioka has nominated for the Audi Mentor Prize by A&W the Polish architect and designer Oskar Zieta.

Statement by Tokujin Yoshioka, A&W Designer of the Year 2011, concerning his nomination of Oskar Zieta:


The experimental approach and the value of novelty in his creation hail from a search for simple forms. Oskar Zieta merits this award for his creativity that targets the future.


1997 Konstantin Grcic nominated by Achille Castiglioni

1998 Snowcrash nominated by Ingo Maurer

1999 Radi Designers nominated by Philippe Starck

2000 Netzwerk „Waschtag“ nominated by Paola Navone

2001 Tokujin Yoshioka nominated by Ross Lovegrove

2002 Jeffrey Bernett nominated by Antonio Citterio

2003 Jurgen Bey nominated by Ulf Moritz

2004 Thomas Heatherwick nominated by Ron Arad

2005 Stefan Diez nominated by Richard Sapper

2006 Masayo Ave nominated by Gaetano Pesce

2007 Antenna Design nominated by Konstantin Grcic

2008 Doshi Levien nominated by Tom Dixon

2009 Stephen Burks nominated by Alfredo Häberli

2010 Julia Lohmann nominated by Front

2011 Oskar Zieta nominated by Tokujin Yoshioka


Statement Audi Christian Labonte, Audi, head of design communication & strategy about Oskar Zieta:

In the fall of 2009 I visited Prof. Hovestadt at the ETH in Zurich, who is head of its CAAD department, for a professional exchange. In the course of a very exciting and informative day one of the architects doing research there caught particularly my attention: Oskar Zieta. In a very impressive way Oskar Zieta demonstrated the apparent simplicity of his idea. He put a pre-fabricated blank of his successful Plopp stool onto a large workbench, connected a compressed-air hose to the valve lent from a car and pumped up the blackened steel sheet structure like an inflatable mattress. Under the table rattled a compressor that can be found in most do-it-yourself workshops. With a couple of savvy hand maneuvers the stool legs were flexed into the requisite angle. Exclusive of the surface finish, a perfect Plopp stool stood before me on the desk. As car designers we deal with the three-dimensional sculpting of sheet metal and synthetics. Structure, surface, colour and usability play a central role. Zieta’s idea stands for a reduced effort of material and energy and for a particularly clever use of an existing deformation technology. Oskar Zieta demonstrates how light construction can be pleasurable, and a sustainable manufacturing process doesn’t need to mean sacrifice – to the contrary. As Audi designer one feels immediately compelled when new paths are taken for the first time. When light intelligent construction, efficient production and maximized emotions are concerned.