Amberif Design Award 2018

Serendipity describes the momentum of lucky findings while in search for something else. Usually we hope to have all under control and expect outcomes we target at. But life takes twists and perspectives change faster than we probably are aware of. Designers and artists have the ability to be open and aware for these changes earlier as many others. They even can express their observations in a tangible and wearable way - a piece of jewellery as a statement.
The Amber Fair and their organisers offered a chance to showcase these unexpected findings within their amber contest. 100 artists from 20 countries applied for the catalogue´s shortlist and the prizes.
This broad spectrum opened the stage for wide consideration and deep discussion amongst the international jurors. Coming from various backgrounds - education, art and museum - the experts enjoyed a free exchange of diverse points of view. The jury came to unanimous decisions about quality and intensity and awarded the three prizes to young and coming artists. Additionally, they awarded 4 honourable mentions to highlight the applications´ high standards.

Barbara Schmidt, February 2018



The Grand Prize: SILVIA BELLIA, GERMANY for design 120259
sponsored by Mr Paweł Adamowicz, the Mayor of the City of Gdańsk PLN 10,000:

The jury found the image submitted mysterious and enigmatic.
It raised a great discussion between the Jury that resulted in their being agreement that it would hopefully inspire future generations to work with this beautiful material and be brave to do many different things.
The composition of materials was handled in a sophisticated manner with great skill.

The Amber Prize: KAIRI SIRENDI, ESTONIA for design 020380
sponsored by the International Amber Association 1 kg of amber:

An interesting combination of two organic materials that are held together by a magnetic and irresistible force. Truly a “sweet serendipity” between nature and chemistry.

The Silver Prize:
MIRON KUTARBA, POLAND for design 762812
sponsored by KGHM Polska Miedź SA 1 kg of silver :

This prize provided an alternative perspective for the competition.
A well observed, witty and almost kitsch design inspired by a study of everyday popcorn with amber
as the kernel of the idea.

Honorary mentions

Fair catalogue publication

Competition Subject


The accidental observation of something occasionally leads to surprising discoveries. For designers, a space for intuition and subjective expression opens up.

Perhaps this intuitive expression is based on archetypes, the fundamental motifs of human imagination?
Perhaps these results are based on associations from our own unconscious?

Amber appears in various colours and in observing its´ shapes it stimulates our creativity.
The self-explaining structures of the naturally grown material often are in strong contrast to the techniques we use. But nevertheless, sometimes we still succeed in making our intuition visible and tangible.
In our interpretation of amber and thru our interplay between nature, technique and intuition we can reach far beyond our reason and remind of something nobody knew yet.

Barbara Schmidt
curator of the contest