21. November 2019
ecoLogicStudio, H.O.R.T.U.S. XL Astaxanthin.g, 2019, © NAARO

AI Artificial Intelligence: Exhibition and film series

Right now the subject of Artificial Intelligence, or AI for short, is omnipresent. And the discussion isn’t limited to the effects that increased digitalisation will have on our everyday lives. Given that AI will also bring change to a wide variety of disciplines, these too must respond accordingly. Will AI actually make many of our decisions for us in the near future? And what does that mean for our identity, for art and architecture? Up until 29 March 2020, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo will be presenting the exhibition Future of the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life – How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow focused on the transformation of art, architecture and design that can be expected to result from the use of AI. The concept of the exhibition is based on five aspects, grouped in different sections: “New Possibilities of Cities”, “Towards Neo-Metabolism Architecture”, “Lifestyle and Design Innovations”, “Human Augmentation and Its Ethical Issues” and “Society and Humans in Transformation”. Through the multi-part film series “In the Age of AI”, the US programme Frontline, which is known for its investigative and enlightening journalism, and PBS Public Broadcasting Services are also attempting to shed light on the controversial interests and consequences associated with the use of artificial intelligence.

21. November 2019
Jaguar E-Type, 1960, Photo: Duffy Archive, © Victoria & Albert Museum

Cars. Exhibition in London

Since its invention and at the latest with its mass production and distribution, the car has gone on to accelerate the lifestyles of people in industrialised countries, becoming the central product of a general mobilisation. In the process, it has changed much more than just the way we travel. Independence, mobility, modernity and the expression of an urban way of life are just a few of the buzzwords. The role of the automobile in a global society is now the subject of heated debate. The car is the subject of intense criticism. It has to change, not just in terms of its climate-damaging emissions. The exhibition Cars: Accelerating the Modern World at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, on display from 24 November 2019 to 19 April 2020, aims to illustrate the changes and effects that the constant innovations in the automotive industry have had and will continue to have on our everyday lives, our lifestyles and the entire product world. The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of talks, lectures and workshops.

21. November 2019
Anton Stankowski, “house numbers for individualists”, Photo: City of Gelsenkirchen

Anton Stankowski. House numbers for individualists

As well as being a famous son of the city of Gelsenkirchen, the photographer, painter, and graphic artist Anton Stankowski (1906 until 1998) is also considered one of the founders of modern graphic design, having created a number of pioneering designs, the most prominent being Viessmann’s CI and the Deutsche Bank logo. In 1976, Stankowski also designed house numbers that were produced and distributed by Silit until the end of the 1990s. The house numbers were small graphic works of art in a 30 x 30 cm format, multicoloured and executed in the style of his minimalist constructive painting. Now the city of Gelsenkirchen has announced that it is reissuing these house numbers for individualists.Gelsenkirchen designer, Uwe Gelesch, has reconstructed and slightly revised Stankowski’s number series on the basis of original sketches and promotional material. The numbers are handmade in enamel by a South German manufacturer and are available right now. The Gelsenkirchen Art Museum is presenting two exhibitions: Zahlenspiel – Ziffern von Anton Stankowski (Number Play – Numbers by Anton Stankowski) will be on display until 15 December 2019, and the exhibition Diagonal im Schaufenster (Featuring the Diagonal Line) will be open until 3 February 2020.

21. November 2019
Rocco Iannone – Ferrari

People in design: Rocco Iannone joins Ferrari

Rocco Iannone was appointed creative director for brand diversification at Ferrari in early November. The 35-year-old fashion designer, trained in Italy, has already gained experience with Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and, most recently, Pal Zileri. Brand diversification is the division of Ferrari responsible for developing non-automotive products, including men’s and women’s apparel and accessories.

21. November 2019
Xu Xuecheng , Photo: Li Zhiqian

People in design: Typographer Xu Xuecheng has passed away

The very nature of Chinese characters makes them a challenge for Westerners. The sheer number of different characters is so large that throughout history there have been repeated efforts to reduce and simplify them. To enable Chinese people to communicate with each other more effectively, the plan was to create a standardised canon of characters which would be manageable for everyone. One of the typographers who was instrumental in driving this development was Xu Xuecheng, born in 1928. He started out as a designer in a publishing house before moving to the Shanghai Printing Technology Research Institute in 1960, where his core work involved typographic simplification and character reduction. Xu Xuecheng rose to this challenge, developing several fonts, including Hiti and Songti, which are common on most computers throughout China. This pioneer of Chinese typography died on 1 November 2019.

