iF Design Opens First US Office in NYC

iF Design USA Managing Director Lisa Gralnek

July 21, 2023

iF International Forum Design GmbH, the international design award authority headquartered in Hannover, Germany, is thrilled to announce the opening of its first iF Design Office in North America, based in New York City. 

Since its establishment in 1953, iF Design has been an influential force within the global design community. One of the most prestigious design awards in the world, the iF Design Award celebrates the most important design achievements across product, packaging, communication, service design, architecture, interior design, user experience (UX), user interface (UI) and professional concept disciplines. 

Embracing the spirit of innovation, iF International Forum Design GmbH has officially launched iF Design USA Inc., a fully owned subsidiary strategically based in New York City. Leading the charge will be managing director Lisa Gralnek, an expert brand builder, corporate strategist and impact advisor with more than 20 years of experience helping companies grow and transform. 

“I eagerly anticipate the challenges that lie ahead for me,” said Gralnek. “It is a wonderful opportunity to combine my passions for great design, international business and driving positive social and environmental impact. I am so excited by the reception we are already receiving from participants and partners in the American design community and look forward to all that is to come.”

The founder and principal of the independent strategy consultancy, LVG & Co. since 2018, she previously held senior leadership positions at Chobani, Adidas, Walmart, MOO.com and the Boston Consulting Group. She also hosts an ongoing podcast, Future or XYZ, presented in partnership with Rhode Island PBS. Gralnek holds an MBA from INSEAD and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Bates College. 

Uwe Cremering, CEO of iF Design, expressed his delight in welcoming Gralnek to spearhead the launch of the new location in the United States. 

“We are pleased to have found the perfect person for the start of our new location in the USA with Lisa Gralnek,” said Cremering. “By building a team here, we are strengthening our presence in North America. Our goal is to be on the ground for our clients, further expand networks, as well as discover new design talent. In addition, Lisa will be responsible to help substantially strengthen us in the context of sustainability and impact.” 

Each year, iF Design receives more than 10,000 submissions from nearly 60 countries as part of its rigorous juried selection process. Building on the organization’s commitment to independence, objectivity and excellence, iF Design USA will help deliver greater support and partnership for North American-based designers and design-driven businesses. 

iF Design USA will also encourage greater American participation in iF Design’s two additional highly regarded competitions, the iF Design Student Award and the iF Social Impact Prize. The Student Award attracts more than 8,000 submissions annually from young designers in more than 50 countries and awards €50,000 in prize money. The Social Impact Prize, which emphasizes social responsibility, awards a total of €100,000 each year to impactful projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).