Bröhan Museum Berlin: Schrill Bizarr Brachial. Das Neue Deutsche Design der 80er Jahre

October 27th, 2014

In our post on the 1984 Hochschule der Künste project/exhibition “Kaufhaus des Ostens” we opined that it represented the moment when Berlin design began to rebel.

The exhibition Schrill Bizarr Brachial. Das Neue Deutsche Design der 80er Jahre currently showing at the Bröhan Museum Berlin places “Kaufhaus des Ostens” is context of the wider German design scene of the period and ably demonstrates that it wasn’t just the Berlin Design scene that was rebelling; from Munich to Düsseldorf, and Frankfurt to Hamburg a generation of young German designers had lost faith in the established design conventions, in the clean, functional world of Bauhaus, Dieter Rams, Hans Gugelot et al and were looking for future beyond industrialised mass production.

In effect opening with Kaufhaus des Ostens and a look at the West Berlin subculture scene of the 1980s Schrill Bizarr Brachial then moves on to to look at the work, and influence, of other important protagonists of the period including Hamburg based collective Möbel perdu, Kunstflug from Düsseldorf and Bellefast from Berlin, in addition to “non-affiliated” designers such as Axel Kufus and Volker Albus.

With obvious parallels to the Milanese Memphis Group and their Italian post-modern compatrioti, the Neue Deutsche Design movement sought to destroy the status quo by making design something that was culturally relevant, something which responded to, reflected, commented on and challenged contemporary society. Which yes sounds like art and as Schrill Bizarr Brachial makes clear Neue Deutsche Design did have an artistic element. While remaining unquestionably a design movement.

A highly accessible and very entertaining exhibition Schrill Bizarr Brachial presents a very nice overview of the Neue Deutsche Design movement and its motives without ever succumbing to the need to appraise or otherwise cast an opinion on the value, quality and indeed sense in the works shown. Such decisions are left freely to be made by the visitor. Which of course is exactly as it should be.

We ended our original Kaufhaus des Ostens post with the conclusion that “Despite its radical nature it’s fair to say Kaufhaus des Ostens didn’t change the world, and German design is still largely marketed as a Dieter Rams’ dream world of crisp, linear forms.”

Schrill Bizarr Brachial beautifully underscores this position, while at the same time making you aware of just how many of the key players from then are still active now: a situation which raises the question as to why the status quo has remained so beautifully intact.

We suspect the answer may lie in the more artistic inclined practitioners of 1980s German progressive culture who can now be found in advertising agencies from Munich to Düsseldorf, and Frankfurt to Hamburg busily convincing us that the established norms are what makes German design the force it is.

We suspect. But obviously can’t prove.

Schrill Bizarr Brachial. Das Neue Deutsche Design der 80er Jahre at the Bröhan Museum Berlin is however worthy testament to a long lost alternative reality.

Full details can be found at


Book Presentation: Architekturführer Kasachstan @ Werkbund Galerie Berlin

August 21st, 2014

With autumn’s herald currently presenting its masters credentials and so confirming its imminent arrival, thoughts turn to books. To long evenings hidden from the gloom of Jupiter’s mood swings with good literature and an even better red wine.

In this spirit the Werkbund Galerie Berlin are hosting on Thursday August 28th an evening devoted to Philipp Meuser’s new guide to the architecture of Kazakhstan.

Yes Kazakhstan.

In 2017 Kazakhstan will host the Expo 2017, an event that will stand not only in the spotlight of the official “future energy” focus but also of the country’s varied, expanding and expansive architecture.

Following its independence in 1991 the once poor Steppe region has evolved, thanks largely to oil revenues, into one of the boom lands of central Asia. And the authorities in Kazakhstan have wasted no time in inviting international architects such as Norman Foster, Massimiliano Fuksas or Kisho Kurokawa to develop new buildings; new buildings which mix with the traditional vernacular, Islamic monumental, 18th and 19th century European inspired and Soviet era architecture to create a not altogether instantly accessible nor decipherable mix of genres and statements.

Presenting some 100 contemporary projects over 14 chapters and 540 pages the guide also includes background texts from authors such as Klaus Pander, Yuliya Sorokina, Götz Burggraf or Dmitrij Chmelnizki, in addition to an interview with Timur Turekulow, editor in chief of Kazakhstan’s only architecture magazine. And thus promises to be the most complete and inclusive guide to the state of architecture in Kazakhstan ever published.

