Odd as it may be to consider today, in the course of the 19th century and throughout the first decades of the 20th century, the German town of Chemnitz was one of the most important locations in central Europe for heavy and mechanical engineering, and thereby an important motor on the highway from craft to industrial production, supplying as it did the machines, infrastructure and ideas to enable that transfer. The importance of Chemnitz in the 19th century can perhaps be best gauged by the fact that the city, for all in the person of then Oberbürgermeister Dr. Wilhelm André, was one of the leading protagonists in the campaign which ultimately led in 1877 to the passing of the first Patent Law in the freshly established German Reich. The wealth those patents brought Chemnitz, its engineers and industrialists can still be seen today, for example, in the Kaßberg district, one of the most expansive Jugendstil suburbs in Germany, and also in the number of villas from the turn of the 19th/20th centuries to be found lining the broad boulevards, including the one built in 1902/03 by Henry van de Velde for the textile manufacturer Herbert Esche.
While the names of many/most of those engineers and industrialists may not be popularly known today that of Chemnitz’s most famous 20th century designer certainly is: Marianne Brandt, a trained artist who learned her metalwork trade in the workshops at Bauhaus Weimar, followed the school to Dessau and became, for all through her many designs for Leipzig based manufacturer Kandem, one of the genuine pioneers of lighting design. Even if most associate her today with teapots.
As the centenary of Bauhaus Weimar approaches, and thus memories are awakened of that period in history when eastern Germany was at the forefront of attempts to unify craft and art for the benefit of industry and society, what can Chemnitz offer? What can Chemnitz creatives contribute to the development of craft, industry, design? The exhibition Unikate 7 presenting graduation projects from the Handwerkskammer Chemnitz’ Gestalter im Handwerk programme seemed like an appropriate place to approach an answer…….
Following smow Lisboa’s surprise victory in the 2017 smow Song Contest, the Portuguese capital is preparing to host the 2018 song contest: a contest being staged very much in context of the contemporary relevance of smow’s historic connections….
The only FAQ not answered by the smow FAQs is the one that begins, “What is smow……..?”
And as smow grows and grows so too does the F with which the Q is A’d.
The answer in one sense is very simple, smow trade in furniture, lighting and home/office accessories through a series of showrooms and online shops. But that only partly explains “smow”. Doesn’t explain the how, who, why and wherefore. Nor the richness. Explaining the true smow is in many respects best achieved by exploring another trading institution whose superficial simplicity hides its true depth of character ….. The Hanseatic League.
Gestures belong to the oldest of human actions and interactions. Have accompanied mankind through good times and bad, through its innumerate technical, cultural and social revolutions.
And are so intuitive, we are often barely aware of them.
With the exhibition Gestures – Past, Present and Future, the Sächsische Industriemuseum Chemnitz explores not only the (hi)story and importance of gestures, but for all their role in our smart, digital, autonomous futures.
The old adage that the only certainties in life are death and taxes has become (more than) a little passé of late.
However even the accountants and investment bankers cannot, yet, avoid death.
With the exhibition Tod & Ritual – Kulturen von Abschied und Erinnerung the Staatliches Museum für Archäologie Chemnitz, smac, explore the historical and cultural traditions and rituals of that last remaining timeless, universal, and utterly inescapable phenomenon.
Like gardens mottled with the vibrant leaves of autumn, so too is November 2017 bestrewn with a multicoloured carpet of new design and architecture exhibitions. We could have published three such lists, seriously considered it …. have however instead taken the opportunity to bring our monthly recommendations average up to where it should be. Five.
Back in August we only had four new recommendations, and so to compensate summer’s shortfall, here we present six, technically seven. Although it could have been 15.
Which all of course means you, dear reader, have no excuse for not visiting a new design or architecture exhibition, for wherever you may be, there is one opening near you. So get out there and start raking up those leaves exhibitions!!!
It’s early May and once again the party ship we call the smow song contest is ready to set sail……
The winners and nominated projects from the 2016 International Marianne Brandt Contest can be viewed in an exhibition in Chemnitz.
Money, famously, makes the world go round. The world go round. Money makes the world go round How that came
The Faculty of Applied Arts Schneeberg is by no stretch of the imagination Germany’s largest design school; however, that in
“The starting point for the chair was the problem of comfortable seating combined with a simple construction. A problem which
In our interview with Marcel Kabisch, founder of and creative force behind German label Feinserie, he told us that what
Browsing in our Pictorial Review archive it appears March 2013 was “a month of travelling: Stuttgart, Chemnitz, Weimar, Dessau….. its
Since 2000 the International Marianne Brandt Contest has been searching for the Poetry of the Functional in art and design.
As we’ve often noted in these pages the eastern German town of Chemnitz markets itself as the “City of Modernism”,
Until February 22nd the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz is presenting the exhibition Andy Warhol: Death and Disaster, according to the organisers “the
Such was the quality of the new products we saw during our autumn tour they kept us going well into
August being holiday month our principle focus was board sports: Woody Skateboards for the summer and silbærg snowboards for the
May may have been slow in the past. May. For aside from DMY Berlin, Fritz Haller in Basel, Niek van
Cold as February 2014 unquestionably was, we managed to warm ourselves with exhibitions looking at the 1920s medial representation of
Much as Andy Warhol predicated we’d all be famous for 15 minutes, he also understood we’d all be dead forever.
On Friday October 24th the winners of the Saxony Design Award 2014 – the Sächsischer Staatspreis für Design 2014 –
In the past we have, admittedly, been “somewhat” harsh on Chemnitz. Unfairly so considered some. Many. “C’mon! Chemnitz isn’t all
When Erich Mendelsohn’s new Schocken department store opened in Chemnitz in 1930 Wasmuths Monatshefte für Baukunst, one of the leading
By way of an addendum to our addendum to our “5 New Design Exhibitions for February 2014” post…… Until June