News

22. January 2020
© frog design

frog design publishes its Trend Guide 2020

The 2020 trend guide from frog design is available for download – just in time for the new year. In this report the design company takes a look not only at the year immediately ahead of us, but also at the decade to come. Under the catchphrase Age of the Senses, it has identified six trends in which design must and will play a decisive role. Among other observations, it establishes a certain scepticism regarding technological utopias. The promise of a better life through technology no longer seems as credible as it once did. In 2020, “the currency of trust” will become more valuable than ever before. At the same time, technologies such as AI and VR, once considered science fiction, will become the norm. In the retail sector the report anticipates a new aesthetic future, based on brands, for a world increasingly characterised by digital and physical design. Much more attention will be given to healthcare systems, in the form of tools designed to change our behaviour and reduce costs. And our planet – and therefore our living environment – will be at the heart of a people-centred design approach that actually takes steps towards sustainability, laying the foundations for an economy based on preserving the planet. Last but not least, the world of work is to shed its traditional limitations. The nature of work will improve, with implications not only for those doing the work, but also for how it will be done and who it will be done for.


22. January 2020
Tistan Kobler und Barbara Holzer, Still aus Kunst hoch 2, © 3sat

Barbara Holzer and Tristan Kobler. Documentary film

Holzer Kobler Architekturen specialises in scenography and design, urban planning and architecture. The former couple has been building up this international, award-winning architecture firm, based in Zurich and Berlin, since 2004. Barbara Holzer and Tristan Kobler have never been interested in developing an instantly recognisable signature design language. Instead, their work focuses on new ideas and design approaches that generate added value for society. On a personal level, living environments are of no interest to Tristan Kobler whatsoever. He says he could happily live in a locker.

Barbara Holzer, on the other hand, feels her own home to be of such importance that she built it right next to the office in Zurich, to bring her life and work closer together. The TV station 3sat presents these two creative minds in a 45-minute documentary as part of the Kunst hoch 2 series, which will be available in 3sat’s media library until November 2020.


22. January 2020
Cool white color „Lunar Regularis” der Automotive Color Trends 2019-20 der BASF, © BASF

Trend: white remains the most popular colour for automobiles

BASF’s Coatings division is an international leader in automotive paints. But its expertise isn’t limited to identifying colour trends – it also analyses how colours are chosen in markets around the world. As the results from the BASF Color Report 2019 show, white was once again the most popular car colour in 2019. Whether driven on American freeways, the motorways in Europe or the expressways in China, about 39 percent of all new vehicles produced worldwide are painted white. Differences can be noted in the regional distribution. In Asia-Pacific almost one in every two cars is white, compared with just one in every three in North America and the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). The next most popular colours are black, grey and silver, with the same combined total of 39 percent. This trend is also evident in the SUV market. By contrast, small, compact vehicles are often painted in more colourful shades.


22. January 2020
Ulrich Klenke, © Deutsche Telekom

Ulrich Klenke, Chief Brand Officer at Deutsche Telekom

For several years now, Deutsche Telekom has consistently been among the top companies in Germany in terms of brand values and brand awareness. Hans-Christian Schwingen, who has made a major impact on Telekom’s powerful branding campaign over the past 12 years as its Chief Brand Officer, is leaving the company in spring 2020. He will be succeeded by Ulrich Klenke, who in the past has placed his expertise in brand management and communication at the service of Daimler and Deutsche Bahn, as well as advising Volkswagen. He will head the Deutsche Telekom brand starting from April 2020.


16. January 2020
Future through innovation, © BMBF

Structural change through research and innovation. Three support programmes

Three support programmes developed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research are intended to expedite regional structural change through research and innovation. The WIR programme, which in German stands for “change through innovation in the regions”, promotes the creation of broad-ranging alliances for innovation, and includes regions which previously had little contact with research and innovation. The intention is to bring the broadest possible range of players together to support strategic approaches to research, development and innovation. Whilst the initial round was directed solely at developing alliances in the East, the second round of funding will be open to all German regions with structural weaknesses. Up to the present time the projects have ranged from industry automation and additive manufacturing through to innovative rail technology. The Ministry of Education and Research has put aside up to EUR 250 million to allocate to this programme.

