Without wanting to in any way detract from the work undertaken by Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee students in the past year, a highlight of our visit to the 2017 Rundgang summer exhibition was the thunderstorm which broke while we there. Calling it biblical would be to trivialise the ferocity with which it smit the day asunder, turning in its fury the Bühringstraße in front of the school into a Bühring Straits. And the first of three storms which broke over Berlin in quick succession, almost sinking the German capital.

Magnificent, imposing and a joy to behold. But would the 2017 Rundgang also make such a positive and lasting impression……..?

Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee

Owing to the unique nature of Berlin’s history and geopolitical relevance, the (hi)stories of all the city’s cultural institutions are invariably complex. And the number of such institutions greater than in most comparable metropoli*. Few other cities can boast, for example, two public zoos, three public operas or four public universities. And while three of Berlin’s universities offer individual courses in subjects such as architecture, theatre studies or music, there is only one which offers an education in all such genres. And in design: The Universität der Künste Berlin.

Universität der Künste Berlin Design Department

“What are you going to do this summer, Amory?”, Tom D’Invilliers asks of Amory Blaine in F Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise.

“Don’t ask me”, comes the somewhat languid reply, “same old things, I suppose. A month or two in Lake Geneva — I’m counting on you to be there in July, you know — then there’ll be Minneapolis, and that means hundreds of summer hops, parlor-snaking, getting bored…..”

Sorry Amory, but you’ll have to survive the magnificence of Lake Geneva on your own, would have been our response. We’ve got new design and architecture exhibitions in London, Berlin, New York and Holon to visit!

But we’ll definitely catch up with you afterwards in Minneapolis for a bit hopping and parlor-snaking…….

5 New Design Exhibitions for June 2017

Until Sunday June 4th state of Design, Berlin 2017 is presenting projects from over 80 international creatives, supported by films, lectures and workshops, in the Vollgutlager in Berlin-Neukölln.

Viewing the 2017 edition it occurred to us there is a lot of charming ambiguity about the name state of Design, Berlin…….

Folding Chair Arena by students from the Inside interior architecture masters course at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague. The main discussion forum at state of Design Berlin 2017

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

state of design berlin 2017

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.

Much More Than One Good Chair @ Felleshus Berlin

It’s early May and once again the party ship we call the smow song contest is ready to set sail……

smow song contest 2017

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.

Jasper Morrison. Thingness @ Bauhaus Archiv Berlin

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

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

Object Lessons. The Story of Material Education in 8 Chapters at the Werkbundarchiv - Museum der Dinge Berlin

Understanding materials has helped contemporary society develop as it has. And remains as relevant today as ever. If not more

O hushed October morning mild, Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild* You’d be

WerkBundHaus Berlin

With their WerkBundStadt project the Werkbund Berlin aim to redevelop an industrial site in northern Berlin into a future orientated

Divine Golden Ingenious The Golden Ratio as a Theory of Everything? at the Museum for Communication Berlin

(a+b)÷a = a÷b ≡ harmony? Or, the contemporary relevance of the Golden Ratio In addition to those artificial laws decreed

Merging Loops by Bára Finnsdóttir, as seen at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee Rundgang 2016

As East Berlin’s Art and Design College the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee was in many ways symbolic of East Germany’s difficult

Berenice Abbott PhBerenice Abbott - Photographs at the Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlinotographs at the Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin

“Photography is the medium par excellence of our time. As a visual means of communication, it has no equal.”1 So

Hangout Hula-Hoop & Wall Bar by Proof of Guilt @ Salone Satellite Milan 2016

In our recent conversation with Birgit Severin and Guillaume Neu-Rinaudo about their Heimat Lamp project they told us that the

Workaround by Sofie Aschan Eriksson, Lund University School of Industrial Design. As seen at DMY Berlin 2016

We’re not going to claim that DMY Berlin 2016 was a vintage year, for us the 14th edition of the

Outseaters by Yvonne Fehling & Jennie Peiz @ HTW Berlin, State of Design 2016

The clearest sign that that things are changing in Berlin-Oberschöneweide is without question the new vegan Vietnamese restaurant on the

A stroll through 30 years design history. Germany versus France. The Struggle over Style 1900-1930 at the Bröhan Museum Berlin

As with contemporary football the story of contemporary architecture and design begins on the British Isles; and as with football

State of Design Berlin 2016 (Design: Bureau Mirko Borsche, München. Courtesy of State of Design)

From May 4th and until May 8th 2016 Berlin will host the inaugural edition of the festival State of Design.

LCS Perlon rep in the colours of LeCorbursier, free selected colour and quality variants (© design: Anker Teppiche, photo: Matthias Ritzmann)

Mild-mannered and polite as we are, we still occasionally find ourselves causing offence, arousing feelings of mild outrage and generally

December is famously a half month – no one does anything useful in the second half of the month, unless

November 2015 was a month of exhibitions, including Konstantin Grcic at the Grassi Museum Leipzig and Anton Corbijn at C/O