On August 28th the Werkbund Galerie Berlin welcome the book’s editor Philipp Meuser and the German Ambassador to Kazakhstan Guido Herz for a discussion on the book and the issues involved.

The evening begins at 7pm at the Werkbund Galerie Berlin, Goethestraße 13, 10623 Berlin. Entry is free and all are welcome. The evening will, somewhat obviously, be held in German.

Architekturführer Kasachstan by Philipp Meuser is published by DOM Publishers Berlin

Architekturführer Kasachstan Philipp Meuser DOM Publishers Berlin

Architekturführer Kasachstan by Philipp Meuser. DOM Publishers Berlin

Bundespreis Ecodesign 2013 Exhibition at Umweltbundesamt, Dessau

August 7th, 2014

Until August 24th the Umweltbundesamt in Dessau is hosting the exhibition of the 2013 Bundespreis Ecodesign nominations and award winners.

Initiated in 2012 by the German Environment Ministry and the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) the Bundespreis Ecodesign seeks to award and recognise projects that incorporate ecological thinking, social responsibility and sustainability into all stages of their development and realisation.

For the 2013 Bundespreis Ecodesign 31 of the 132 submitted projects were nominated from which 12 were honoured.

The exhibition in Dessau is not extensive, does however provide a clear, accessible, informative and though provoking introduction to the projects involved, and so by extension to the themes involved. and of course the issue needing to be tackled to ensure that all design is ecological , socially responsibility and sustainable.

Thus making the award unnecessary.

The Bundespreis Ecodesign 2013 Exhibition can be viewed Monday to Sunday in the foyer of the Umweltbundesamt in Dessau. Entry is free.

And so why not combine a visit with a trip to the near-by exhibition Unter Zwischen im Ampelhaus at Ampelhaus Oranienbaum…..

Bundespreis Ecodesign 2013 Exhibition at Umweltbundesamt, Dessau

Bundespreis Ecodesign 2013 Exhibition at Umweltbundesamt, Dessau

Unter Zwischen im Ampelhaus at Ampelhaus Oranienbaum

August 4th, 2014

Following on from the success of last years King Size: Art & Design “Fit for a King” the Ampelhaus Gallery in Oranienbaum are currently presenting a new exploration of the virtues of salvaging, re-using and recycling. An exploration that also includes new, unexpected insights into, around and through the Ampelhaus.

Established in 2011 the Ampelhaus is a summer seasonal centre for contemporary art and design – largely Dutch, but not exclusively. The 2014 exhibition Unter Zwischen im Ampelhaus features contributions from over 20 artists and designers including, for example, Dirk Vander Kooij, Studio Makkink & Bey, Ron van der Ende or Claudy Jongstra. Berlin design is represented by Bora Hong, Birgit Severin and Bram Braam.

In addition to the works on show the other highlight of the exhibition is the house itself, a house that is ever so slowly metamorphosing into an autonomous art work in its own right.

Last year Oscar Prinsen famously cut two holes in the ceiling of the Ampelhaus, placed a high stool under each and so made the otherwise non-accessible first floor accessible. This year Oscar is presenting a variation on the theme that allows visitors an exclusive, and original, view of the cellar. In addition Dessau based Face II Face (Anja Wolf & Alma Bekk) have taken over the Ampelhaus attic with a sort of architectural meridian. On account of building regulations the meridian itself sadly cannot be viewed, its genesis can however be enjoyed on video.

All other projects can, thankfully, be enjoyed up close and personal. And should be.

Unter Zwischen im Ampelhaus can be viewed at Ampelhaus Brauerstrasse 33, 06785 Oranienbaum until September 20th.

A few impressions…..

Design aus Berlin in minimum kreuzberg

July 29th, 2014

What, one could/should, ask is the point in being a contemporary furniture dealer in Berlin if you don’t deal in contemporary furniture from Berlin?

Back in the day we argued that the 2013 “Berlin Design Souvenir Award“, a competition which asked for ideas for a contemporary Berlin souvenir, was, well, a bit daft.

