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Ulmer Hocker in Colour
Ulmer Hocker

Max Bill

Max Bill (* 1908 in Winterthur, Switzerland; † 1994 in Berlin, Germany) completed an apprenticeship as a silversmith at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich and studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau under, among others, Josef Albers, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. In 1929, he returned to Zurich where he worked as an architect, painter, graphic designer and sculpture and later as a product designer. From 1932 to 1936, Max Bill was a member of the Paris artists group "Abstraction-Création" and developed friendly contacts with Hans Arp, Piet Mondrian and Auguste Herbin. In 1936, he formulated the "Principles of Concrete Art". In 1937, he worked on a monograph of Le Corbusier and joined the "Allianz", the association of modern Swiss artists. In 1944, Bill founded the magazine "abstrakt konkret", organized an exhibition under the same name at Kunsthalle Basel and obtained a post to teach formal structures at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich. As the spiritual creator and architect of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm and then, from 1952, as the rector and head of the architecture and product design departments, Bill attempted to continue the tradition of the Bauhaus in Dessau. In 1954 he designed the Ulmer Hocker for the students at the college, one of his most famous furniture pieces. From 1967 to 1974, he held a professorship in environmental design at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg. A number of monumental sculptures are created during the 1980s. Amidst all these areas of activity, the name Max Bill is primarily associated with concrete art and environmental design. In addition, as a student of the Bauhaus and contributor of theoretical publications, Bill became one of the most important stimulators of modern-concrete art in post-war Europe.

Design classic Ulmer Hocker from Max Bill

More about 'Max Bill' in our blog

The Ulmer Hocker: Idea ─ Icon ─ Idol at the HfG-Archiv, Ulm

...The HfG Ulm: Idea - Icon - Idol - Bauhaus Arising from the Ulmer Volkshochschule, a post-War institution initiated by Inge Scholl and Otl Aicher concerned with re-establishing democratic education in Germany following the years of Nazi dictatorship, doctrine and dogma, the Hochschule für Gestaltung, HfG, Ulm formally commenced teaching in August 1953 with the Bauhäusler Max Bill as inaugural rector, and Bauhäusler such as, and diverse as, Helene Nonné-Schmidt, Walter Peterhans or Josef Albers amongst its earliest teaching staff... A primacy Max Bill was very much an adherent of, or as he opined in 1952, "designers who realise new forms are consciously or unconsciously reacting to trends in contemporary art because it is in art that the intellectual and spiritual currents of every epoch find their visible expression"...

5 New Design Exhibitions for September 2014

...Presenting projects ranging from the mundane everyday such as light switches and vegetable peelers over furniture design classics from the likes of Le Corbusier, Max Bill or Willy Guhl and on to clothing and more conceptual design, 100 Years of Swiss Design features over 800 objects, prototypes, models, sketches and advertising films and thus promises to be one of the most inclusive and wide ranging studies of the Swiss Design tradition ever undertaken...

Werkbund Berlin present lecture series "Die gute Form"

...Sullivan wrote when defining form follows function, "Where function does not change, form does not change" To all intents and purposes the phrase was first, properly, publicly, used for the photo exhibition "Die gute Form" organised by the architect and designer Max Bill in context of the 1949 Swiss Werkbund Exhibition... In 1953 Max Bill together with Otl Aicher and Inge Aicher-Scholl opened the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm, a design school based on the teaching principles of Bauhaus and which was geared towards propagating and teaching gute Form...

new at smow: Strammer Max by Max Frommeld for Moormann

...Visually reminiscent of Max Bill's classic Ulmer Hocker, Strammer Max brings that touch outdoor adventure to your kitchen, living room or bedroom...

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