Alongside Switzerland’s most important contributions to contemporary society – bobsleigh, Dada and muesli – a trio we regularly combine on a Wednesday evening, Switzerland has also contributed much to the (hi)stories of architecture and design: quite aside from creatives such as, and remaining for reasons of brevity in recent history, the likes of Max Bill, Le Corbusier, Susi Berger, Fritz Haller or Sigfried Giedion, organisations such as the Schweizerische Werkbund were every bit as important as their German and Austrian counterparts in disseminating inter-war ideas, similarly the retailer/manufacturer Wohnbedarf, established in Zürich in 1931 was one of the more proactive commercial protagonists in the popularising of interior understandings of the pre/post-War decades, while, and as we learned from the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich’s permanent collection exhibition, ’twas in Switzerland that aluminium smelting was developed. A metal which has contributed much to the (hi)story of design and society.
Charged with ensuring that Switzerland remains relevant in coming decades are the country’s architecture and design schools, a collection of institutions with a wide range of foci and formats: the logistics of an undertaking such as a #campustour meaning however that we only made it to Basel and Zürich…… Apologies to all others, it wasn’t lack of interest which kept us from your doors. Yet although we visited but a fraction of the Swiss design school cheese, it was to two exhibitions that represented different approaches to the design school summer showcase: the graduation show and the review of semester projects…..
While the shortlist of exhibitions for this column is regularly long, that for May 2019 was particularly so.
And particularly tricky. Perusing it we saw no realistic chance of getting it down to five, all made good claims for inclusion, none deserved to be ignored……
Then we noticed that, with a little bit tweaking, we could get two lists: one featuring those exhibitions directly connected with Bauhaus/Inter-War architecture and design, and one featuring those less directly connected.
The Bauhaus/Inter-War architecture and design list will follow, but for all keen to explore architecture and design in a wider context, five new exhibitions opening in May 2019 in Munich, New York, Berlin, Basel & Villingen-Schwenningen, you may like to consider visiting……..
Recycling, reuse and reappropriation are not only subjects for product design, but also for architecture, which hopefully isn’t new information, even if considerations on such (arguably) aren’t always at the forefront of architects thoughts, far less architectural planning.
Even if they (equally arguably) should be.
With the exhibition Transform the S AM Swiss Architecture Museum Basel make an appeal not only for more, better considered, recycling, reuse and reappropriation in architecture, but explore three contemporary projects which demonstrate how such can function, and thereby serving as impeti* for further projects.
The Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel’s Institute Industrial Design is sited in the city’s Dreispitz district, a name derived from the district’s (roughly) triangular form, and a term which translates into English as “cocked hat”
But would the work of the Institute’s students see conventional ideas, wisdoms and understandings knocked into a Dreispitz…..
With his two faces the Roman God Janus looks simultaneously forward and backwards, standing in constant watch over transitions, the passage of time, beginnings, ends.
The easy connection to make is with January, that month of the year when we are invariably reflecting and hoping in equal measure: the more complex connection to make is with a well-crafted architecture and design exhibition, one which effortlessly links reflections of the past with proposals, visions and excitement for the future. Nothing existing as it does in isolation. And everything requiring a transition.
Our five gatekeepers for January 2018 can be found in San Francisco, Brussels, Basel, Milan and Cologne.
With the opening of the Vitra Schaudepot the Vitra Campus has not only grown by a further building, but the
The term “post-war architecture” is for many a term of insult, an insinuation that something is of lesser value. Or
Normally October is all about design festivals, October 2015 wasn’t. On the one hand we weren’t at that many this
In his review of Chris Taylor’s book “How Star Wars Conquered the Universe” the American film critic Tom Shone makes
As previously reported, Bauhaus Dessau are currently presenting “The coop principle – Hannes Meyer and the Concept of Collective Design”,
In what sounds like a truly monumental example of critical cultural analysis meets mid-life crisis and self-doubt, Depot Basel and
When in 2013 the design facilitators from Depot Basel were forced to move from their original home in a former
Much as the hardest move in yoga is unrolling your yoga mat, so to is the most challenging facet about
… had things not continued apace in June. A month which saw us trawl trough Berlin with Niek Wagemans looking
May may have been slow in the past. May. For aside from DMY Berlin, Fritz Haller in Basel, Niek van
As all old thesauruans know “April” is merely a synonym for “Milan” And lo despite all promises to the contrary
It’s now been twelve months since we decided to start recommending upcoming architecture and design exhibitions based on nothing more
The inescapable chill in the morning air and the deep-seated boredom in the eyes of school aged children can only
As is becoming customary Design Miami Basel 2014 provided the backdrop for the presentation of the Swiss Design Award. And
When we met up with Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler aka mischer’traxler ahead of the exhibition Castling. Designers meet the
While the art world is awash with anecdotes of cleaners disposing of installations having confused them for rubbish, we’re not
For us there is very little that epitomises fakeness better than Bling – bold, flash, arrogant jewellery distracting from the
Until August 24th the Swiss Architecture Museum, SAM, in Basel is staging “Fritz Haller. Architect and Researcher”, an exhibition devoted
Mayday! Mayday! Don’t panic. It’s just a public holiday. You’ll survive. Barbecue something…… And afterwards, when everyone else is back
Until April 27th Depot Basel are presenting the exhibition Okolo Offline. Documenting the first five years of Prague based design