News – Archive

23. July 2019
Der Käfer im Museum of Modern Art in New York beim Event Bye Bye Beetle, © Volkswagen AG
The Beetle at Bye Bye, Beetle in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, © Volkswagen AG 

Bye Bye, Beetle: The final edition

It all began 80 years ago: on 22 June 1934, Ferdinand Porsche received a contract from the Reichsverband der Deutschen Automobilindustrie (Reich Association of the German Automobile Industry) to develop a prototype for a fuel-efficient and inexpensive people’s car, as Adolf Hitler had commanded him to do the previous year. At the end of 1938, several  pilot models of the “KdF car” were produced. Following World War II, production resumed, and the KdF car became the VW Beetle – a symbol of the German economic miracle and the mobility of the post-war period. With over 21 million cars sold, the Beetle was the 20th century’s top-selling automobile worldwide. In 1998, the retro-designed “New Beetle” was introduced. This was replaced in 2011 by a model referred to simply as the “Beetle”, which drew much more heavily from the design of the original automobile. Now, production is also coming to an end for this most recent and final edition. To mark the end of the Beetle era, and to celebrate and bid farewell to this design icon, Volkswagen released two limited edition models in the United States and held an event entitled Bye Bye, Beetle at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

23. July 2019
Sharon Gauci, © Good Design Australia
Sharon Gauci, © Good Design Australia

People in design – Award: Sharon Gauci receives Women in Design Award

Amidst the ongoing discussion about the place of women in design, the 2019 Australian Good Design Awards gave out its first ever Women in Design Award, for which there were more than 60 nominations. The award was given to Sharon Gauci. In 2018, Gauci was appointed Executive Director of Industrial Design at General Motors (GM) and now heads a team of 180 creative professionals in North America, Australia, Korea, Brazil and China who are responsible for designing all of the brands produced by one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world. The jury explained that they awarded the accolade to Gauci because of her design accomplishments and, most of all, because of the stance taken by GM in appointing a female designer to such a position in the male-dominated automobile industry.

11. July 2019
Klaus Jürgen Maack © ERCO

People in Design — Obituary: Klaus Jürgen Maack Dies Aged 81

For Klaus Jürgen Maack, becoming managing director of ERCO, the company founded by his stepfather Arnold Reininghaus in 1934, was no easy task – especially at the age of 25. Yet the company Maack took over in 1963 would go on to become the world market leader, not least thanks to his approach based on the attitude “light not lights”. To this day, this has remained Maack’s motto. And it was Maack, too, who in 1974 contacted graphic designer Otl Aicher and asked him to help develop the company’s unmistakable corporate identity. Maack consistently pushed contemporary design in ERCO products, whether they were produced by the company’s own design department or in collaboration with renowned designers and architects. The same was true of the company’s modern architecture, brought to life by international architects under Maack’s leadership. Klaus Jürgen Maack was a popular adjudicator, author and speaker at business and design-related events. In Germany, he was considered an entrepreneur who took a responsible, holistic approach to promoting the development of his company, placing the central focus on design. Maack was honoured many times for his achievements. His accolades included the German Federal Award for Promoting Design (“Bundespreis Förderer des Design”). In 2003 he retired from the company’s operations. On 30 June 2019, Klaus Jürgen Maack passed away at the age of 81 in Lüdenscheid, Germany.

11. July 2019
Visual © Pia Scharler

Human by Machine: An Exhibition in Vienna

How can we make best use of the digital revolution? How can we avoid undesirable developments? What does the digital revolution mean for different areas of design? What are the theories underpinning the digital revolution and what methods already exist? The exhibition Human by Machine, which is on display in the MAK Forum in Vienna until 28 July 2019, presents a range of design projects from students and graduates of the University of Applied Arts Vienna. The projects, created in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, are the result of interpretations, interventions and objects developed by interdisciplinary teams on a wide range of topics, including the concept of design, the roles and responsibilities of designers in the 21st century, copyright versus open design, the use of new materials and technologies, the conservation of resources, and design strategies at the interface between humans and machines.

11. July 2019
Junkers F 13 © Gregor Kaluza

Junkers F 13 Relaunch

The world’s first all-metal transport aircraft, the Junkers F 13, is not only celebrating its 100th birthday in 2019 – it’s also getting a remake. The project to remake the Junkers F 13 was initiated by entrepreneur and pilot Dieter Morszeck in 2013. In 2018, Morszeck founded Junkers Flugzeugwerke AG in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Since original drawings and design plans for some parts of the Junkers F 13 no longer exist, Morszeck’s team used laser technology to obtain precise measurements of one of the few remaining original models of the aircraft. Forgotten construction methods and techniques for handling corrugated aluminium also needed to be relearned. The first complete hand-built prototype for the “new” Junkers F 13 took off on 15 September 2016 in Dübendorf. The type certification for the aircraft was awarded in 2018. A second and third model are currently in construction. The anniversary tour for the Junkers F 13 has taken the aircraft to Dessau, among other destinations, where the history of the Junkers aircraft began. Hugo Junkers (1859–1935) was a university professor, researcher, engineer and entrepreneur. Together with chief designer Otto Reuter, Junkers drew on groundbreaking research and development work to create the first passenger and transport aircraft for civilian use: the Junkers F 13. The aircraft featured a closed, heated cabin for four passengers, as well as an open, two-man cockpit. The Junkers maiden flight took place on 25 June 1919 in Dessau. On 13 September of the same year the Junkers F 13 set a new world altitude record, reaching an altitude of 6,750 metres. The F 13 remained in production until the early 1930s, with roughly 360 aircraft built in different variants. The Junkers F 13’s core design features continue to endure in the design and construction of transport aircraft to this day: the F 13’s all-metal construction was revolutionary at a time when aircraft were primarily made of wood and covered with canvas. The newly-developed duralumin alloy made the aircraft strong and weather-resistant, which made it suitable for use in subtropical climates. The F 13 used a range of different water-cooled, inline engines and, later, air-cooled radial engines.