There is an old adage which says that in London you are never more than two metres from a rat. In Berlin it is from a designer. And possibly a rat. But definitely a designer.

Given the wealth of designers in Berlin, so our argument against the Berlin Design Souvenir Award, surely it makes sense just to promote Berlin design?

minimum Berlin is now doing just that.

Under the title “Design aus Berlin” minimum Kreuzberg is currently promoting the works of nine Berlin creatives bzw. design studios: Alex Valder, Uli Budde, MyKilos, Studio Greiling, Carsten Giese, officeoriginair, Chorin, New Tendency and Judith Seng.

In the coming week we will profile all nine in a little more detail. But for now a few impressions from the in-store exhibition at minimum im Aufbau Haus, Prinzenstraße 85F, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Full details can be found at: minimum – Design aus Berlin

PLAY NORDIC: Nordic Music & Design Festival in Berlin

July 22nd, 2014

If the five Nordic Embassies in Berlin get their way Summer 2014 will be remembered as the Summer of Nordic Music and Design.

Which we’re sure is an initiative that any hipster worth their tattoos and jute bag will gladly support

Under the title “Play Nordic” the Embassies of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland have organised a series of events centred at their shared Felleshus cultural space.

In essence Play Nordic is comprised of four principle elements: an exhibition of 100 contemporary Nordic designs objects curated by Katrin Greiling, a series of concerts across all musical genres, a programme of music related films and Singing Instruments! – an interactive exhibition in Felleshus featuring five fantasy musical experiences for young and old: specifically musical taps, musical bike wheels, a musical chest of drawers and two installations involving music and colour. In addition a series of workshops have been organised while inside Felleshus a temporary bookshop, temporary record store and an Oslo coffee shop complete an extensive programme.

Full details of all events can be found at

PLAY NORDIC Nordic Music Design Festival in Berlin Singing Instruments Wheel Quintent Tap Quintet

PLAY NORDIC: Nordic Music & Design Festival in Berlin.  Wheel Quintent & Tap Quintet, part of the Singing Instruments! exhibition

PLAY NORDIC Nordic Music Design Festival in Berlin Design Exhibition

PLAY NORDIC: Nordic Music & Design Festival in Berlin. Design Exhibition

PLAY NORDIC Nordic Music & Design Festival in Berlin

PLAY NORDIC: Nordic Music & Design Festival in Berlin

Review Salone del Mobile 2014 / Part 2 Il Salone

May 12th, 2014

This year’s most important furniture fair came up with many spectacular products and innovations. In our second part of our review we focus on our favorites from Il Salone, such as the new lamp collection “North” by Eva Marguerre and Marcel Besau/ Studio Besau Marguerre for e15.

We visited the booths of Cassina, vitra, Knoll, USM Haller, e15, ClassiCon and Living Divani and once more were stocked by all the copper, bold colours, high quality materials and coloured glas.

The “M10″ chair designed by Patrick Norguet for Cassina moves between innovation and tradition. The hanging inverted Y-shape does definitely refer to Norguet. The skillful handling of ash wood evaluates Cassina’s long tradition of carpentry work. M10′s frame was made ​​by aluminum alloy and the legs are made of solid natural or black stained ash wood either. The seat and backrest there are either purely made ​​of CFC-free polyurethane foam, fabric or leather.

“Vico” by Jaime Hayon is available as an armchair, two seater and three-seater and is made out of CFC-free polyurethane foam with elastic straps and removable fabric by Kvadrat. The base is made out of matt black painted cast aluminum and the seat cushions consist of polyurethane foam and polyester wool. The back cushions are filled with feathers.

Piero Lissoni’s design “8″ consisting of chairs, two-seater sofas in two sizes, a three seater sofa, and left or right chaise longue. In addition to this, it is also available as modular units: corner modules, two-and three-seater units and to the right or left chaise longue modules. The seat structure is made of extruded aluminum profile with elastic bands. You can choose between a fabric or leather cover.

The re-interpreted classic “LC5″ by Le Corbusier, Jeanneret and Perriand comes with a steel frame, either chrome or glossy basalt. It is lacquered in the colors gray, light blue, green, bordeaux, ocher or matte black. The loose cushions are filled with downs and have a polyurethane core. LC5 is available with leather or fabric upholstery.

