18. September 2019
Mike Kelley, Wake Turbulence, LAX International Airport, 2014, © Mike Kelley

Information design today. Exhibition in Zurich

The flood of information has never been greater or more intense than it is today, and no one can say what developments we can expect in the future. Designers were quick to recognise the importance of how information is conveyed, and have been using their skills in a meaningful and effective way to facilitate the communication of information to the intended recipient. Regardless of whether the aim is to visualise complex data, present scientific findings or journalistic research, create learning and teaching aids or provide signage to help people find their way round – information design relies primarily on visual and symbolic depictions rather than words. Memorable images, pictograms and diagrams have the power to illustrate complex facts by reducing them to the essentials, enabling the viewer to grasp the information quickly and intuitively. This can help to get the message across, but it can also be used to manipulate. Current trends and practices from this form of visual communication will be presented from 20 September 2019 to 16 February 2020 in the exhibition Wissen in Bildern – Informationsdesign heute (Knowledge in Pictures – Information Design Today) at the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich.

18. September 2019
© Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Facial recognition and AI. Exhibition in New York

Facial recognition. It’s all around us – and yet we are often unaware of it, and its consequences are anything but transparent. The way that facial recognition impacts on our everyday lives when used in conjunction with artificial intelligence is also an important factor in design. From September 20, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York will be presenting an installation and exhibition on this topic, curated by Ellen Lupton under the title Face Values. The exhibition examines the effects that current technologies have on the interplay between surveillance and artificial intelligence, and the social significance of this. Works by designers such as Luke DuBois and Zachary Liebermann will be presented in a digital environment designed by Matter Architecture Practice, supplemented by a «visual essay» by Jessica Helfand.

18. September 2019
Pierre Cardin, Porthole Sunglasses and Vinyl Collars, 1970, © Archives Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin. Exhibition in Düsseldorf

The creations of French fashion designer Pierre Cardin could well be described as fashion for the future. His designs from the 1960s and 1970s in particular are still considered avant-garde today, as Cardin was already experimenting with futuristic cuts and working with unusual materials such as acrylic, plastic and imitation leather. What’s more, Cardin was among those fashion designers who wanted to make quality affordable for everyone. By granting numerous licenses for various product ranges, some of which he also designed collections for, he succeeded in turning the company that he founded in 1950 into a fashion empire. The Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf is presenting an exhibition dedicated to Pierre Cardin from 19 September 2019 to 5 January 2020. Fashion Futurist offers an extensive monographic view of this exceptional designer, who at the age of 97 continues to be the sole owner of his company.

18. September 2019
Rido Busse, © BUSSE Design+Engineering GmbH

People in design I – Anniversary: 60 years of Busse design

Rido Busse, one of the first graduates from the HfG Ulm, founded his own design studio, Busse Design, in that same city in 1959. Innumerable products by Rido Busse and his team have since found their way into our homes, including the Soehnle scales and the classic mixing bowl, as well as bread slicers, lawn mowers and electrical appliances. The Busse design studio is also an expert partner for the design of machines and special vehicles in the capital goods industry. In 1977 Rido Busse created “Plagiarius”, a critical “award” for particularly bold imitation products. The Plagiarius initiative continues to this day, and is still successfully raising awareness and showcasing the problem of plagiarism. Busse Design, with its four departments: product design, interface design, construction and prototype construction, has prided itself for 60 years on being a design studio that takes a holistic approach to product development. Congratulations are in order! To mark the anniversary, from 18 September to 23 October 2019 the Design Center Baden-Württemberg will be presenting the exhibition Original vs. Plagiat (Original vs. Plagiarism), featuring examples from various industries.

9. September 2019
Not only is the IAA a showcase for the latest vehicles – it also provides a backdrop for talks on electric mobility and networked transportation concepts. © IAA

IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main 

It’s that time of year again: from 12 to 22 September 2019 the IAA International Motor Show will be taking place on the Messe Frankfurt trade fair grounds in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In the past the IAA has primarily been a showcase for the latest car models coming out of the automotive industry. Today, however, the trade show has broadened its scope to address the many challenges currently being faced in the world of mobility. This year’s IAA will offer an extensive programme designed to meet the growing consumer demand for complex approaches to all of the issues and aspects of mobility – including a large number of conferences and special exhibitions focused on current issues such as alternative engine types and materials, electric vehicles, cars as digital platforms, cities of the future, new tyres, and even car-to-cyclist ratios. Under the banner of »Driving tomorrow«, the IAA hopes to expand its profile from that of a mere motor show to become an international platform for the future of mobility.

