In our post from the exhibition Design Gruppe Pentagon at the Museum Angewandte Kunst Cologne we noted that Gallery Pentagon was laterally based in Cologne’s Bismarckstrasse. Bismarckstrasse 50 to be precise, a former cardboard packaging factory which in the 1980s was developed into spaces for creatives of various ilks…..

…..Bismarckstrasse 50 is still home to creatives of various ilks, and is still home to a gallery, Galerie Martina Kaiser, where in context of the 2020 Passagen Interior Design Week a new generation of Cologne designers are presenting new projects, projects raised not in the agitations, turmoils and transformations of 1980s West Germany that informed the Pentagonia’s works, but rather in the calm, alpine forests of Austria’s Bregenzerwald.

Yet objects no less expressive for the change of air…….

Generation Köln trifft Bregenzerwald, Cologne

Fortune, we are told, favours the brave. Misfortune the reckless, but fortune the brave.

Thus, summing all the bravery we could muster, we descended into the unknown of the Bunker am Bahngleis and the exhibition Generation Köln…..*

Karoline&Klemens&Thomas&Tim. Generation Köln @ Passagen Cologne 2019

“Have you ever laid out all your plates like a carpet, or piled furniture into a tower?”, asks the introduction to the Technical University Dortmund’s project, Alles, was ich habe [Everything that I possess]

Our answer to the last question is a categorical, yes.

It was one afternoon during our final year at secondary school, and together with a few chums we stacked all the common room furniture up against one wall. Just to see if we could. We could.

Alles, was ich habe is a little more fundamental, exploring as it does possessions and consumerism, and by extrapolation the global production, distribution and marketing industries that are sustained by both.

Alles, was ich habe by the Seminar für Kulturanthropologie des Textilen, TU Dortmund, as seen at Passagen Cologne 2018

As regular readers will appreciate, we’re no great approvers of lumping individual creatives together under one umbrella term; always strikes us as being an unnecessary distraction, and (more than) a little counterproductive.

We are however most appreciative that following an inaugural presentation at Kazerne Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week 2017, the showcase Generation Köln is now being presented, as it were, on home turf.

Generation Köln. A Family Portrait

As in art, music or literature, the path in design from an idea to its realisation is rarely straight. And not always achieved. Or at least not immediately. Consequently every designer, as with every artist, every musician or every author, has projects which began their journey’s full of hope,but, then, for whatever reason…….

With the showcase “in Arbeit” Cologne based designers Thomas Schnur and Klemens Grund present some of their projects which are, still, “in Arbeit”

In Arbeit. Prototypen von Thomas Schnur und Klemens Grund, Passagen Cologne 2018

With the exhibition 5 Years kaschkasch Florian Kallus and Sebastian Schneider aka studio kaschkasch celebrate, well, five years of studio kaschkasch.

5 Years kaschkasch, Cologne

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.

Superstudio Mobilia 1966-2016 at Ungers Archiv für Architekturwissenschaft 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.

Naked Objects: Nieuwe German Gestaltung #005 Cologne

With the exhibition 21 Common Things designer Thomas Schnur explores his personal relationship with everyday objects. And in doing so the concept of functionality.

Thomas Schnur - 21 Common Things

Fionda table for Mattiazzi, Ormiale Bordeaux & Bac Armchair for Cappellini, as seen at the exhibition A&W Designer of the Year 2016 - Jasper Morrison, Passagen Cologne

2016 sees the 20th anniversary of German architecture and design magazine A&W’s “Designer of the Year Award.” Following on from

Passagen Cologne 2016: Sven Lützenkirchen & Thomas Schnur – Funktionsraum

There can be little argument that nature is, was and always will be the best designer, the most efficient designer:

January being what it is we spent most of the month in Cologne attending the 2015 IMM Cologne Furniture Fair

Die Metamorphose des Lagerfeuers Villa Zanders Vertical Garden Felix Ahn Paul Guddat Hassan Kaya Christoph Laszig

While the old adage “you are what you eat” can’t be true, if it were we’d be a slovenly pile

Passagen Cologne 2015 Domestic Affairs - New Voices in Dutch Design Fragment Earnest Studio iRobot Roomba

Parallel to the exhibition MAD ABOUT LIVING – 24 Designers from Brussels, Cologne is hosting an exhibition which nicely highlights

MAD ABOUT LIVING 24 Designers from Brussels

If we’re correctly informed, and let’s be honest we’re not always, 2014 saw the Belgian General Consulate in Cologne host

Passagen Cologne 2015 A&W Designer of the Year 2015 Michele De Lucchi The Exhibition

Much as we tend to shy away from “Designer of the Year” awards, the presentation of German architecture and design

Passagen Cologne 2015 Rem Koolhaas OMA Tools for Life at Ungers Archiv für Architekturwissenschaft

Following on from system design at the MAKK and the more autonomous product design featured at Objects in Between, we

Passagen Cologne 2015 Objects in Between Kai Linke T(ubo)

The nature of product design, and for all furniture design, being what it is, we all have a predisposition to

Passagen Cologne 2015 Zu Tisch bei smow Köln ASCO Tische

Following on from the success of smow Cologne‘s Passagen Design Week début in 2014 with the USM Haller exhibition Facetten,

Back at the end of 2014 we mused as to whether or not this might be an apposite moment to

Passagen Cologne 2014 Young Persepectives at Boffi Köln Woodware Sarah Böttger

During the 2014 Passagen design festival the Cologne flagship store of Italian kitchen and bathroom manufacturer Boffi presented an exhibition

Passagen Cologne 2014 Alle Metalle All Metal Tom Dixon Etch Lamp shade Light drop e27

Revolutions in design and architecture invariably involve a new material. The oldest examples of this phenomenon being found in the

Passagen Cologne 2014 Gronicles Bedcrate by Jack Brandsma

Every two years designers from the Dutch town of Groningen chum together to present a joint showcase during Cologne Design

Passagen Cologne 2014 Japanisches Kulturinstitut Modernes Japanisches Design

When Charlotte Perriand arrived in Japan in 1940 to begin her commission from the Japanese Ministry of Trade and Industry

Passagen Cologne 2014 BKULT Featuring Van Bo Le-Mentzel Konstruieren statt Konsumieren AIT-ArchitekturSalon Köln

In 2012 the Berlin based publishers/curators/editors Ilka & Andreas Ruby established BKULT as an online platform for discussing issues in contemporary