Thingness. Noun. [ˈthiŋ-nəs] The quality or state of objective existence or reality1

Thingness. Exhibition. [ˈthiŋ-nəs] A comprehensive Jasper Morrison retrospective currently on show at the Bauhaus Archiv Berlin.

Jasper Morrison. Thingness @ Bauhaus Archiv Berlin

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It may lack the Unicorn Horn that graced so many Renaissance era Cabinets of Curiosities, but with The Room of Desires Keum Art Projects present a collection of objects with just as much beauty, mystery and grace as could be found in the Wunderkammer. And yet which are grounded much more in reality.

The Room of Desires @ Raumwerk Munich

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The exhibition Divine Golden Ingenious. The Golden Ratio as a Theory of Everything? at the Museum for Communication Berlin featured two projects by Berlin based designer Mark Braun, projects which, largely, if not exclusively, owe their form to deliberations on and experimentation with the Fibonacci number. A state of affairs, we considered, makes Mark Braun an ideal person with whom to speak to about the role, attraction and relevance of the Fibonacci number and Golden Ratio in product design.

And so ahead of the exhibition’s opening at the Museum for Communication Frankfurt, we did just that…..

Les Trois by Mark Braun

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The Bayerischer Staatspreis für Nachwuchsdesigner is one of the more interesting international design prizes. Not only because it is biennial and thus steadfastly refuses to play with the “every year new” ethos of the contemporary design industry, nor only because it is exclusively for young designers, but also because in addition to the “usual” categories it also recognises Design Research and Applied Crafts. And thus promotes a pleasingly healthy and positive understanding of the term “Design”

The winners of the 2016 Bayerischer Staatspreis were announced on Monday March 6th at an awards ceremony in Munich.

Merhaba by Susanne Honsa – Winner Applied Crafts, as seen at Bayerischer Staatspreis für Nachwuchsdesigner 2016 exhibition, Munich

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For George Orwell nothing heralded spring quite like the re-appearance of toads, emerging from their subterranean hibernation and setting off, once again, on life’s great cycle.

Our toads are the flurry of new design and architecture exhibitions which open globally every March, as the international museum and gallery community awake from their winter slumber.

Our highlights for March 2017, featuring new exhibitions in Bielefeld, Helsinki, Weil am Rhein, Utrecht and Paris

5 New Design Exhibitions for March 2017

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The German designer and silversmith Christian Dell is arguably best known for the numerous lighting designs he realised during the 1920s and 1930s.

Christian Dell was however also one of the pioneers of plastic design. If all too briefly.

Christian Dell (1893 - 1974)

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Ambiente Frankfurt 2017 allowed an all to seldom reunião with Portuguese brand Vicara. And an occasion which served to remind us that we really should catch up with them more often…..

Vicara at Ambiente Frankfurt 2017

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Amongst all the fake flavours at Ambiente Frankfurt 2017 the Umami of Japanese design studio Bouillon was a genuine delight.

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“Have you ever met a robot?” asks the Vitra Design Museum.

The answer is yes.

The answers to the other 13 questions posed by the exhibition Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine are not necessarily so easily answered: but are important for defining our relationship with digital technology.

Vitra Design Museum presents Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine

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Our picks from the new architecture and design exhibitions opening in February 2017, featuring showcases in Weil am Rhein, Falkenberg, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Berlin and Groningen.

five new design exhibitions february 2017

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As a fair IMM Cologne 2017 didn’t impress, but one or the other product did. Our IMM Cologne 2017 High Five!! And a few words of comfort from Epictetus.

IMM Cologne

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The German architect and designer Ferdinand Kramer didn’t just translate the new principles of construction and design which arose in the inter-war years into his architecture, furniture and industrial designs, he was also a very eloquent writer on such matters, and thus helped, and continues to help, explain the motivations behind, and fascination with, functionalist ideals.

The Kramer Principle Design for Variable Use Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt am Main Chair B 403 Thonet

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With the exhibition 5 Years kaschkasch Florian Kallus and Sebastian Schneider aka studio kaschkasch celebrate, well, five years of studio kaschkasch.

