Call for Art

Mural Competition Outline

Mural Competition Explainer


This student art competition’s purpose is to find a suitable design for a huge mural (55 x 9 meters) on the wall of Markthalle, a digital innovation hub in the heart of the city of Wolfsburg, Germany.

The idea is to revitalize the façade by projecting outwards the activities and perspectives of the Markthalle for the citizens of Wolfsburg as well as visitors to the city since the mural wall is immediately visible from the main railway station of the city. We are looking for artwork that communicates how digital mobility and technological innovation in general can help the community.

Please note, that the competition seeks for designs for the mural and not the painting of it. The actual execution of the wall art will be done by professional muralists.



The competition is open to Master’s students from Aalto University, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig (HBK) & Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst (HAWK). Specifically this means students who are past their 7thsemester of higher education at the aforementioned institutions.


One finalist from each school is selected to the second round of jurying, which will take place in August, in Wolfsburg, Germany. Expenses of this trip will be covered for the invitees. After a second review of more detailed, finalized plans, the winner will receive 3000€, the second 1800€ and the third 1200€ in prize money.



Submit by creating ONE (1) PDF -file with the Overall Visualisation, Artist Statement, Scaled Detail and Supporting Images. Email the PDF to competition coordinator Erwin Laiho

  • One (1) Overall Visualization of the finished mural in its entirety on the wall of Wolfsburg Markthalle. This picture must be made using the architectural photo provided as the template (at the bottom of the page) onto which to visualize the proposed design. The orange area is of special consideration. More about this in the Thematic & Aesthetic Guidelines.
  • Up to one (1) page Artist Statement. This should explain how the work relates to the values of Markthalle and the culture of Design Factories.
  • One (1) Scaled Detail  of the design. Use the template, which includes measurements (perimeter lines with annotation of their real-world size) with one of the windows for scale. Please don’t put mural over windows.
  • Up to three (3) Supporting Images of the creative process, relevant reference images or specific angles or features of the mural.

No complete technical drawings or precisely measured images (except the Scaled Detail) are necessary for the first round of submissions. The three finalists will be required to formulate more accurate plans for the practical implementation of their designs.

By submitting, you agree to the Terms & Conditions of the competition (found at the bottom of this page).



Launch of the competition is the 28th of May.

Deadline of submissions is 31st of July.

Jury announces the finalists in mid-August.

Final round of jurying in Wolfsburg will take place on the last week of August.



The central location of the building is unique, being located right in the city centre, 200m from the main train station. The wall for the mural in question is therefore a significant welcoming element for anyone visiting the city. Next to the building lies the Phaeno Science Centre designed by Zaha Hadid, so it’d be good to take the visual identity and style of the building into account when designing the mural – be it in alignment or in contrast to it.



The city of Wolfsburg has kindly provided Markthalle’s north wall an exception to the city’s building code and the mural has virtually no color, or other infrastructural, restrictions. The only aesthetic limitation is that the mural should contain maximum 20 percent photo-realistic content.

Practical considerations include, that there is a logo of the Markthalle at the top left corner of the mural wall. This area should be kept either in solid color or simple background pattern without detail or strong contrasting visual elements which would interfere with the logo.

Thematically the mural should illustrate the potential of technology for the community. Artwork could address the topics of digital mobility, computer-controlled fabrication, public involvement across ages and co-creation, which are at the core of the Markthalle concept. Openness and informality of the space may be eluded to by spacious composition without very strict or hierarchical composition. Photogenic artwork that invites viewers to interact, engage and photograph themselves with the wall would be favored.

Aesthetically patterns or expansive scenes or landscapes would work well because of the horizontally elongated shape and large size of the wall. Relatedly, the façade has lots of windows which can not be painted over and this is also a factor that favors imagery that is spread over the surface rather than concentrated on some small area. Colorful artwork is preferred over monochrome and bright colors over dark colors.

In a successful proposal, the windows are not seen as obstacles to the mural, but rather the mural is designed to compliment the existing architectural forms including the windows and the slopes of the façade.

Be bold with the art concept and work with the architecture. Think how both the idea and look of it will age – will the concept and visual language still communicate effectively in 20 years?



Markthalle – Raum für digitale Ideen (Space for digital ideas) is an open digital innovation hub in the city centre of Wolfsburg, a city located an hour away from Berlin. It is a space built for experimentation with digital technologies, discussion about digital topics, and a community hub for the digital community of the city, region, and beyond.

Within the building, you can find lab spaces such as a MakerSpace offering access to rapid prototyping tools such as 3D printers, microcontrollers, but also hands-on tools to make your vision reality. Further, there is a VR lab, a vlog broadcasting studio, and a service design lab. Besides these labs, you can find a flexible event space and a community space in it.

There are many inhabitants of the building. The City of Wolfsburg is running a co-working space in the ground floor, and there is a youth club located in the building that runs upcycling activities but also offers a relaxed atmosphere for youngsters. Volkswagen houses some of its digital innovation teams in the first floor, creating future mobility services. The VfL Wolfsburg, a premier league soccer club, is building a digital sports field in front of the space. Besides these core partners, a public café is serving as a welcoming entry point into the building.

Besides a physical building, the Markthalle is serving as a living lab for Wolfsburg, facilitating co-creation among various stakeholders to be able to move from an idea towards a prototype quickly. One strength of the Markthalle is its community – motivated, hands-on doers who want to bring a digital change. But the Markthalle is also open for interested citizens of all ages. The diverse inhabitants of the building also create an organic, informal program. New formats of working will be elaborated in a unique space in the heart of the city: Markthalle – a place where people meet and exchange ideas and work and forming new models of products and services.

Unique is beyond the community and facilities certainly the central location of the building. When leaving the main station and passing by the architectural landmark created by Zaha Hadid you enter the pedestrian area, the very city centre with its buildings from the 60s. The first building you see is Markthalle and its north front, 200m from the main train station. We decided to have this area made a piece of art. By doing so we wanted to bring together the ideas of international as well as local students.

All activities in the Markthalle have been prototyped in a four months lasting PopUp space in the beginning of 2018. Within these four months, more than 60 events have been done with more than 1.400 participants, serving as a strong proof of concept that such an informal, low-threshold approach to digital innovation can work Wolfsburg. Currently, the building is reno-vated with a target open date in the end of 2019.

The Markthalle is a central project of a joint initiative between the city and Volkswagen that is called #Wolfsburg Digital. Volkswagen is sponsoring this mural competition as part of their en-gagement in #Wolfsburg Digital. You can find more information online:



 All questions, inquiries and concerns should be directed to the competition coordinator Erwin Laiho, Don’t hesitate to ask about the competition or even for feedback – we encourage dialogue to ensure that the submissions are aligned with the feasibility and ambitions of the project overall.