The Ulm School of Design, established in 1953 by Inge Aicher-Scholl, Otl Aicher, Max Bill, and others, lasted only until 1968. Nonetheless, it is regarded as one of the most important design schools in the world, second only to the Bauhaus. The HfG Ulm not only paved the way for numerous design courses and served as a model for the profession of designer, but it also broadened the horizon of design and design theory was pursued and discussed so intensely that the Ulm model (with all of its developments and breaks) is still relevant for design history and design research today. The magazine “ulm” served as a vehicle for presenting the school’s projects, structures, and accomplishments to the outside world. In addition to self-representation and self-image reflection, the booklets published between 1958 and 1968 included programmatic texts by important protagonists such as Tomás Maldonado and Gui Bonsiepe, Reyner Banham, Hans Gugelot, and Abraham Moles.
Initially, the university administration was in charge of the content. The first booklet provided information about the HfG, the program’s content, the teaching staff, and the individual departments in German, English, and French. The following issues included articles from lecturers’ lectures or talks, as well as a short overview of events at the university. After a two-year long break, No. 6 resurfaced in a new format and with a new graphic design; the text is now only in German and English. A newly formed editorial team (Tomás Maldonado, Gui Bonsiepe, and Renate Kietzmann) is now in charge. Only the next two issues and the final issue – with a completely black cover – are published as single issues, and the quarterly publication frequency is not maintained.
For years, a critical new edition of the journal has been sought to make this important source accessible for research, but has been unsuccessful for a variety of reasons. Heidelberg University Library has now made the journal “ulm” fully digitally available. All issues, from 1 to 21, are free to view and can be searched using a full text search.
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