11. July 2019
New leadership: Agnes Schmid, Lilia Glanzmann und Werner Huber (in the gallery of Mark Müller in front of Reto Bollers work „B-18.1“) © Paolo Dutto

People in Design – Personnel: Hochparterre Welcomes New Leadership

Hochparterre has always been a special company. All employees receive the same pay, they all get educational leave, and all company shares are employee-owned. But one question has always remained unanswered: What would happen if co-founder, chief editor and publisher Köbi Gantenbein were to leave? Now, with the introduction of “HP 4.0”, this question has been answered: the company has reinvented itself – all without the boss. With Gantenbein’s now very real departure from the company as chief editor, Hochparterre is now headed by a team of three: Lilia Glanzmann, Werner Huber and Agnes Schmid. But according to Gantenbein, he’s not quite finished: “I will continue writing about landscaping, the Alps and whatever else comes my way. I will continue to handle all sorts of company business. For the time being, I will retain the majority of company shares and will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors and company publisher — and I will continue to do so as long as I have my health, as long as the people at Hochparterre continue to support me, and as long as I still have the imagination and the desire to do so. I now have more time to read, time to spend in the mountains and time to play the clarinet.”  

1. July 2019
BMWi, © Cecilie Arcurs,

German Federal Ministry of Economics expands innovation funding

To date, funding for innovation from the German Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWi) has been predominantly the domain of technical projects and expert science assessors. With the newly launched Innovation Programme for Business Models and Pioneering Solutions (IGP) the BMWi has significantly expanded its funding programme, aiming specifically to include non-technical innovations such as digital business models which might also stem from the cultural and creative sectors. The goal of this programme is to remove the barriers that stand in the way of transforming an idea into a commercially viable business, supporting clever ideas, business models and design approaches. Over the next four years the German Federal Government will allocate €25 million in funding to this cause, directed at start-ups and small to medium-sized enterprises. The new funding programme is due to begin in autumn. For next year, the Ministry is planning a second campaign aimed in particular at business innovations in the cultural and creative sectors

1. July 2019
John Maeda, © Publicis Sapient

People in Design – Personnel: John Maeda at Publicis Sapient

John Maeda has long been considered one of the most creative and innovative thinkers on the digital design scene. While he was still at the MIT Media Laboratory, his work and his highly regarded publication “Laws of Simplicity” set new benchmarks for designers. After his term as President of the renowned Rhode Island School of Design, Maeda left to make his way in the business world. Initially he worked as a design partner for Kleiner+Perkins, then later as Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion at Automattic. He has also worked as a consultant and board member for Ebay, Sonos, the Smithsonian Design Museum and the Wieden + Kennedy agency. His lectures and his studies, which are freely available to the public, are the source of much discussion and are always highly regarded in the design world. John Maeda is currently Chief Experience Officer at Publicis Sapient, an agency belonging to the Publicis Group which specialises in digital business transformations. His job is to provide ongoing support for the company through his expertise in design and technology.

1. July 2019
Nitzan Cohen, © Universität Bozen

People in Design – Personnel: Nitzan Cohen, Dean in Bolzano

Nitzan Cohen grew up in Israel and completed his studies at the Dutch Design Academy in Eindhoven. He then worked for companies including Siemens and Konstantin Grcic, before starting up his own design studio in Munich in 2007. As well as doing contract work for international companies with a design focus, Cohen also engaged in teaching from an early stage. After a stint teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart, holding a professorship in Saarbrücken and appearing as a guest lecturer at the Geneva University of Art and Design, in 2015 he took over the Chair in Product Design in the Faculty of Design and Arts at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. Nitzan Cohen has now been appointed Dean of the Faculty, as successor to Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen. On his appointment, he had this to say: “Both design and art play an important role in how we design and manage our society to create a fairer, more sustainable future. In this process, the ability to make use of design and art to enable innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration is crucial.”

1. July 2019
The 65 colors of BASF Automotive Color Trends 2019-20 – ACT/9, © BASF Coatings

Automotive Color Trends 2019/20

Each year the Coatings division from BASF presents the color trends resulting from its trend analysis in its own collection of future color inspirations for vehicle surfaces in the automotive industry. For 2019/20 the Automotive Color Trends are characterised by progressive digitalisation and the associated personalisation, as well as the active participation of individuals in shaping the future. Varied color tones and saturation levels highlight an open attitude towards progress through digitalisation, color concepts for the mobility of the future convey a warmer, more accessible impression, and metallic tones reflect the increasing desire for fundamental change. The color trends are based on the varying needs and developments in the different economic zones: EMEA, Asia-Pacific and North America.

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