5 Years kaschkasch, Cologne

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The 1973 film Ceremony by Italian architecture group Superstudio features individuals who inhabit the “Invisible House”, a house devoid of not only a physical structure but, we are told by the narrator, all forms of furniture.

The inhabitants of the invisible house are happy.

Despite this and their other regular very public pronunciations against architecture and design, from their earliest days Italian architecture group Superstudio also designed furniture and lighting: a selection of which can be enjoyed in the exhibition Superstudio Mobilia 1966-2016 at Ungers Archiv für Architekturwissenschaft, UAA, in Cologne.

Superstudio Mobilia 1966-2016 at Ungers Archiv für Architekturwissenschaft Cologne

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Passagen Design Week Cologne 2017 is playing host to Naked Objects, the fifth edition of the exhibition series “Nieuwe German Gestaltung” – and an exhibition which as with the previous four is an unashamed celebration of the diversity and vitality of contemporary German product design.

Naked Objects: Nieuwe German Gestaltung #005 Cologne

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With the exhibition 21 Common Things designer Thomas Schnur explores his personal relationship with everyday objects. And in doing so the concept of functionality.

Thomas Schnur - 21 Common Things

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With the exhibition Full House: Design by Stefan Diez the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne, MAKK, present the first museal overview of the canon of the German designer Stefan Diez.

And an exhibition which in many respects also helps explain industrial design. Or at least the contemporary industrial design process.

Yard by Stefan Diez for emu, as seen at FULL HOUSE: Design by Stefan Diez, Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne

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Caught up in the all too obvious enchantment of the likes of Eames, Nelson and Girard it is very easy to forget that post-war American design was a great deal more. It was also Edward J Wormley.

Edward J Wormley. 1955. Edward J Wormley papers; Professional (KA0048.02). New School Archives and Special Collections Digital Archive

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Our pick of the new architecture and design exhibitions opening in January 2017, with showcases in Cologne, New York, Rotterdam, Atlanta and Helsinki.

5 New Design Exhibitions for January 2017

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With Holzklasse designer Nils Holger Moormann and VW bus fabricator CustomBus have brought Moormann design to the highways, and for all, the byways.

Master of all he surveys....

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Celebrating the Renaissance era humanist and author Thomas More’s contribution to the history of furniture design. And a work sadly now as lost as his fabled commonwealth….

Abraham Ortelius' map of Utopia (ca 1595) (Source https://commons.wikimedia.org/)

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One of our highlights of 2016 was without question PrintStool by Munich based designer Thorsten Franck for German manufacturer Wilkhahn. Less because of the object itself and more because of what it represents: the first step by a major furniture producer towards industrial 3D furniture printing. We met up with Thorsten in Munich to discuss PrintStool, 3D printing and the changing role of designers.

PrintStool by Thorsten Franck for Wilkhahn, here as seen at NeoCon Chicago 2016

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Bauhaus Dessau was officially opened on December 4th 1926, and by way of celebrating the institution’s 90th anniversary on December 4th 2016 the foundation stone will be laid for the new Bauhaus Museum Dessau; an act which comes just one month after the foundation stone was laid for the new Bauhaus Museum Weimar. Both museums being built in preparation for the coming centenary of Bauhaus’s 1919 inauguration.

An apposite moment we thought to reflect on how Bauhaus was received, or at least how it was received in the early years, in its new, old, East German home1

Bauhaus Museum Dessau , view from Stadtpark (Image © Gonzalez Hinz Zabala courtesy Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau)

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Five recommendations for new architecture and design exhibitions opening in December 2016, featuring shows in Copenhagen, Weimar, Nürnberg, London and Munich

5 New Design Exhibitions for December 2016

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With the exhibition Stapeln. Ein Prinzip der Moderne the Wilhelm Wagenfeld Haus in Bremen celebrate the complex diversity of one of design’s simplest principles …. Stacking.

Stackable Chairs, as seen at Stapeln. Ein Prinzip der Moderne at the Wilhelm Wagenfeld Haus Bremen

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