Arising in the early 1950s from a collective, a community, who had been ardently opposed to the NSDAP, their world view and their warmongering dictatorship, the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm understood itself very much in context of the post-War re-development of society, the post-War development of a new democratic, future-resilient, society. In West Germany and further afield.
Thus it is little wonder that synthetic plastics, that material class which post-War offered, embodied, (seductively, unscrupulously) foretold, the promise of a borderless democracy, an egalitarian global society, should have been a material of experimentation and utilisation at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm.
With Plastic Material − Magic Material: Freedom and Limits of Design the HfG-Archiv, Ulm, reflect on synthetic plastics in context of the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm. And also in context of society and democracy…….
According to Germanic folklore, A cold and wet June spoils the whole year.
For farmers possibly, but not for the rest of us, as a cold, wet June is a perfect excuse to visit an architecture or design exhibition, an experience that can only enrich and enliven and invigorate the rest of the not only your year, but your life.
Our recommendations for new showcases opening in June 2023 can be found in Värnamo, Ljubljana, East Lansing, Vienna and Ulm…….
Upholstered furniture is called upholstered furniture for a reason, yet how often do we consider the upholstery rather than the furniture; or more accurately, how often do we consider the upholstery that makes furniture upholstered furniture? How often do we consider the upholstery that makes upholstered furniture such a singular genre of furniture? How often do we consider the upholstery that bequeaths upholstered furniture such a singular status?
With the exhibition Deep-seated. The Secret Art of Upholstery the Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Leipzig, invite you to do just that…….
“It was one of those March days” reflects Philip “Pip” Pirrip in Great Expectations, “when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade”.1
And thus exactly the sort of dithering, indecisive, capricious, March day when rather than surreptitiously rowing down the Thames towards Gravesend, one should seek refuge in the consistent climate and warming intellectual atmosphere of an architecture or design exhibition.
Our five Great exhibition Expectations for March 2022 can be found in Weil am Rhein, Brussels, Wolfsburg, Vienna and Ulm…….
“Exhibiting means selecting, emphasising, demonstrating as a model or an example”, wrote Klaus Wille in his 1960 Diploma thesis at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Ulm, continuing that, “the object is information. This information can be used for didactic, commercial or representative purposes. Aimed at individuals as consumers of products and ideas, the exhibition is used to educate, canvass and represent, to influence people, to get them to react in certain ways.”1
The exhibition HfG Ulm: Exhibition Fever at the Bauhaus Building, Dessau, explores how the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm not only educated, canvassed and represented through the media of exhibition design, but how they thereby contributed to the development of the practice and theory of exhibition design……
1 x rounded piece of beech, 2 x quadratic pieces of beech, 3 x quadratic pieces of spruce…
1, 2, 3… An Ulmer Hocker1
With the exhibition The Ulmer Hocker: Idea ─ Icon ─ Idol the HfG-Archiv, Ulm, help elucidate that while an Ulmer Hocker is that simple, it is a deceptive, and highly informative, simplicity…….
In days of yore October was known in Germanic lands as Weinmonat, Wine Month, Month of Wine, whereby thoughts were, unquestionably, less with the drink as with the grape and the harvest, and thus the promise of the new wine.
And in many regards our exhibition recommendations can be considered a monthly harvest of the new crop of architecture and design exhibitions; specifically, and staying in Germanic registers, an Auslese, a considered selection of those well ripened concepts and premises it is hoped will most excite an invigorate the palate both experienced and novice. Or the viewer, experienced or novice.
Our quintet of, possible, new, memorable vintages from Weinmonat 2021 can be found in Ulm, Stockholm, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Paris and Tokyo…….
Braun occupy a special, ¿unique?, position not only in the mythology of product design but also in the (hi)story of West Germany; arguably no brand is as closely related with and to West Germany as Braun.
With the exhibition Braun 100 the Bröhan-Museum, Berlin, explore the development of design at Braun in the post-War decades and in doing so help one approach differentiated understandings of not only Braun and Braun design, but also of the relationships between Braun, design and West Germany…….
According to Germanic folklore Mairegen bringt Segen, Rain in May brings blessings.
It also brings an excellent excuse to visit an architecture and/or design exhibition.
Our five recommended shelters from the showers in May 2021 can be found in Ulm, Stockholm, Baruth, Zürich and Hasselt……
In context of the exhibition Luigi Colani and Art Nouveau, the Bröhan-Museum Berlin’s staircase is emblazoned with a long quote from Colani, a long and typically outspoken quote, in which Luigi Colani denigrates the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm, that design school which has such a prominent and pre-eminent position in popular understandings of design in post-War West Germany; and who for Luigi Colani were “defrauders of the German creative spirituality of the twenties and thirties! Imbecilic criminals.”1
A quote that not only neatly epitomises the (consciously cultivated) Colani communication strategy, nor only leads one to reflect on Colani’s own relationship to inter-War design in Germany, but for all leads one by necessity to question the validity of the accusation; and thereby to reflect on the relationship(s) between the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm and the “German creative spirituality of the twenties and thirties”, and by extrapolation to reflect on post-War design in West Germany……..
The German designer and graphic artist Otl Aicher once opined, “Hans Gugelot wasn’t a theoretician. But not a practitioner either. What is one if neither a theorist nor a practitioner?”1
With the exhibition Hans Gugelot. The Architecture of Design the HfG-Archiv Ulm allows one to approach an answer…..
Back in the days of the Roman Republic Martius was the month in which troops mustered in preparation for the coming battle season, to prepare, as it were, to March into war.
Please don’t! The world’s out of control enough as it is!
Rather use the coming spring as your incentive, to (a) make up for some of those New Year’s Resolutions you’ve long forgotten you’d made and (b) to march into a future of new impulses, new understandings, new perspectives, a new world. To march into an architecture and/or design exhibition.
Our five recommendations for new showcases opening in Martius MMXX can be found in Ulm, Gent, Vienna, Kobe and Dresden…..
According to the old saying “Human spirit and the June wind often change swiftly”, and while we can undertake only little to influence the wind, a visit to an architecture or design exhibition should help strengthen, enhance, embolden and thus stabilise the human spirit. In June, or at any time of the year.
Our five recommendations for new exhibitions opening in June 2019 can be found in Ulm, Hornu, Munich, Gothenburg and Boston……
According to US gonzo journalist, Hunter S Thompson, “the human animal needs a Good Reason to get out of bed on a wretched morning in February.” 1
May we humbly suggest…….
April 2014, as every April we can ever remember, means Milanese purgatory. Apparently it is meant to cleanse the soul,
As the prevailing design ideology in post-War Germany die gute Form almost single handedly established the modern German design tradition, and