“RUBIN”, which stands for “regional corporate alliances for innovation”, is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness and innovative capacity of small and medium-sized companies in particular, as well as strengthening the focus on innovation and practical applications at universities and research institutions. To achieve this, support will be given to regional alliances that are focused on applications – with no restrictions on the subject area. The programme will provide support to seven to fifteen partnerships, with a total of EUR 5 to 12 million to finance a concept phase lasting for up to seven months, followed by a three-year implementation phase.  The third programme, “REGION.innovativ”, is aimed at existing regional alliances, networks or clusters of predominantly small and medium-sized companies. The plan is to encourage these companies to develop and implement new subject areas and tools for the advancement of research, innovation and education. The programmes complement each other and are open to applicants from all regions of Germany that have structural weaknesses. These include, for example, the coastal regions of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, parts of the Ruhr and Saarland, the border regions of eastern Bavaria and the eastern German federal states.


16. January 2020
Poster from the exhibition,
© Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen

Flying links the world. Exhibition in Friedrichshafen

In 1919, both an airplane and an airship succeeded in crossing the Atlantic non-stop at almost the same time. The outcome of this head-to-head competition between the two flying machines and the consequences that ensued for our mobility are well known. The airplane won the day, and became the future. Following this, civil aviation developed at break-neck speed. The airplane became a means of transporting everyone to almost anywhere in the world, at high speed and in comfort. However, the history of the crossing of the Atlantic by air is not only a story of making transport faster – it is also a story of connecting people and places, a story of communication and cultural and economic exchange. It enabled areas of political influence and markets for goods and services to be opened up, and defended. The exhibition Vernetzung der Welt. Pionierfahrten und Luftverkehr über den Atlantik” (Connecting the world, pioneering flights and air traffic across the Atlantic) (open until 3 May 2020) at the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen illustrates the further development of transatlantic travel as we know it today. But, as flying is extravagant in terms of energy and constitutes an increasing burden on the environment, the exhibition also puts the achievements of logistics up for discussion.


16. January 2020
Richard Sapper, „Static”, © Lorenz

Re-release of the Static table clock by Richard Sapper

Designer Richard Sapper (1932-2015) had just relocated to Milan, where he started working at the architect Gio Ponti’s office before then moving to the design department of the prestigious department store La Rinascente. In 1959, Sapper began working with Italian architect and designer Marco Zanuso as a consultant for the electrical company Brionvega. Sapper received his first personal commission from the Milan-based timepiece Lorenz, which led him to design the table clock “Static”. The clock, which has the amusing statics of a roly-poly toy, swiftly rolled out the carpet to Sapper’s first Compasso d’Oro in 1960. After countless years of requests, Sapper’s table clock is now back in production at Lorenz using new technology. It is available in red, white or black, as well as brushed or polished in steel, gold or burnished. The “Static” is packaged in an elegant leather case.


16. January 2020
Gottfried Böhm: Pilgrimage Church „Maria, Königin des Friedens“, Neviges / 1963 – 68, © DAM, Picture: Steffen Kunkel, 2015

Gottfried Böhm on his 100th birthday. An exhibition in Frankfurt am Main

Gottfried Böhm celebrates his 100th birthday on 23 January 2020. From 18 January to 26 April 2020, the German Architecture Museum DAM in Frankfurt am Main will celebrate the anniversary that saw the first German architect awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 1986 with a concentrated exhibition entitled Böhm 100: The Concrete Cathedral of Neviges, dedicated to the pilgrimage church, one of his most famous designs. Commissioned by Franciscan monks as the second largest church in the Archdiocese of Cologne, the Concrete Cathedral was built between 1963 and 1968. The folded roof is currently being renovated with an innovative textile-reinforced concrete layer. In 2005 and 2006, the German Architecture Museum held major exhibitions on the works of Gottfried Böhm and his father Dominikus Böhm. Now, new archive material from the time the pilgrimage church was built are on display, combined with a view of the future. The show includes an extensive series of lectures that brings together, among other things, Böhm’s three architect sons and provides insights into the technique of concrete restoration. The film “Die Böhms – Architektur einer Familie” (The Böhms – Architecture of a Family) will also be shown.


16. January 2020
Nina Sieverding and Anton Rahlwes, © form

Together, Anton Rahlwes and Nina Sieverding have taken over the role of editor-in-chief at form

