How do we ensure there is sufficient, affordable, healthy, practical, accommodation for our contemporary population and their needs?

Not just a question for today’s society but arguably one that has been posed, considered and approached by architects and urban planners since the late 19th century.

If, admittedly, without anyone ever solving the conundrum. Or at least not unequivocally. Or sustainably.

With the exhibition Die Neue Heimat ­(1950–1982). A Social Democratic Utopia and Its Buildings, the Architekturmuseum der TU München review the (hi)story of the Neue Heimat housing corporation and its efforts to ensure sufficient, affordable, healthy, practical, accommodation for West Germany, and in doing so add to the contemporary discourse.

Die Neue Heimat ­(1950–1982). A Social Democratic Utopia and Its Buildings, the Architekturmuseum der TU München

Escalating tension between the nuclear powers, public discourses on gender equality/respect, racial equality/respect, religious equality/respect, thousands displaced through war and conflict in South East Asia, destabilising wars and conflicts in the Middle East, warnings about irreversible environmental stability and the long-term habitability of earth, thousands on the streets demanding change…..

And the situation in 1968 wasn’t very different.

With the exhibition 68. Pop und Protest the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg explore the relationships between the social and political developments of the late 1960s and the cultural manifestations of the period……

Hermann von Wissmann, and proters posters from Paris, as seen at 68. Pop und Protest Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

If Jean-Claude Juncker gets his way October 2018 could see the clocks of Europe turned back an hour for the final time.

And thereby bringing to an end the long tradition of local newspapers publishing bi-annual articles documenting the curious tales and legends of town clocks, stories from the Schwarzwald on the largest and smallest cuckoo clocks, and photographs of horologists surrounded by the 350+ clocks and watches they need to reset.

For our part, we’ll miss them.

It will also mean you won’t have that extra hour the last Sunday in October to enjoy an extra leisurely visit to an architecture and/or design exhibition, so take the chance while you can…..

Our five recommendations for using that extra hour in October 2018 can be found in Hamburg, Weil am Rhein, Zürich, Paris and Helsinki.

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for October 2018

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….

smow song contest 2018

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.

Then as now the way to the top was difficult, but a challenge the succesful traders didn't shy away from.....

“October is the month of painted leaves. Their rich glow now flashes round the world. As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a bright tint just before they fall, so the year near its setting. October is its sunset sky; November the later twilight”

Before Henry David Thoreau’s twilight comes, our five painted leaves, flashing their rich glow round the world from Nürnberg, Lausanne, Hamburg, Eindhoven and Barcelona.

5 New Design Exhibitions for October 2017

As the old proverbs teach us, Waste Not, Want Not!

And, all that (g)litters is gold!

With the exhibition Pure Gold. Upcycled! Upgraded! the Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg not only demonstrate the inherent value that can exist in apparent waste, but also how understanding that inherent value could help us reduce future waste problems.

Pure Gold. Upcycled! Upgraded!, at Museum für Kunst Gewerbe Hamburg

As the apostle Paul once wrote to the people of Galatia, “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” The manifestation of that wisdom can be observed in the twisted reality of our contemporary farming and food production systems.

What we could, should, sow in order to reap a more sustainable and democratic future harvest, and for all the role our personal relationships’ to food plays in approaching such an answer, is explored in the exhibition Food Revolution 5.0. Design for Tomorrow’s Society at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.

Food Revolution 5.0. Design for Tomorrow’s Society at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

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.

5 New Design Exhibitions for March 2017

Stuttgart reißt sich ab Architekturgalerie am Weissenhof, Stuttgart

Our five recommendations for new design and architecture exhibitions opening in June 2016 feature four in Germany and one in

Vis-a-vis by Glen Oliver Löw & Antonio Citterio for Vitra

Born in Leverkusen Glen Oliver Löw initially studied Industrial Design at the University of Wuppertal before moving to Milan in

Normally October is all about design festivals, October 2015 wasn’t. On the one hand we weren’t at that many this

Art Nouveau advertising for Stollwerck's chocolate, as seen at Art Nouveau The Great Utopian Vision, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

No one likes a hippy. Which might explain the ambivalence many have towards Art Nouveau. For with its floral motifs,

Karl Gräser Sessel

We’re fairly certain most museum curators aren’t inherently nocturnal, it is however noticeable that the longer the nights become, the

DMY Berlin 2015: Splitting Wood by Bastian Austermann

The first thing any carpentry apprentice does is build their own wooden toolbox. It makes sense. You’re learning to work

Vienna The Pearl of the Reich. Planning for Hitler at the Architekturzentrum Wien

March is a month for caution. Yes, the sun shines. Yes, the days are getting longer Yes, one can smell

Unsichtbare Dinge Typisch chinesisch Typisch deutsch at the Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg Germany erledigt

Mayday! Mayday! Don’t panic. It’s just a public holiday. You’ll survive. Barbecue something…… And afterwards, when everyone else is back

Warum Gestalten HFBK Hamburg

During the “Summaery” exhibition back in July 2011 we asked Professor Bernd Rudolf, Decan of the Architecure Department at Bauhaus

Verner Panton Spiegel canteen Hanburg Knoll

For a publication renowned for the quality of its authors, the Spiegel press department write press releases that repeat themselves