9. September 2019
Taking a seat with Paul Cocksedge: A 3D rendering of „Please Be Seated“, © Paul Cocksedge

London Design Festival 2019

From 14 to 22 September Londoners are set to host the London Design Festival 2019, one of the most prestigious design festivals worldwide – demonstrating once again just why England’s capital is renowned as an international mecca for design. One of the central attractions of the London Design Festival are its »Landmark Projects«, which feature installations by renowned international designers in some of London’s most iconic locations. This year British designer Sam Jacob will showcase his »Sea Things« installation in the Victoria & Albert Museum, and Paul Cocksedge will bring an exciting new experience to Finsbury Avenue Square with »Please Be Seated«. The festival will also host a series of experimental exhibitions and installations dedicated to issues such as climate change, innovation, growth and sustainability. At the festival’s annual conference, the Global Design Forum, international design guests such as Kengo Kuma, Vivienne Westwood and Fabio Novembre will present new ideas for the future of design. The festival will also offer a number of workshops focusing on materials, issues affecting production, graphic design and biodesign, as well as new business models. 

9. September 2019
Visual of the exhibtition, © Architekturgalerie Berlin

HG Merz: An exhibition in Berlin

When it comes to designing exhibitions and renovating listed buildings, the name and work of HG Merz stand for distinctive design which is always adapted sensitively to its location. From the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart to the Abbey Lorsch UNESCO World Heritage Site, HG Merz’ international team and network of architects get right to the heart of the matter, developing specific solutions based on the given circumstances. An idea which connects much of Merz’ work is that of DIY. Merz is also known for renovating some of Berlin’s most iconic buildings, including the former GDR State Council Building, the Alte Nationalgalerie, Ludwig Leo’s Circulation Tank 2, the National Library and the State Opera House. The Architektur Galerie Berlin is currently hosting an exhibition entitled HG Merz The Savage Mind. Open until 19 October 2019, this exhibition offers a fascinating insight into the mind, methods and work of HG Merz.

9. September 2019
Visual of the exhibition, © Gutenberg-Museum

Advertising and print products at Bauhaus: An exhibition in Mainz

In honour of “100 Years of Bauhaus”, the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz is hosting an exhibition which highlights the typography of Bauhaus and the revolutionary impact it has had on graphic and communications design, as well as the important role it continues to play around the world today. Set to run until 2 February 2020, the exhibition ABC:Avantgarde – Bauhaus – Corporate Design features a series of differently themed sections investigating the conditions and various phases of development which gave rise to the Bauhaus typography, initially in Weimar but especially at the school’s new location in Dessau from 1925 to 1932. The exhibition, which seeks to document the creative design potential and functional significance of the sans-serif typeface, both at Bauhaus and beyond, is centred around a number of typographic designs and products of startling originality and artistic quality.

4. September 2019
League of German Girls Dancing during the Reichs Party Congress, © Hugo Jaeger/Timepix/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Design in the Third Reich: An exhibition in Den Bosch

How did the Nazis use design for their propaganda and for the atrocities they committed? How were designers in Germany able to work between 1933 and 1945? These and many other questions have been the subject of numerous international publications. Now, the Dutch design museum Den Bosch has announced plans to open the world’s first exhibition on the topic of Nazi design – a daring and controversial move which has met with strong criticism. The occupation of the Netherlands by the German Wehrmacht in May of 1940 is still very much present in the country’s collective memory. Nevertheless, the organisers of the project are standing by their decision – they want their exhibition, Design in the Third Reich, to serve as a clear demonstration of how design can be used in propaganda to manipulate people. The exhibition will feature numerous exhibits from Dutch and German museums. Accompanied by an extensive supporting programme, it will be open to the public from 14 September 2019 to 20 January 2020.

4. September 2019

The HyBird shoulder wing aircraft, designed by students at the University of Stuttgart, © DLR / Universität Stuttgart, Institute of Aircraft Design

Aeroplanes of the future: Aircraft concepts from NASA/DLR

With the advent of the climate crisis, sustainability issues and new areas of application, the aerospace industry is facing major challenges. For some years now the NASA/DLR Design Challenge has been prompting students to design and build novel aircraft concepts based on a specific theme. In the 2018/2019 challenge, participants were asked to develop aircraft configurations capable of achieving acceptable cruising speeds while also being able to take off from, and land on, very short runways. The competition hopes to generate fresh ideas for small, eco-efficient aircraft capable of connecting remote areas of the globe with large metropolitan destinations. Participants were also asked to create designs that incorporated technologies from a wide range of disciplines, such as concepts that enable aircraft to be quickly converted from passenger planes into cargo planes. The winning design, created at the University of Stuttgart, was the HyBird Aircraft Concept, a shoulder wing plane with a large propeller attached to the tip of each wing and to each end of the aircraft’s V-tail.