“Indochine” by Charlotte Perriand is a small swivel armchair with 4 legs. The frame is made of solid walnut or black stained ash. For the backrest and the seat you can either choose leather or fabric upholstery.

At Vitra you could spot the  new designs by Barber Osgerby, Hella Jongerius and Jasper Morrison. Particularly eye-catching was the inspiring area that hosted homages to the the graphical work by Alexander Girard‘s, whose wonderful designs were not only used for cushions, but also ottomans, tables and wall panels.

Hella Jongerius developed a new colour scheme for vitra, so that the character of both –  the classic, as well as contemporary design is underlined. Thus enables many new possibilities when it comes to combinations. Above you can see her new design, the “East River Chair” – below the Alu Chair made out of Hopsack, which you can now order in 28 different colors.

Knoll celebrated  it’s 75th anniversary with the “Washington Collection for Knoll ™” designed by David Adjaye. The collection consists of two chairs, a club chair, an ottoman, a side table and a monumental bronze coffee table.

The classic par excellence, the Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was presented in a new version. The Barcelona Chair Relax is characterized by the use of a particularly high quality leather in combination with a new upholstery. The elegant haptics of the leather “Venezia” makes the new Barcelona Chair Relax the ideal armchair.

USM Haller presented 55 new surfaces for USM Haller and USM Kitos table systems and enables to realize individual ideas and create different atmospheres.

“North” by the Studio Besau Marguerre for e15 has an almost sculptural character. The two white, sulfur-yellow or copper disks are available as floor, wall and pendant lights. It sets beautiful accents and the light reflections of the copper material cast the light evenly in all directions.

“Colour” is a design of the Norwegian designer Andreas Engesvik and Daniel Rybakken. It stands for minimalism, orchestration and architecture. Leaning against the wall, the lamp offers many possibilities with it’s two stained glass panels in pink and blue and a round light diffuser in white and adds a very atmospheric light.

“Pegasus Home Desk” by Tilla Goldberg was one of the new products presented at the Salone by ClassiCon. The small and ingenious work table combines the aesthetics, haptics and quality of manufacturing of the artisan world of saddler and upholsterer. The new color scheme by Konstantin Gricic for the tables of the “Diana” series and the “Pallas” table has also been shown as well as the “Bell Table Copper” by Sebastian Herkner, the “Sedan Lounger” by Neri & Hu and the “Selene” light with copper details by Sandra Lindner.

Living Divani presented “Lipp” at this year’s Salone, designed by Piero Lissoni. The sofa combines the luxurious Baxter Stile with a geometric contemporary spirit and is available in either high quality fabric or leather.

Review Salone del Mobile 2014 / Part 1 Fuori Salone

April 28th, 2014

The international design scene met again for the annual Design Week in Milan between April 8th until the 13th and minimum could not miss out on the opportunity to mingle.

In our first part of our review we sum up our highlights of the Fuori Salone, Ventura Lambrate and other great showrooms and events. The second part will be dedicated to to the Salone del Mobile and will report on innovations and developments.

While the RHO fairground opens its doors, the city itself is full of creativity and it seems as if every inch converts into an exhibition space. During these days Milan presents itself as a platform with different facets. At no other time of the year, the city offers more opportunities to take a look at breathtaking palaces. Also in hidden and charming courtyards and fashionable boutiques one can discover design.

Lex Pott‘s Pivot for HAY

Ceramic Tables by Elisa Strozyk

Daybed by Muller van Severen

Within their work, 22 different contemporary designers reinterpreted the well-known Divina fabric and the result has been presented in Kvadrat‘s Milan showroom during Design Week. Divina is known for its wide palette of 56 shades and was originally designed in 1984 by Danish painter and graphic artist Finn Sködt.

Werner Aisslingers Design for Kvadrat

Max Lamb presented his new project in a collaboration with Design Editor Dzek. The Marmoreal collection is made out of beautifully mottled marble and consists of tables, stools and shelves.

Spacecrafted by Jan Kath

For the second time in a row EDIT by Designjunction curated new products and furniture by british, as well as international designers, located in the stunning Palazzo Morando from the 18th century.

