As we all know, the key to reading is learning your ABC. Once you’ve learned the letters, and combined them in simple words, you can approach more complex words, then sentences, paragraphs, essays and finally let that which you read discourse with your observations and experiences to help you better develop your understandings and appreciations of the world around us and those with whom we share it. But can learning the ABC of a designer help us to better approach understandings and appreciations of their work, their relevance, their legacy? With the exhibition Wilhelm Wagenfeld A to Z the Wilhelm Wagenfeld Haus, Bremen, attempt just that, in context of an eminently interesting and informative, if at times very difficult to read, designer…….
“I assure you that you and your work are the model case for what the Bauhaus has been after” wrote Walter Gropius to Wilhelm Wagenfeld in April 1965.
Just how Wilhelm Wagenfeld developed that “model case” “after” Bauhaus is explored, at least in terms of one design genre, in that genre for which Wilhelm Wagenfeld is most popularly known as a Bauhaus model, in the exhibition Wilhelm Wagenfeld: Lamps at the Wilhelm Wagenfeld Haus Bremen.
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….
The first metaphors may, or may not, have been animal based, but materials are just as adaptable. And few are as adaptable as glass. The Glass Ceiling as the impenetrable, yet invisible boundary. The Heart of Glass as a state of extreme emotional weakness. While in most glass metaphors the focus is an inherent property of glass: transparency.
With the exhibition Welt aus Glas. Transparentes Design the Wilhelm Wagenfeld Haus Bremen abstract that metaphor to explore the link between transparency in design and architecture, and transparency in society.
With the exhibition Stapeln. Ein Prinzip der Moderne the Wilhelm Wagenfeld Haus in Bremen celebrate the complex diversity of one of design’s simplest principles …. Stacking.
Although these days talk of necessary redevelopment, renewal, reinvention and change of function in Bremen is often undertaken in context