4. September 2019
Thinking on stage at the me Convention 2017, © me Convention

me Convention in Frankfurt am Main

For the second time since 2017, the me Convention will take place during the IAA international mobility show in Frankfurt am Main. The lifestyle event, a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and SXSW, will feature talks on the current state of our world, visions of the future, and how we might close the gap between the two. Under the themes »#createthenew« and »start making where others stop talking«, the event will feature numerous speakers from the fields of research, economics, design and other disciplines, including designer Daan Roosegaarden and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, who are invited to discuss »planet, science, society and business« with the conference participants. The me Convention will take place from 11 to 13 September 2019.

4. September 2019
exhibition poster

Bauhaus anniversary in Berlin

Following the events held in Weimar and Dessau to honour the anniversary of Bauhaus,  the third major Bauhaus institution, the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, has announced an exhibition of its own to celebrate the legendary design school. Entitled original bauhaus, the exhibition sheds light on the relationship between one-offs and serial works, and between remakes and originals, throughout the history of Bauhaus. The show also features 14 case stories based on 14 key objects. How did the woman sitting in the tubular steel chair become the most recognisable anonymous figure in the history of Bauhaus? Does the Haus am Horn in Weimar have a secret twin? Why has Marianne Brandt’s tea infuser remained a one-off? Due to construction work at the Bauhaus Archive, the exhibition will be held in the Berlinische Galerie Museum of Modern Art from 6 September 2019 until 27 January 2020.

29. August 2019
Alexander Girard in his studio in the early 1950s, photographed by Charles Eames, Photo: Vitra

People in Design: A posthumous homage to Alexander Girard

Together with his friends George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard, American architect, interior designer, corporate designer and designer of furniture, textiles, wallpaper and exhibitions (1907–1993), is considered one of the most influential design figures in post-war America. Several years ago, renewed interest in Girard’s designs saw his work featured in monographs and exhibitions. Today, the bright colours and sophisticated patterns that characterised his designs continue to enjoy widespread popularity. In spring of this year Girard was posthumously awarded the 2019 AIGA Medal, the highest accolade awarded by AIGA, one of the largest design associations in America, for his interdisciplinary oeuvre. To honour the occasion, the furniture company Herman Miller – where Girard produced roughly 300 textile designs for wallpaper, curtains and upholstery over a period of more than 20 years, starting in 1951 – has published a cinematic homage to Girard, one of the greatest masters of mid-century modern, in its online magazine WHY.

20. August 2019
Exhibition view of the staircase of the Museum Fridericianum with knitted carpet by Fritz Winter. documenta 2 (1959). Inv.Nr.: docA, MS, d2-DCA-005-18.001-d02.022,  © documenta archiv / Photo: Günther Becker

Bauhaus | documenta: A virtual exhibition

The project “bauhaus | documenta. Vision and Brand”, developed by documenta archiv and the University of Kassel in cooperation with Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, has been under way in Kassel since spring. The exhibition, which is set to run until 8 September, is accompanied by an extensive catalogue and now also features a virtual version which has been available online since last week: How much Bauhaus is in documenta? Seeking traces. Like its analogue counterpart, the virtual exhibition explores the relationship between documenta and Bauhaus, two globally successful cultural brands which were born in the shadow of the social upheaval engendered in the Nazi era and which serve as examples of a modern Germany, evoking the idea of the emancipatory power of art and culture. Through nine stories and 14 close-ups, the exhibition shows the extent to which the first four documenta exhibitions alluded to and were influenced by Bauhaus. In addition to showcasing exhibited works, the virtual tour also takes a look at the important figures and institutions involved in the documenta exhibitions, as well as the visual language and understanding of documenta.

20. August 2019
Programmable materials with actuator and sensor functions are used in Vision Safe Soft Robotics, © Fraunhofer CPM

Programmable materials: Solutions for the future

Innovative materials, especially those that promise improved product sustainability and user handling, are playing an increasingly important role in the development of new products. A current focus of research in this area are so-called “programmable materials” which are capable of changing their properties such as their permeability, hardness, density, and thermal and electrical conductivity. Materials such as these could be used in future, for instance, to develop car seats that embrace the driver and passengers during vehicle acceleration, while allowing greater freedom of movement at lower speeds. Materials of this type could react to a wide range of conditions and demands – such as cooling and insulating battery cells – and therefore also help conserve resources. In 2018, a number of Fraunhofer Institutes established a Cluster of Excellence consisting of chemists, mathematicians, physicists, process engineers and product developers working within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to bring about a paradigm shift in how materials are used. An easy-to-understand introduction to the topic is provided in the article “Scharf zum Fleisch, sanft zur Butter” (“Sharp for Meat, Soft for Butter”) in issue 3.19 of the Fraunhofer magazine “weiter.vorn”.

The magazine, as well as the article on pages 38 and 39, is available free of charge in e-paper and PDF format (German language).

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