Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Design can change the world, says head of German Design Council

Germany has traditionally had a knack for design, says Andrej Kupetz from the German Design Council. Its trademarks have always been functionality and efficiency, but now another ingredient is coming into play: emotion.

Andrej Kupetz has been managing director of the German Design Council since 1999. Today, the institute is one of the world's leading competence centers for communication and know-how transfer in the design field. DW-WORLD spoke to him about the roots of German design and its relevance in today's globalized world.

Andrej Kupetz

Deutsche Welle: How influential internationally has German design been over the last 100 years?

Andrej Kupetz: Very, although almost by accident. Against the backdrop of increased industrial production in the early 20th century, the Bauhaus movement had gained a lot of influence in Germany, but then many of the Bauhaus designers and architects left in the 1930s because of the Nazi regime. They were welcomed in the US, and in 1932, Philip Johnson organized a major show at New York's Museum of Modern Art called Modern Architecture: International Exhibition. It showed mainly German design, and so this became known as The International Style.
This marked the birth of German design, as developed by Bauhaus, which was modern and very efficient in its shape. So, because German designers had to leave Germany for political reasons, their work was introduced to the world. Moreover, it was easy to implement in industrialized countries because it was based on the idea of using the machinery and materials of the time in the best and most efficient way.

To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5296042,00.html

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