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German Design
Design
Design has a long tradition in Germany. At the beginning of the 20th century, Peter Behrens designed products, posters and buildings for AEG, the electrical goods firm. In 1907 the Deutscher Werkbund was founded with the purpose of promoting the “refinement of working life through the combined influence of art, industry and the craft trades”. The Bauhaus, founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 and which existed until 1933, became world famous. The same is true of the Ulm College of Design, which was founded in 1953 by Inge Aicher-Scholl, Otl Aicher and Max Bill. While it initially followed in the footsteps of the Bauhaus, it soon pursued concepts of its own and set internationally acknowledged standards for design during the 15 years of its existence and strongly influenced many prominent designers.  
 
For many years, the name Braun was closely linked, especially abroad, with the concept of German design, which combines functionality with complexity and technology. Braun design was largely defined by Dieter Rams. Other German firms set and indeed still set styles with their products: Wilkhahn in Bad Münder and Vitra in Weil am Rhein for furniture, Lamy for writing implements and Erco for luminaires.  
 
In the information age, the importance of design in creating new media is assuming an ever greater role. Apart from the aesthetic dimension while deciphering complex information, design plays an important intermediary role between IT advances and the cultural and social developments.  
 
The German Design Council advises and supplies information in matters of design to trade and industry, cultural institutions as well as the public. One of the focuses of its activities is presenting German design outside Germany. On behalf of the Federal Minister of Economics and Labor it awards the “Federal Prize for Product Design” and on alternate years the “Federal Prize for Design Promotion”.  
 
In addition to the German Design Council there are a range of other design institutions in Germany. Among the most important are the International Design Center (IDZ) in Berlin, the “designcenter” in Stuttgart, and the Essen-based Design Zentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen.  
 
The interests of designers vis-à-vis the political sector and the public are represented by the German Designer Forum, which among other things constitutes the Design section of the German Arts Council, the umbrella organization of the federal arts associations.


New minimalism

Contemporary German furniture design, but also contemporary international furniture design in general, appears to be influenced by a new minimalism, which characterises the work of designers such as Axel Kufus (born in 1958), Hauke Murken (born in 1963), Vogt + Weizzenegger (Oliver Vogt, born in 1966 and Hermann Weizenegger, born in 1963) and Jakob Gebert (born in 1965). The decisive factor here is not objective reduction, however, but the sounding out of the qualities of the materials and their inherent creative, functional and technical possibilities.

The intelligent use of new materials and technologies leads to innovative results, for example, gel furniture (1998) by Werner Aisslinger (born in 1964). Precisely for this reason, the creative range in Germany is wide, as is illustrated by comparing the furniture designs of an industrial designer like Christoph Böninger (born in 1957) with those of the furniture-maker Hubert Matthias Sanktjohanser (born in 1960), but also by comparing the work of Thorsten Franck (born in 1970), Sven-Anwar Bibi (born in 1971) and Kay Thoss (born in 1962).

Today, in a networked world, it is paradoxical to speak of exclusively German furniture design. Local or regional design has become practically non-existent, and the distinctions are becoming increasingly blurred. German designers are trained in London and draft designs for Italian companies; German companies produce prototypes by English designers … the list could be extended indefinitely. Time and again, however, differences may be discerned. Italian design, which indulges in forms and colours, differs from German furniture designers’ rather more ascetic, "dryer" designs, with their sometimes complex functionality.

Dr Josef Strasser



Communicative Design


Communication design is intended to make life easier and more humane and to raise an awareness of humanitarian issues, counteracting the tendency towards isolation through media networking. After all, "today it is easier to send an email halfway around the world than to speak to one's neighbour".

communacative design

For Anna Berkenbusch communication design is linked to ethical standards, for the profession has the possibility to mould and manipulate consciousness. Design of the form only begins once the subject has been completely understood and once one can identify oneself with the fundamental idea of the project. As for example in the design of a series of posters for sound installations by artists like Eller, Öldorp, Kuhn and Auinger in buildings on the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin that have not yet been rented out. Here, designing the artwork meant converting the work of the artist graphically, without a concrete piece of work as a starting point. In the first instance this required studying the works of the artists very closely. Conforming to the description of the artistic concepts, Ms Berkenbusch then planned an appropriate graphic design for the room in question portraying analogies to elements of the work such as light, metal, glass, water, sound, grass, fire, combustion, heat, etc.

www.annabdesign.de




Hans Peter Steiger

German design, designer Hans peter steigar

As a furniture maker, I feel a responsibility to ensure my products do not adversely affect the environment with any unnecessary energy and material consumption. I compare the implementation possibilities, narrow them down and consider the relevant elements involved.

www.hanspetersteiger.com




Industrial Design
Konstantin Grcic
industial design

Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (KGID) was founded in 1991. The office specializes in various fields of design ranging from furniture and industrial products to exhibition design and architecture related work.

www.konstantin-grcic.com


COR Design

Sofa design
The upholstered furniture system consists of sofas in a variety of sizes, with armchairs and without armrests, as well as stools and coffee corner elements. Clear contours, accentuated through colours or materials, enliven the tranquil design of its surfaces. Clear Contours, accentuated through colors or materials, enliven the tranquil design of its surfaces.

www.cor.de










Design Museums

Badisches Landesmuseum (Museum beim Markt), Karlsruhe   deutschenglishfrançais

Applied art from 1900 to the present. 1600 m2 of floor space. Distinguished Art Nouveau collection.