Anton Rahlwes and Nina Sieverding replaced Stephan Ott as joint editors-in-chief of the design magazine form at the beginning of 2020. As editor-in-chief since 2012, Stephan Ott has been instrumental in shaping the magazine, which was founded under the original title “Internationale Revue” by Jupp Ernst, Willem Sandberg, Curt Schweicher and Wilhelm Wagenfeld in 1957. Under Ott’s leadership and as a result of his high journalistic standards, the design magazine has become a reference publication for design issues and reports on developments in the fields of product, industrial, communication and fashion design, not to mention design theory. Before becoming chief editor of form, Ott headed the press and public relations department at the German Design Council from 1999 to 2012 and was most recently responsible for its communication strategy and concept, as well as the editorial department. Peter Wesner, publisher of form since 2012, had this to say: “Stephan Ott is leaving us to pursue a stronger focus on the connection between design theory and practice. I would like to thank him for his consistently faithful collaboration and I wish him every success for the future. I certainly hope that Stephan will continue to maintain his ties with us, as he is such an expert on form.” Anton Rahlwes and Nina Sieverding had already been members of the editorial team for some time. Trained at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, designer Anton Rahlwes is co-founder of the Berlin furniture label OUT –  Objekte unserer Tage (Objects of Our Time), for which he created the visual image of the brand, designed the furniture and trade fair appearances, and much more. During her design studies in Braunschweig and Bremen, Nina Sieverding carried out internships at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and the graphic design department of Zeit Campus magazine. She worked as a writer and graphic designer for the Braunschweiger Zeitung newspaper publishing house, the Typo Berlin design conference and the event promoter Berliner Festspiele.


7. January 2020
Prof. Dr. Norbert Palz, © Foto: Daniel.Nartschick

New President of the Berlin University of the Arts

Prof. Dr. Norbert Palz, who teaches digital and experimental design in the Department of Architecture at the university’s Faculty of Design and has held the office of the First Vice-President since 2018, has been elected as the new President for five years by the extended Academic Senate of the Berlin University of the Arts. Palz will be replacing Prof. Martin Rennert, whose current term ends on 9 January 2020. “I look forward to working at a 21st century artistic university together with all the faculties, cross-campus centres and the Central Institute for Continuing Education, whilst being respectful of their traditions and cultures; but always with the aim of strengthening the importance of the arts in society,” said Palz regarding the election. Norbert Palz, born in Zweibrücken in 1970, teaches and researches in the context of art, architecture and technology. He worked at UN Studio in Amsterdam and NOX Architects in Rotterdam. Together with Robert Banovic, he founded the office for architecture and art production TARGADESIGN in 2003; he focused on digital design and manufacturing processes in art projects for clients such as Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Demand and Monica Bonvicini. He is also a member of the DFG network “Adaptive Armierung geometrisch komplexer zementgebundener Formkörper” (Adaptive reinforcement of geometrically complex cement-bound moulds) and a member of the newly founded interdisciplinary working group “Additive Fabrikation” (Additive Manufacturing).


7. January 2020
Volkswagen ID3, © Volkswagen

Volkswagen has introduced the sound design for the ID.3

Electric vehicles can barely be heard, especially at low speeds, which is why they pose an increased risk of accidents, particularly for pedestrians. That is why, as from July 2019, all newly registered electric vehicles in the EU have to generate an artificial driving sound when travelling at speeds of up to 30 km/h in order to alert other road users of their presence. This opens up a rare opportunity for manufacturers to develop a unique brand-specific sound image. “The sound,” explains Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design, “gives the electric vehicle its own voice, which we can design ourselves completely independently of mechanical noises.” Volkswagen has taken advantage of this opportunity and given the ID.3 model planned for 2020 its very own sound, which is emitted as the vehicle begins to move, when travelling at speeds up to 30 km/h and when reversing. According to Bischoff, e-vehicles have the opportunity to “reinterpret tranquillity”, which is why a completely new digital sound has been created for the interior. In the future, the driver will be greeted with an acoustic signal after getting into the ID.3, as if the car were saying: “Hello, I’m ready, let’s go.” The acoustic signal is also combined with a light pulse. The sound was developed together with composer and music producer Leslie Mandoki, who is known to a wider audience mainly as a former member of the pop band Genghis Khan, and who has worked with Audi and Mercedes in the past. “An electric vehicle’s sound defines its identity. The sound should be confident and likeable. It can have a futuristic sound and must also impress with its unique character,” explains Dr. Frank Welsch, Chief Development Officer of the Volkswagen brand.