13. November 2019
Herbert Bayer, Poster Divisumma, 1953, for Olivetti, © Collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Herbert Bayer: Graphic designer. Exhibition in New York

Herbert Bayer (1900 – 1985) is regarded as one of the most significant graphic designers, typographers and exhibition architects of the 20th century. His work at Bauhaus – as a student and teacher – but also his lifelong commitment to the Bauhaus concept, have contributed to making him one of the central figures in modernism. Bayer emigrated to the United States in 1937 and was able to establish a strong presence there and successfully continue his work, including work with international companies. This led to him becoming an important representative of modern graphic design and typeface design in the United States as well. With the exhibition Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York is dedicating a large solo show to Bayer, which also includes his designs for the National Socialists from the 1930s. In 1946 Bayer also began working as an architect. He collaborated with Fritz Benedict and later Harry Ellenzweig to design the central buildings of the Aspen Institute in the American state of Colorado. His ingenious design for the historical buildings and the Institute’s grounds will be honoured next year with the completion of the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies.

13. November 2019
Hussein Chalayan, © HTW Berlin/Alexander Rentsch

People in design: Hussein Chalayan becomes Professor at the HTW Berlin

Time and again, his fashion, his idea of clothing, his shows, his exhibitions and his communication of his own designs and ideas attract considerable attention – and not only in the fashion industry. Hussein Chalayan, who was born in Nicosia in 1970, is not only a fashion designer, conceptual artist and entrepreneur with high intellectual standards, he also ranks among the avant-garde of his profession. With a degree from Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London, attained in 1993, Chalayan’s designs and shows not only tackle and illustrate the impact that culture has on materials and technologies, but also the political aspects of fashion. Chalayan has been appointed professor of fashion design at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences (HTW Berlin) for the winter semester 2019/20. There, he will teach design fundamentals and processes, using applied interdisciplinary research and practice-oriented international cooperation projects to move the subject in a new direction.

13. November 2019
Steven und William Ladd, Scroll Space, 2019, © Dallas Museum of Art, Photo: John Smith

Speechless communication. An exhibition in Dallas

Communication is certainly one of the most commonly used terms of our time. Coping with the challenges of everyday life without constant communication seems almost impossible in this day and age. In the 1960s, Paul Watzlawik remarked: “One cannot not communicate, because every form of communication (not only with words) is behaviour, and just as one cannot not behave, one cannot not communicate”. Today, new technologies and devices have revolutionised communication – both between people and between people and machines – and have redefined the meaning of communication and how it is used. The exhibition speechless: different by design, on display at the Dallas Museum of Art until 8 March 2020, focuses on how creative processes and solutions are changing communication and opening up new areas beyond verbal communication. And at the same time it also explores the origins of human communication and its design. A few weeks ago we wrote about “Gestures”, an exhibition hosted by the Museum for Communication in Frankfurt am Main which is also dedicated to the topic of non-verbal communication.

13. November 2019

Reading as a form of cultural technology: A conference in Münster

Proclaiming the death of the printed word has long since become commonplace. While much of the world’s knowledge is still available in printed form and large numbers of printed books, newspapers and magazines still enjoy large readerships, digital devices and formats are forever changing the way people read. At the same time, other forms of media such as podcasts are also becoming increasingly popular. What new roles can print adopt in times of digitalisation? What ideas and possibilities are there in digital reading and how does it change our reading behaviour? How can reading hold its own against other cultural technologies such as playing, listening and watching? And what can designers do to make both analogue and digital reading a pleasure? Experts from various fields of visual communication will discuss this topic at the conference The Future of Reading at Münster University of Applied Sciences on 22 November 2019.

13. November 2019
Wolfgang Rieder

People in design: Wolfgang Rieder appointed Loeb Fellow at Harvard

The Austrian Rieder Group has cooperated with architects, designers and artists for many years in the application and further development of its glass fibre concrete. The company also promotes the sustainable development of concrete as a product. This commitment has resulted in the appointment of Wolfgang Rieder, Managing Director of the Rieder Group, as Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University of Design. Rieder is the first producer to receive this honour. In keeping with the direction of his own company, Rieder wants to use his new position at Harvard to illuminate the current research discourse in the relationship between manufacturing industry and architects and to emphasise the shared responsibility for sustainable construction.

7. November 2019
„Dolosal“ by David Rieche, © David Rieche

Innovative products from emerging designers. The Mia Seeger Prize 2019

The Mia Seeger Prize – with its 2019 slogan “Was mehr als einem nützt” (“Benefiting more than just one person”) – has been supporting innovative work by emerging designers for many years. And now the winners for 2019 have been named. Again this year, all of the projects aim to provide solutions that are a direct response to people – improving their everyday lives or solving their pressing problems. This applies equally for the less prominent areas of design, which are by no means less important. For example, it is worth noting that the Mia Seeger Prize also hosts projects from the lesser known field of medical design. This year two prizes, each worth 3000 euros, were awarded to David Rieche from the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design in Kiel for his “Dolosal” project, a non-invasive tool for people with borderline personality disorders; and to Nils Körner and Patrick Henry Nagel from the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design for “The One Dollar Glasses”, a set of tools and materials for producing low-cost glasses in developing countries. Though all of the nominated projects are worth a look – including a “Food Safety Station”, and a directional microphone with an app to support hearing. The Mia Seeger Prize is sponsored by the German Design Council.

