Inaugurated in 2016 state of Design Berlin is a festival which seeks to explore the experimental, critical, social character of design as much as present the industrial and commercial: and by extrapolation explain not only that design is all these things, but that the various aspects of design’s character needn’t be contradictory, far less conflicting or contrary.
The 2017 edition of state of Design Berlin opens on Thursday June 1st
’tis a curious thing time. It has accompanied our universe since the instant of its creation, has allowed for the development of our civil and social society, is the bedrock of our economic, industrial and commercial systems, guides us through every day, week, month, year, life.
Yet it is questionable if it actually exists.
And if it does exist. In what form? How can we visualise and document it? Does it have an inherent value?
Clues towards some possible answers are provided by the Designpreis Halle 2017 exhibition.
When we first viewed the exhibition Full House: Design by Stefan Diez at The Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne, it was was still being assembled. Objects were missing, set-ups not in their final composition, lights not yet properly positioned. As such we didn’t get to form an opinion on the final, complete, intended exhibition. Did however mange to take some truly awful photos.
Fortunately we have now had a second chance to view the exhibition.
And it is every bit as good as we assumed it would be from what we had seen.
With the exhibition Much More Than One Good Chair. Design & Society in Denmark, the Danish Embassy in Berlin present an exploration of the evolution of design in Denmark since 1945. And by extrapolation of the evolution of society in Denmark since 1945.
On May 1st 1851 Queen Victoria opened The Great Exhibition in Hyde Park London: the first “World’s Fair”, an event which celebrated the advances of the industrial age, and whose influence on industry, engineering, science, architecture and society was to resonate globally for decades, acting as it did as the motor for the quickening technological advances of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. While the profit generated from the 6 million visitors allowed for the construction of London’s Science Museum, Natural History Museum and neighbouring Victoria and Albert Museum.
If any of the numerous architecture and design exhibitions opening globally in May 2017 will become quite so pivotal remains to be seen. Our top five can be found in Hamburg, Atlanta, Amsterdam, London and Stuttgart.
“The handicraft training in the Bauhaus workshops was not an end in itself, but an irreplaceable educational tool. The aim of this training was to create designers who, thanks to their precise knowledge of materials and processes, were able to influence the industrial production of our time.” Walter Gropius, 1955*
The tensions caused by the practical question of how this influence was to be expressed, and the parallels with the industrial production of our time, are explored in the exhibition Craft becomes Modern. The Bauhaus in the Making at Bauhaus Dessau.
Backrests appeared to be a major feature of those new products Konstantin Grcic presented at Milan Furniture Fair 2017. Or perhaps better put, from those new product we saw by Konstantin Grcic, we interpreted the backrest as being central components. But it wasn’t all about backrests, a few thoughts on new products for Magis, Plank, Flos and Mattiazzi.
Much as we moan, moan, and moan about Milan Furniture Fair, it is a rare opportunity to get a snapshot of where individual designers are currently at: differing products for differing manufacturers being displayed in relatively proximity allowing for a nice overview. A few considerations on the latest projects by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra, Magis, Flos and Mattiazzi.
As older readers will be well aware, little gets us down quite like Milan Furniture Fair. Every year our only wish as we cross the Alps is that we will find something to make us thankful that we did. Milan Furniture Fair 2017 produced more such moments than the average year, which we suppose means we’ll be back next year!!
Our Milan Furniture Fair 2017 High Five!!
While it’s hard to feel anything even vaguely resembling joy in a month which sees the UK start its senseless and cowardly, withdrawal from the European Union … life goes on!!
Our five top distractions for April 2017 features new design and architecture exhibitions in Berlin, New York, Paris, Dessau and Milan.
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.
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 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…..
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.
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
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…..
Amongst all the fake flavours at Ambiente Frankfurt 2017 the Umami of Japanese design studio Bouillon was a genuine delight.
“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.
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.
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.
With the exhibition 5 Years kaschkasch Florian Kallus and Sebastian Schneider aka studio kaschkasch celebrate, well, five years of studio kaschkasch.
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.
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.
With the exhibition 21 Common Things designer Thomas Schnur explores his personal relationship with everyday objects. And in doing so the concept of functionality.
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.