The Faculty of Applied Arts Schneeberg is by no stretch of the imagination Germany’s largest design school; however, that in context of design education size is less important than how creativity is nurtured, supported and encouraged can currently be explored in the exhibition “Offspring – Graduates of Schneeberg present furniture and product design” at the GALERIE Angewandte Kunst Schneeberg in Schloss Lichtenwalde.
Presenting works by eleven graduates from Schneeberg’s Wood Design course Offspring links the selected designers post-Schneeberg careers with their student days by displaying one college piece, generally part of their Diploma project, alongside later, professional, works; an excellently conceived exhibition concept which on the one hand neatly demonstrates how important it is that design students are given the freedom to explore various approaches during their studies and which on the other underscores that Schneeberg Wood Design graduates aren’t bound to wood, but can successfully work across and with a number of materials, or as exhibition curator and gallery director Professor Jochen Voigt phrases it, “The education at Schneeberg is very diverse, and while the focus is wood we deal extensively with other materials, and consequently our graduates are trained to think across a wide range of materials.”
The evidence to back up Jochen Voigt’s claim can be seen in objects such as, amongst others, Randolf Schott’s S 1200 secretary and S 95 conference chair for Thonet, Rüdiger Schaack’s Allright cantilever chair and Swing Up office chair for Sedus or Jo Zarth’s product and corporate design work for the German razor and shaving accessory manufacturer Mühle.
It goes however without saying that wood is also strongly represented, for example, through works such as the Pause Daybed by Andreas Mikutta, the Griffbereit family by Marcel Kabisch a.k.a Feinserie or the upcycled “Furniture from old wood” collection by Lars Dahlitz, the first graduate from the new Schneeberg Masters programme at thus the only designer represented solely by a student project.
The 25th exhibition to be staged at the GALERIE Angewandte Kunst Schneeberg since its opening in March 2010, Offspring is the first dedicated review of the professional work of Schneeberg alumni, and in the selection of graduates Jochen Voigt sought not only to express the variety of skills mastered by Schneeberg graduates, nor only the variety of career options available to Schneeberg graduates, but also the quality of Schneeberg graduates, to which end all the featured designers are award winners, largely in an international context, “we wanted to show that when you have studied at Schneeberg you are capable of competing with the best”, says Jochen Voigt, “to put it somewhat crudely, we wanted to present designers who you can doff your cap to!” Something Jochen Voigt and his team have unquestionably achieved. And thus, yes, Offspring is also unquestionably a bit of advertising for the Faculty of Applied Arts Schneeberg, but why not? As we invariably note during our end of year student exhibition posts, student exhibitions are as much about showing what the college can offer as they are about showcasing the students’ talents.
Offspring neatly achieves both in a well conceived, accessible and entertaining exhibition which for all underscores that a design education is only part of a professional progression, not an end to a means in itself.
And that how you study is often more important than what. Or indeed where.
Offspring – Graduates of Schneeberg present furniture and product design runs at the GALERIE Angewandte Kunst Schneeberg im Schloss Lichtenwalde, Schlossallee 1, 09577 Lichtenwalde until Sunday June 26th
Full details can be found at GALERIE Angewandte Kunst Schneeberg