The ZVSHK, the German Sanitation, Heating and Air Conditioning Association, is launching the second international “Water is Life” poster design competition this September. In its role as the largest German trade organisation in the sector, representing over 50,000 contractors in Germany, the ZVSHK initiated the competition with the aim of promoting awareness of a fundamental formula of human existence: Water is Life.
Not oil, not gas and not gold will determine the political, economic and social development of nations around the world in the future, but access to a constant supply of clean water.
In Germany, the sanitation, heating and air conditioning branch works to ensure the safe provision and consistently high quality of water and sanitation. The high standard of drinking water hygiene in Germany testifies to the proven quality of national water supply and purification technology. For the ZVSHK, this is the motivation for initiating the poster competition. Access to safe drinking water and sanitation is a basic human right that applies for everyone, regardless of where they live in the world. This is what the ZVSHK wishes to promote through its student poster competition.
The competition is open to all students of art, design, graphic and communication design and architecture. Through the competition, the ZVHSK hopes to stimulate a wide range of artistic responses to the topic of “Water is Life”.
Students from all continents of the world are encouraged to make a creative statement supporting a responsible approach to managing water. The best 100 poster entries will be presented in a travelling exhibition that will be shown around the world in 2015. The “Water is Life” exhibition starts on World Water Day, the 22 March 2015, in Berlin, with the announcement of the winners of the competition.
Water is life
We recommended that you conduct thorough research, as the topic is wide-ranging in scope, touching not just on biological aspects of life but also on political and economic issues.
Water is a human right
Water is source of sustenance, a means of transport, a source of energy, the backbone of ecosystems, and an essential economic and cultural good. It is also not as plentiful as it may seem.
People cannot live without water
“Around two thirds of our bodies consist of water; some 75% of our brain is made up of water,” explains Bolivia’s UN Ambassador, Pablo Solón. “Water is the principal vehicle for the electrochemical transmissions of our body and helps to regulate the temperature of our body. It is possible to survive for several weeks without food, but it is not possible to survive more than a few days without water.” Nevertheless, millions of people have to survive everyday without clean water.
“Diarrhoea is the second largest cause of death among children. Lack of access to potable water kills more people than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.” Speaking in front of the UN General Assembly, Solón paused for a moment: “That was just three and a half seconds. Every three and a half seconds a child dies because it does not have clean water.”
According to the OECD, the ongoing growth of populations, urbanisation, globalisation and economic growth will lead to a 55% increase in the demand for water by 2050. By that time 2.3 billion people will not have adequate access to water, in particular in Africa and Central Asia. The United Nations University Declaration on Human Rights affirms the right to safe and clean drinking water – a right that is, however, not binding under international law.
Despite major advances in the past decades, 780 million people still have inadequate access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion people lack basic sanitation facilities. It is not utopian to aim to provide everyone with safe drinking water and sanitation facilities.
To this end, we need competent and committed action from person to person in order to make water resources and a humane access to drinking water accessible to everyone.
Who can take part?
All students of art, design, graphic and communication design and architecture can take part in the competition, as long as they are enrolled in a state or private art college or university at the time of entering. Graduates can also take part if they completed their studies less than twelve months ago.
The competition is open to all countries. Excluded from the competition are posters that have been previously published or publicised before 1 August 2013.
Content-related, formal and legal requirements
All posters have to include the following text:
•in German: “Wasser ist Leben”, or
•in English: “Water is Life”
•and the “Water for Life 2005–2015” logo
Further text, information or slogans can be added if desired.
Up to 4 posters can be submitted per entrant (as individual works or as a series). All posters must be submitted digitally (by uploading them online) and must meet the following requirements:
The entrant must be the exclusive copyright holder and author of the poster. Through the completion and submission of the competition form (to be completed online and submitted with the uploaded poster file!), the entrant confirms that he or she is the exclusive copyright holder and author of the poster.
1.Format: DIN A4
(21.0 cm x 29.7 cm, portrait or landscape format)
2.Resolution: 400 – 600 dpi
3.Colour mode: RGB
4.File format: JPEG (Quality factor: 10 – 12)
5.Maximum file size: 15 MB
6.File name (This should be named as follows: first name, surname, country, date (year-month-day) and, if several submissions are made, please number them consecutively). Example: ‘John_Doe_USA_2014–11–08_No01’
7.Brief description of the poster concept (see online form)
Submission of the competition form also authorises the competition organisers to use the submitted posters in one or more exhibitions, on its competition homepage, in a catalogue and for publicity purposes for the exhibition(s). Usage beyond this scope will be negotiated on an individual basis.
Only posters that meet these criteria will qualify for entry in the competition!
There is no right of appeal.
Chairman of the judging panel:
Prof. Heinz Jürgen Kristahn, IKD Berlin, Germany
•Jerzy Skakun, Poland
•Isidro Ferrer, Spain
•Prof. Su Zhang, China
•Prof. Richard Doubleday, USA
•Amrollah Farhadi, Iran
•CD. David Sargent, Australia
Organiser jury members:
•Manfred Stather, President of the German Sanitation, Heating and Air Conditioning Association
•Michael von Bock und Polach, Germany
•Elmar Esser, Managing Director of the ZVSHK
•Erwin Fidelis Reisch, Publisher Gentner Publishing House, Germany
•Prof. Dr. Dominik Pietzcker, Germany
•Prof. Dirk van der Meulen, Germany
•Shuang Wu, M.A., China
•Gia Janezashvili, Georgia
•Anna Charaktinou, Greece
Prizes and publication
1st prize: 5000 Euros
2nd prize: 3000 Euros
3rd prize: 2000 Euros
An expert judging panel will select the best 100 entries, which will be presented in a catalogue and shown worldwide in a travelling exhibition. The 100 successful entrants will all receive a free copy of the catalogue.
In addition to awarding the prizes, the organisers may also elect to purchase additional individual posters.
Deadline for entries
Your poster(s) must be uploaded digitally by
midnight (24:00 GMT) on
31 December 2014.
The online submission form will then be closed.
Exhibition and announcement of award winners
The top 100 nominated posters will be exhibited from 10–14 March 2015 at the Frankfurt Exhibition Centre (Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) as part of the ISH 2015 international trade fair.
On World Water Day, the 22 March 2015, the exhibition of the poster competition will open at the German Federal Press Office in Berlin.
The top three winners will receive their awards during the opening ceremony. The designers of the 100 best posters will also be awarded certificates and will receive a copy of the exhibition catalogue.
A list of the winners will be published from the 22 March 2015 onwards.