(smow) summer tour 2011:Rundgang 2011 Universität der Künste Berlin

A quick tram and S-Bahn ride from Rundgang at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee brought us to Rundgang at Universität der Künste Berlin.

Similar concept. Different worlds.

Industrial design at teh UdK Berlin - esign neednt be complivated

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Good design needn't be complicated....

Whereas Weißensee exudes an almost parochial innocence, the UdK feels like The New York School of the Performing Arts in the early 1980s.

At any minute a nimble framed, leotard and leg-warmer attired youth could leap down the stairs and complain about Mr. Shorofsky not understanding the modern world before pirouetting off down the corridor.

Or at least that’s how it feels to us.

However, despite the retro surroundings the students of the Industrial Design Department always impress with their contemporary and forward looking work.

One of the more interesting and innovative projects was without question Scolyt by Marco Merkel realised as part of the TransRitus seminar from Prof. Axel Kufus & Jörg Höltje. Inspired by the glass forms that resulted from the 1944 allied bomb attacks on Berlin,  Marco set out to “create” random glass objects using naturally occurring wood shapes as the template. Having collected samples of wood Marco blew the glass forms either over the surface or, much more intriguingly, within the wood. The results were transfixing.

Less mesmerising, but equally as good was the stool Nimmdirzeit (Have a Break) by Christian Leisse and Josua Putzke. We’re not entirely sure from course it arose – however in essence it is a stool in the form of an old-fashioned hourglass and which measures time spans of 15 minutes.

Not perhaps an object for the home, however in an office, or even better in a public space, the concept and idea behind Nimmdirzeit, namely your seat measures how long you have been sitting and so allows you to relax and enjoy the break without having to keep checking your watch really appeals to us.


Nimmdirzeit by Christian Leisse and Josua Putzke as seen @ Rundgang 2011 Universität der Künste Berlin

We just fear that some modern management freak will eventually misuse Nimmdirzeit and incorporate it in a completely pointless and pride draining training session that involves all staff members having 15 minutes in which to present their ideas for the coming sales campaign. While the rest of the group clap.

It’s much better suited to relaxing in park on your lunch break.

A final highlight was seeing Erika by Storno for Nil Holger Moormann. The project had absolutely nothing to do with the Rundgang, but since Moormann discontinued it there has been a small hole in our hearts. Some would say such a modular kitchen concept was never likely to be a commercial success.

And we’d agree.

But that’s also the point.

The concept was and is a successful attempt at defining domestic arrangements in our modern world.

Erika was a solution.

Others do it differently.

It was just lovely to see it again in its full glory.

As with our visit to the KHB we didn’t take advantage of the UdK Rundgang to view the works of the non-Industrial Design department. On the one hand that would have involved walking to an another building.

And on the other there was some pints of Brown Ale with our names on them waiting at Hops and Barely in Berlin Friedrichshain.

Well deserved Brown Ales after two student shows in one day.

And with the final stage of tour still ahead of us; a Sunday afternoon at Burg Giebichenstein Halle.

We’ve created  a small facebook gallery from Rundgang 2011 Universität der Künste Berlin at facebook.com/smowcom


An object from the project Scolyt by Marco Merkel as seen @ Rundgang 2011 Universität der Künste Berlin

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