7. January 2020
With 5G, all production and sensor data can be stored in a digital twin containing the complete production history. © Ericsson

Industrial research network in Aachen for the 5G mobile telecommunications generation

Together with its project partners, the Machine Tool Laboratory (WZL) and the Research Institute for Rationalisation (FIR) at RWTH Aachen University, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT will oversee the development and testing of applications and solutions for networked production using the new mobile telecommunications standard. The Swedish mobile network supplier Ericsson has been selected as the partner for setting up and developing the required 5G infrastructure. At the 5G-Industry Campus Europe, seven sub-projects will be used to examine different application scenarios – from 5G sensors for monitoring and controlling highly complex manufacturing processes to mobile robotics and logistics and multi-site production chains. In addition, the Aachen-based scientists want to test the use of modern edge cloud systems for fast data processing in order to exploit the potential of 5G in networked, adaptive production. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) will be providing the consortium coordinated by the IPT with funding of almost 6.2 million euros over the next three years for the development of the research network on the Melaten campus. To ensure the results are transferable to real-world conditions, the 5G network will be set up to operate within the frequency band intended for industrial plants of 3.5 to 3.8 GHz – the upper 5G spectrum that was not auctioned at the 5G auction in June 2019, but reserved for so-called campus networks. According to the scientific project manager Niels König of the Fraunhofer IPT, the research will provide manufacturing companies with important insights into the technical possibilities and application potential of 5G.


7. January 2020
Gruppe Pentagon, Café „Casino“, documenta 8, 1987, © Picture: Bernhard Schaub

Pentagon: Design or not? Exhibition in Cologne

The Gruppe Pentagon (the Pentagon Group), founded in1985, was a fundamental part of the Neues deutsches Design (New German Design) movement of the 1980s and 1990s, which is now recognised as a truly innovative development in design history. The thinking was postmodern; the aim was to revolutionise the functional understanding of design, and to build a bridge to music and art. In order to be recognised as the complete opposite of then-current design solutions, Pentagon’s furniture designs and interior solutions appeared to be deliberately harsh, sometimes even brutal. Their preferred materials were steel and plexiglass, which they combined with stone, rubber or leather, and also with items used in every-day life. In 1987 the group was invited to participate in the documenta 8 exhibition, for which they designed and furnished the legendary Café Casino. When New German Design was superseded by other approaches to design, Gerd Arens, Wolfgang Laubersheimer, Detlef Meyer-Voggenreiter, Reinhard Müller and Ralph Sommer looked for new challenges elsewhere. To coincide with the imm Cologne trade fair and Passagen Interior Design Week, the MAKK is exhibiting the first ever retrospective for the group, under the title Design Gruppe Pentagon” – on display from 13 January to 26 April. This exhibition places furniture and objects, and also the Group’s approach to design, in the context of their time, and takes a look at their subsequent influence.


19. December 2019
“Multi-Local” trend at Heimtextil: Överallt collection by Laduma Ngxokolo & Michael Axelsson in conjunction with Ikea, © Courtesy Ikea

Trade show marathon in January

The end of the year can be a turbulent time for some industries as they prepare for the first important trade shows of the year to begin in January. Here’s a brief overview to help you plan for the start of 2020: right at the start of the year, from 7 to 10 January 2020, the trade show Heimtextil is set to take place once again in Frankfurt. This is the event’s 50th edition, so celebration is more than in order. For the occasion, the trade show will present a special exhibition looking back on the last 50 years of design within the context of each era. The event will also showcase the latest trends of 2020, alongside a programme packed with special topics and events which will offer guests and exhibitors the opportunity to talk and exchange ideas, as well as providing information on issues such as sustainability, innovation and technology. 
Then, from 10 to 13 January, Domotex, an important event for architects, interior designers and designers, will open its doors to visitors in Hanover. This trade show will showcase the entire world of floor coverings, the latest exhibitor products, and will also feature a long list of special events on topics such as acoustics, sustainability, interior atmosphere and quality of life. 
Right after this, the year’s first major furniture and furnishing trade show, imm cologne, is set to get under way in Cologne from 13 to 19 January. Here too visitors can expect to see many new products as well as an extensive supporting programme with special exhibitions, presentations, talks and, lest we forget, Passagen, a diverse offering of exhibitions, installations and events in the city of Cologne, which runs during the imm.
Finally, in Paris from 17 to 21 January, we have Maison&Objet, which, under its 2020 theme “(Re)Generation!”, will focus on the shifting habits of young consumers. 


19. December 2019
Dutch Digital Design website

Dutch Digital Design. A new platform

We know that the Dutch are talented graphic and communications designers. We also know that the Dutch are a laid-back people. And it was under these not-so-insignificant conditions that the Dutch Digital Design collective was founded in the Netherlands for the sole purpose of creating a shared platform for showcasing the qualities of its participating designers and agencies. The platform is intended to be a place where designers can present solutions from the field of digital design in order to generate visibility for themselves and one another. The new portal also offers a growing number of articles from the field of digital design as well as from the entire industry. All without having to deal with the usual competitors – simply laid-back.


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