Fold by De Allegri/ Feldkamp

Vinhelm Woherts Vintage Collection for Stellar Works

As usual, Hermès presented its Home Collection in the spectacular Palazzo Serbelloni on Corso Venezia. The french fashion house collaborated with the italian designer Michele de Lucchi, as well with the french artist Yann Kersalé and presented new lights. While de Lucchi designed of the “Pantograph” and the “Harnais”, Kersalé designed “La Lanterne d’Hermès”. The particular detail is the connection between the shade and the base, which refers to the reins of a horsemen. In addition, new upholstery fabrics and wallpaper designs were presented, as well as furniture designs by Jean-Michel Frank.

HAY / Wrong for Hay positioned itself with an impressive showroom located in Via Ciovassino. While it was the first time since 2008 that HAY showed up again in Milan, it was the debut for Wrong for Hay. The cooperation between the danish design house and designer Sebastian Wrong presented an update of the successful collection, to which other well-known and great demanded designers, such as Stefan Diez, Nathalie Du Pasquier and Bernhard Willhelm contributed. Undoubtedly, the HAY Mini Market was a special highlight. Integrated into the showroom, the pop-up store enabled every visitor to shop accessories and textiles on-site.

DMY / Berlin Design Week

April 8th, 2014

Berlin Design Week: Online-Registrierung ab jetzt möglich!

Auch in der zweiten Ausgabe der Berlin Design Week wird es vom 26. Mai bis 1. Juni 2014 wieder zu einem stadtweiten und vielfältigen Programm zum Thema Design kommen.

Um eine möglichst große Strahlkraft zu entwickeln, bündelt die Berlin Design Week einmal im Jahr die Aktivitäten der Berliner Designer und Designerinnen, der Institutionen und Galerien, der Distributoren und Multiplikatoren. Ein weit gefächertes Programm läßt die Besucher die Berliner Designwelt wie durch ein Brennglas wahrnehmen, die Teilnahme verspricht den Akteuren Öffentlichkeit und Medienwirksamkeit. Schließlich positioniert die Berlin Design Week die Stadt national und international als kreativer Hub, verleiht der „City of Design“ eine konkrete Wahrnehmung und fördert damit nachhaltig die hiesige Kreativwirtschaft.

Die Berlin Design Week ist die Kommunikationsplattform aller zum Thema Design in dieser Woche stattfindenden Veranstaltungen. Sie wird gestützt durch die alljährlich stattfindenden Lead-Veranstaltungen „DMY International Design Festival“ und „Nachtschicht – Die Berlin Design Night“. Diese Plattform ermöglicht nun auch kleineren Akteuren die Teilnahme im Format „Showcase“.

Die Berlin Design Week Showcases sollen die Vielfalt der Berliner Designlandschaft demonstrieren, neugierig machen und das Publikum dazu motivieren, diese Woche zu nutzen, um sich ein Bild von der kreativen Kraft Berlins zu machen.

Anderseits sollen sie auch die wirtschaftliche Potenz der Branche demonstrieren, Geschäftsbeziehungen anbahnen und ausbauen und den Teilnehmern die Möglichkeit der Selbstdarstellung geben.

So verschafft die Berlin Design Week der Kreativszene Berlins eine breite Öffentlichkeit und dementsprechende Medienwirksamkeit.


Die Teilnahme steht jedem offen. Angesprochen werden alle Akteure der Berliner Kreativwirtschaft – darunter selbstständige Designer, Designstudios, Galerien, Museen, Designshops, einschlägige Fakultäten und Fachbereiche von Hochschulen oder Akademien, Agenturen, uvm. Ebenfalls freuen wir uns über nationale und internationale Akteure.

Die Teilnahmegebühr beläuft sich auf von 249,-€ netto.

Die Leistungen

Die Berlin Design Week ist das kommunikative Dachformat einer Vielzahl designrelevanter Projekte und Veranstaltungen, die gebündelt vom 26. Mai bis 1. Juni 2014 im gesamten Stadtgebiet Berlins stattfinden.

Die Teilnahmegebühr wird erhoben, um die einzelnen Events in einer einheitlichen und gesammelten Form zu bewerben und zielgerecht kommunizieren zu können. Die Teilnehmer der Berlin Design Week profitieren von einem weit gefächerten Media/Marketing-Paket.