Bauhaus Archiv, Museum of Design, Berlin   deutschenglish

History and impact of the Bauhaus (1913-1933), one of the most important schools for architecture, art and design in the 20th century. Extensive collection focusing on the history of the school and all aspects of its work.

Bauhaus Dessau (Foundation Bauhaus Dessau)   deutschenglish

Aims to preserve the historical legacy of the Bauhaus and communicate it to the wider public. Also sets out to contribute actively to solving the design problems of today’s living environment.
 [Foundation Bauhaus Dessau]

Bauhaus Museum (Foundation Weimarer Klassik and Kunstsammlungen) Weimar   deutschenglish

One of the world’s largest Bauhaus collections. Ca. 500 permanent exhibits offering an insight into art and its teaching during the Weimar period (1919-1925).

Bröhan-Museum, State Museum, Berlin   deutschenglishfrançais

International specialist and period museum for Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Functionalism (1889-1939).

Die Neue Sammlung, Munich, Nürnberg, Weiden   deutschenglish

International collection covering the period from 1900 to the present day.One of the world’s leading museums for 20th century applied art, with c. 45 000 exhibits from the fields of industrial design, graphic design, photography and the crafts. Subsidiary museums in Nuremberg and Weiden.

Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg   deutschenglish

Extensive collections of textiles, jewellery, applied arts and design.

Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin   deutschenglish

Large collection focusing on European crafts. Two exhibition spaces: the Kulturforum and the Köpenick palace. Collection traces the historical development of crafts from the middle ages to the present.

Kunstgewerbemuseum, (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), Dresden   deutschenglish

Covers the history of crafts through to modern industrial design. Specializes in Art Nouveau from Dresden and machine-made furniture from the Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau (German Workshops in Hellerau).

Museum August Kestner   deutsch

Includes collection dedicated to design, showing European handicraft objects from the middle ages to the present.

Museum der Dinge, Werkbundarchiv, Berlin   deutsch

Deutscher Werkbund (German Association of Crafts). Permanent collections and temporary exhibitions on the Werkbund and its influence on other developments in the arts.

Museum for Applied Art, Cologne   deutschenglish

Art from the middle ages to the present, plus a distinguished collection dedicated to design since 1900.

Museum for Applied Art, Frankfurt am Main   deutschenglish

Over 30 000 exhibits including East Asian art, Islamic and European art, book arts, crafts and graphic art from the middle ages to the present.

Museum für angewandte Kunst (Grassimuseum), Leipzig   deutschenglishespañolfrançais

European and international crafts from early times to the present-day. Collection focuses on crafts from the 1920s and 1930s and on ceramics from the second half of the 20th century.

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (Museum of Art and Handicrafts Hamburg)   deutschenglish

The collection Fashion and Textiles (Mode und Textil) encompasses around 60,000 objects, from archeological grave finds from ancient Egypt to pieces by Yves Saint Laurent, Wolfgang Joop, Issey Miyake; and pieces from the museum’s comprehensive collection of textiles and embroidery; temporary exhibitions.

museum kunst palast, Düsseldorf   deutschenglish

European painting and sculpture from the middle ages to the present, with a collection dedicated to graphic design and an extensive collection of crafts, including glass work and 20th art and design.

Neues Museum: Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design, Nuremberg   deutsch

International museum for contemporary art focusing on design (exhibits on loan from the State Museum of Applied Art in Munich) and international contemporary art.

PAN Kunstforum Niederrhein, Art and Design Museum, Emmerich   deutschenglishnederlands

Interdisciplinary approach. Focus on poster art, as well as on painting, sculpture, installation art, video art, new media and performance art.

red dot Design Museum im Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, Essen   deutschenglish

4000 m2 of floor space, featuring winning products of the ’red dot’ design award.

Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein   deutschenglish

Private cultural organization active throughout the world. The museum promotes and conducts research into design in all its guises, focusing on furniture and interior design. With archives and a specialist library. Its Berlin branch is currently closed and is expected to reopen in 2006.



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Facts about Germany

The Goethe-Institut Germany’s cultural institution operational worldwide.
www.goethe.de/enindex.htm

Bauhaus links
www.bauhaus.de
www.bauhaus-dessau.de

The Master of Architecture Course.
http://lehre.afg.hs-anhalt.de/dia/

www.german-design-council.de

red-dot.org
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