7. November 2019
Futurecraft, Adidas shoe with 3D printed sole, Carbon Inc., Formnext 2018, © Messago/Mathias Kutt

New materials and production processes. Trade fair in Frankfurt am Main

It’s not enough just to have innovative ideas and to design innovative products – it has to be possible to manufacture these products using efficient and sustainable production processes as well. As these days trade fairs are not merely a showcase for new products, but also a setting for intensive exchange with industry experts, attending the formnext trade fair is a must for designers. International providers will be presenting their latest solutions in the field of additive manufacturing in Frankfurt am Main from 19 to 22 November. These include design and software solutions, as well as materials, process flows, and research and development. Visitors will be treated to demonstrations of industrial applications, as well as a wide range of platforms and forums with experts providing information on innovative machines, products and services, and the future potential of additive manufacturing for construction and architecture.

7. November 2019
“Breuninger” shopping bag from around 1968, polyethylene, multicolour printing, design by or in the style of Joseph Albers, © Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart

The plastic bag. A swansong exhibition

Is the plastic bag a cultural artefact, or the cause a rubbish problem? There was a time when the plastic bag – the means of conveying our precious purchases from shop to home – was seen as the positive expression of a prosperous consumer culture. No matter what the purchase, whether everyday household items, a special bargain or expensive luxury goods – everything went into a plastic bag, without a second thought. The plastic bag also served as an advertising space, and companies hired graphic designers to communicate their brand through this medium. Today the plastic bag has become a massive environmental problem and, regarded almost as taboo, is gradually disappearing from our daily lives. In 1980 the Haus Industrieform in Essen presented an exhibition dedicated solely to the multitude of corporate claims printed on plastic bags. Today, the Adieu Plastiktüte! (Farewell Plastic Bags!) exhibition in the Museum of Everday Culture in Waldenbuch, near Stuttgart, is a swansong for an everyday household item whose social and ecological value has undergone a drastic shift. On show until 3 July 2020, the exhibition will present around 50,000 plastic bags dating from 1968 to 2010, sorted into cultural and historical categories. Due to their vast number, the exhibits will be changed every four weeks. While the exhibition presents visitors with successful designs, curious compositions and amusing corporate claims, it also illustrates the facts of the environmental crisis. The tote bag, with its promise of replacing the plastic bag for good, is now used by designers to attract our attention through statements and unusual designs.

7. November 2019
Lukas Eiselin, © MetaDesign

People in Design: Lukas Eiselin appointed as managing director at MetaDesign

On 1 November Lukas Eiselin joined forces with the management team at MetaDesign. As an additional managing director, Eiselin will help drive forward the agency’s strategic development plan. He will work together with Alexander Haldemann, Michel Gabriel and Christoph Knecht to form the future management team. From 2014 to 2019 Lukas Eiselin served as Vice President of Global Brand and Communications at Ricola, where, as well as global brand management, he was responsible for advertising, digital communications and corporate communications. During his time at Ricola he repositioned the brand, set up a global communications platform and rolled out numerous global campaigns. Before that, Eiselin spent six years with MetaDesign as Head of Strategy, working for clients like Axpo, Georg Fischer, SBB, Swissmilk and Sonova. “I am delighted to be able to bring my experiences from Ricola to my new role at MetaDesign,” said Eiselin. “And I am convinced that, with our fabulous team here, we are taking the next step towards brand management of the future.” MetaDesign has been part of the Publicis Group since 2016 and acts as a strategic brand management specialist for the entire global network, with offices in Beijing, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Lausanne, San Francisco and Zurich. The goal is to further expand MetaDesign’s international presence, and to strengthen collaboration within the Publicis network in line with the “Power of One” strategy. Alexander Haldemann, who will be driving both of these developments, had this to say: “At MetaDesign we have great ambitions, and a clear plan. And we are delighted that Lukas Eiselin will play a part in shaping our future. He is a high-calibre brand expert, who knows the industry both from the agency’s and the customer’s perspective. We are also thrilled to have a new colleague who is sure to inspire us with new ideas and impulses.

31. October 2019
Mette and Rolf Hay, Photo: HAY & Herman Miller

Herman Miller acquires majority interest in Danish furniture manufacturer HAY

Back in 2018, the US furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, one of the world’s leading listed furniture manufacturers, already had a 33 percent share in the Danish furniture manufacturer HAY. Now Herman Miller has announced that it has acquired a further 34 percent of the share capital, meaning it owns a majority 67 percent stake in the company. Herman Miller Inc. is a global company and is best known for its furniture classics by Charles & Ray Eames, George Nelson, Isamu Noguchi and Alexander Girard, although its portfolio also contains work by renowned contemporary designers. Through its involvement in HAY, founded in Copenhagen in 2002 by Troels Holch Povlsen together with Rolf and Mette Hay, Herman Miller intends to strengthen its presence in the retail and contract markets, aiming in particular to appeal to younger, urban-based customers. The founders, Rolf and Mette Hay, were added to the Fast Company magazine’s list of 100 Most Creative People in 2019.

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