Sie werden hier kommuniziert:
-Ein Eintrag samt Text, Link und Bild auf der Website „
-Ein Eintrag auf der Berlin Design Week Facebook Seite
-Kurzeintrag im achtseitigen Programm mit einer Reichweite von 60.000 Exemplaren, in Teilauflage als Beileger im Zitty Magazin, in Teilauflage verteilt an strategischen Orten in der Stadt sowie bei den Teilnehmern der „Showcases“
-Ein Eintrag mit Text und Bild in der Zeitschrift mit einer Auflage von 30.000 Exemplaren.

Die Zeitschrift wird ebenfalls an alle „Showcases“ verteilt, sowie an die Besucher des DMY International Design Festivals und der Nachtschicht

Die allgemeine Bewerbung der Berlin Design Week erfolgt über Anzeigenschaltung und klassische Pressearbeit. Hierzu bestehen u.a. Kooperationen mit lokalen und nationalen Medienpartnern. Die Kommunikation wird zusätzlich durch das umfassende Netzwerk der Design Week Content Partner DMY Berlin und Create Berlin unterstützt.

Machen Sie mit!

Sie können Ihre Teilnahme über die Website ab jetzt registrieren.

Die Registrierung in 5 Schritten
• Registrieren Sie sich auf
• Nach Erhalt der Bestätigungsmail können Sie sich auf einloggen.
• Registrieren Sie Ihr Projekt/Ihre Veranstaltung als „Showcase“
• Anschließend erhalten Sie eine Bestätigungsmail samt Ihrer Rechnung für Ihre Teilnahmean der Berlin Design Week.
• Sobald die Rechnung bezahlt ist, wird Ihr „Showcase“ veröffentlicht

Die Termine und Fristen in der Übersicht

- bis 25. April – Registrierung

Erste Programmpunkte:
- 28. Mai bis 1. Juni – DMY International Design Festival Berlin
- 28. Mai bis 1. Juni – Ausstellung Designpreis der Bundesrepublik 2014 im Rahmen des DMY Festivals
- 29. Mai, 10-14 Uhr – UCCN Subnetwork Design Workshop
- 30. Mai, 10-17 Uhr – Design Conference (Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin)
- 30. Mai, 18-21 Uhr – Nachtschicht – Lange Nacht der Designstudios

DMY Berlin GmbH & Co. KG
„Berlin Design Week“
Blücherstrasse 23
D-10961 Berlin

fon: +49 30.9145 7643
fax: +49 30.9153 6624

IMM Cologne 2014: System 180

February 3rd, 2014

Berlin manufacturer System 180 made their Cologne furniture fair début at IMM Cologne 2014, and the moment of the occasion brought a blush of colour to the company’s cheeks.

Or better put, a blush of seven new colours: ruby red, night red, light yellow, chartreuse, middle blue, night blue and a magnificently subtle light grey which from afar looks deceptively white is however less reflective and so perfect for those office locations with especially bright lights or where a background light radiation isn’t desirable.

In addition to the new colours System 180 also presented their modular shelving/storage system in two new depths and two breadths, meaning the accustomed flexibility of the system has now been expanded not just purely physically but also in more sensory terms. And of course in context of location. Freed from the colour limitations of yore System 180 is now a lot more accessible, for all for modern domestic situations.

In addition to the shelving system developments System 180 have also introduced a new table system: RackPod. Constructed from the familiar System 180 steel tubing combined with a new lightweight, yet durable, honeycomb board, Rackpod’s principle feature is its practical lightness. A lightness that is necessary to allow RackPod to fulfil its second function as a collapsible table that can be folded and stored when not needed.

As we’ve noted before and will never tire of repeating in our modern world with its lack of certainties a furniture system that can respond to the inevitable changes that will occur in your life and career is a just as important as a good accountant, therapist and bar-keeper.

With the new additions to the family, System 180 is more than ever in a position to offer that support.

A few impressions:

System 180 IMM Cologne 2014

System 180 at IMM Cologne 2014

System 180 IMM Cologne 2014

System 180 at IMM Cologne 2014

System 180 IMM Cologne 2014

System 180 at IMM Cologne 2014