Over the years of these dispatches design weeks in Berlin, in a wider sense design and designers in Berlin, have played a very important role, as can be gauged from the tag cloud in the footer: Berlin is one of our most regularly used tags, and DMY Berlin occurs more often than a great many designers, manufacturers, fairs and other festivals.

A DMY Berlin that back in the day we used to essentially live in; like some awkward, artless, commensalistic symbiont we would spend days on end drifting round the event, and indeed round Berlin, feeding, hungrily, from it. And in doing so learned so much, met so many people who greatly assisted us in finding our way forward, met so many projects which we still refer back to when reflecting on that which is before us, as we grapple on daily basis with “design” as a term.

And then DMY Berlin imploded. Quite spectacularly so.

But by which point there was a new event in town: state of DESIGN. A, looking back, we’d argue, breakaway from DMY, a desire on the part of the organisers to do something different, to stage a different sort of design event. And an attempt to link back, in context and acceptance of the new realities in which Berlin and design found themselves, to Designmai, that near mythical Berlin design event, which, at that time, set new standards for design festivals, and from which DMY arose as, looking back, we’d argue, a breakaway, as a desire on the part of the organisers to do something different. There’s that helix again.

And then an awful lot of things imploded. Quite spectacularly so.

Including our relationships with the state of DESIGN organisers. Whereby we can’t remember exactly what happened, are absolutely certain though it was our fault. If we remember correctly things started rumbling in Cologne, it certainly got a bit messy in Cologne. And then even messier in Berlin. Although that said, and thinking a bit further, we may be able to shift some of the blame elsewhere. Or consider it all water under the bridge. Life and that. We’ll certainly always be grateful for the good times. And for all we learned.

And not only did our relationships with the state of DESIGN festival organisers change for the worse, but also within the state of DESIGN festival family relationships were negatively realigned, and after a couple of years as an independent festival state of DESIGN reorganised itself in a much more reduced form, if still with just as much ambition and desire and appetite, and ideas, as a component of a newly conceived Berlin Design Week, an event that united a trio of existing events under a unified banner. And under the guidance and leadership of part of the state of DESIGN festival family.

And while we didn’t actively avoid the new Berlin Design Week, we were at the first edition, or at least part of it, we, as we are, avoided the more commercial parts, of which there were, certainly in our memory, a great many, particularly around Bahnhof Zoo, we did stop prioritising it, did stop clearing time in our calenders for Berlin, as we’d once done. And so stopped attending without ever planning to stop. Space in our calender is very quickly filled.

And then came Covid, and not only were calenders thoroughly irrelevant but Berlin was suddenly a long, long way away. As was Berlin Design Week.

But Berlin Design Week is still there.

Which is good, not least because if there is one city that should, must, have a design week it’s Berlin. And we’re not saying that from a nostalgic viewpoint, nostalgia ain’t our bag, but from a design point of view. The two need each other.

For its 2024 edition Berlin Design Week combines, in a well established, and always pleasing, practice, a central exhibition space, this year in the Peter-Behrens-Bau in Oberschöneweide, with decentral spots around the city, and also with the showcase NEXT. Young European Design in the Kunstgewerbemuseum. But, and pleasingly, doesn’t feature the mass commerce around Bahnhof Zoo.

We’re back at Berlin Design Week 2024, again not nostalgia but genuine curiosity and hankering to see the works and projects and positions on show, and over the next few days we will bring you some of our thoughts and reflections on some of those works and projects and positions experienced, and some of our thoughts and reflections on Berlin Design Week 2024 as an event….. unless that is the organisers see us, in which case we’ll be hiding in a cupboard. JOKE!!! Will of course say hello.

And for all in or near Berlin, Berlin Design Week 2024 runs until Sunday May 5th.

Further information can be found at https://berlindesignweek.com

berlin design week 2024

More or less……

…..while 3 of the 5 have a direct connection to Bauhaus, 5 of the 5 are very much in the spirit of the attempts of inter-War architects and designers to reform architecture and design, to establish a new architecture and design for the new society, attempts in which Bauhaus played an important role.

And for those seeking escape from Dessau and Weimar, figuratively not physically, we refer you to our more general 5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for May 2019 recommendations….

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for May 2019 - Bauhaus Special

“I am happy to supply you with photos of a larger building that has recently been completed, and which, for me, is one in which I have succeeded in most clearly expressing my views on art”, wrote the German architect, designer and artist Peter Behrens in 1931, “it is the central warehouse and the associated administration building of the Gutehoffnungshütte Oberhausen, Rhineland”1

With the exhibition Peter Behrens – Art and Technology that clearest expression of Behrens’ view on art hosts an exhibition explaining how he arrived at such an expression, and the wider development of his understanding of the relationship between art and technology.

Peter Behrens - Art and Technology @ the LVR-Industriemuseum Oberhausen