(smow) summer tour 2011: Summaery @ Bauhaus University Weimar
Arable farmers are famously living, breathing weather databases. Ask one what the weather was like in July four years ago and they’ll tell you.
While explaining why it was bad for the crop. Regardless of how the weather was.
Designs journalists are similar.
Summaery 2010 lived up to its billing and was very Summery.
Summaery 2011 wasn’t. It was more Autumnery.
Which of course didn’t distract from our enjoyment. We just wanted to crowbar that pun in.
A central feature of Summaery 2011 was a series of 9 pavilions created from inter-disciplinay cooperations and coordinated by the architecture department.
The highlight for us was without question the Opaque.Pavillion
In essence a dome created from a normal IKO8 Mero System, the Bauhaus Weimar students adapted the structure through the addition of triangular panels on the outside – panels which provide protection from sun and rain, while maintaining an open feeling inside. The optical illusion created by the “openness” meant that it integrated beautifully in the garden of Bauhausstrasse 15 – and presumably can therefore be integrated in almost any environment without dominating it.
The killer detail for us was the form and position of the panels which are so combined that rain water runs down the outside – flowing from one panel to the next. As we were there it was, fortunately, dry – it had however rained the evening before and according to the students the pavillion had functioned perfectly.
In the product design diploma show there was nothing that could match the almost biblical experience that was R2B2 from Christoph Thetard at Summaery 2010
But then there couldn’t be. And never will be.
We currently have 2 interviews with Christoph in preparation. They are every bit as good as his work.
What did strike us in the diploma show however was the number of pieces that showed a return to traditional handcrafts and featuring a nice mix of “traditional” materials.
Also there was nothing on show that looked modern in a computer controlled way. Or that needed an App.
And we liked that.
We’ve noted in the past that product design students at Weimar often get a little too arty for our tastes – the 2011 diploma year was much more applied arty and so to our taste.
Among the other shows, we especially liked Plastic Fantastic – a seminar which challenged students to create a household device normally made from plastic in ceramic – and Workabilly: Kreativer Arbeitsplatz a seminar concerned with creating creative work-spaces.
Plastic Fantastic produced a few very nice variations, including the espresso machine Seppl, a porcelain computer keyboard and a wonderful skeletal foot foot warmer. Although none of the products particularly won us over, all showed that with a bit of imagination one can quite simply remove plastic from products – the question however remains in how far the use is compatible with mass production.
The stand out piece at Workabilly was without question “Über Eiermann” by Ludwig Fehn and Weiwei Wang. On the one hand on account of the gorgeous pun, but principally because it offers a further solution to organising your Eiermann Desk.
Wilbur by Daniel Wahl provides the perfect solution to storing and organising cables and external drives and “Über Eiermann” the same for organising all those things that sit on your desk. “Über Eiermann” simply takes the steel tubes of the Eiermann table frame, extends them above the table top and in doing so creates a framework which one can use for a range of functions. Ludwig and Weiwei’s rustic prototype had some nice shelf adaptions – but one could also develop, for example, acoustic elements, magnetic sections and cable holders and so make the Eiermann Table truly the modular system that it secretly is.
But it wasn’t all happiness. Never is with us.
There is one room in the backyard of the design department at Weimar that is becoming something of a curse for us. Or perhaps better put: Us for it.
Last year it hosted the seminar on prison furniture – and this year on “water”. Neither of which worked for us, both somehow just not reaching the goals they set themselves.
We’ll probably give that room a miss next year.
One of the things we like most about the Bauhaus University is the – as far as we can tell – easy mixing between faculties and consequently the cross- disciplinary nature of the learning structure.
We know its not unique to Weimar, but our gut feeling is that Weimar do it with a little more grace and style than other institutions.
Summaery 2011 not only once again demonstrated this fact, but also gave us hope that this will continue into the future.
And so with the sun finally shining in the Weimar sky, we bid our farewells and headed off to Einblick at the FH Potsdam….
We’ve uploaded a few further photos from Summaery @ Bauhaus University Weimar in a facebook gallery at facebook.com/smowcom