Düsseldorf-based design and architecture firm Schwitzke & Partner has started a cooperation with the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences’ architecture department. The students of the Master's course in Interior Architecture can expect a series of lectures and a competition, with the three best projects winning prize money of € 3,000.

Starting from the winter term 2012/13, the university wants to clearly strengthen its retail sector within the Interior Design area. Leading experts involved in the fields of brand management, marketing, store design and visual merchandising will take part in the lecture series. Next to Schwitzke & Partner, which develop international store concepts for clients like Esprit, Ludwig Beck or Douglas, confirmed guest lecturers include Norbert Steinke (CEO Hallhuber), Edgar Rosenberg (owner Retail Brand Services) and Elke Freudenberg (CEO vm2).

As one of the top three architectural firms in Germany, Schwitzke & Partner is a major sponsor, partner and expert for Prof. Dierck van den Hovel, dean of the University’s architecture department. The company is going to organize, plan and supervise the competition. At the start of the semester, students will receive a project briefing, after which they must create a shop concept under real conditions, whilst taking into account the economically important conditions. The student, who can convince the managers Klaus and Karl Schwitzke with their idea to the visionary Point of Sale at end of the semester, will receive a prize of €1500. The second and third places will also be awarded €1000 and €500 respectively.

Karl Schwitzke spoke about the weight of the co-operation: “We would like to excite newcomers and interior design students to the working field of retail and store design.  The need for competent professionals in this sector is huge. And as architects with years of experience, we know which skills are especially important for beginners.”
This current collaboration is therefore, only the start of a long-term project between the architects and Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences.