Monday, December 24, 2007

coming soon: Hangaram Design Museum

Daun visited the two design museums in Korea, and will inform us soon about her impressions. Here are some photos of the first one:
Hangaram Design Museum, Seoul

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Plexiglas exhibition in Darmstadt

Today I visited an exhibition at Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt.  It is about Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or bether known as Plexiglas.
This  extremely weather-resistant plastic was developed to patent stage in 1933 by the Darmstadt-based Röhm company. Its constant high transparency, light weight as compared with glass and wide range of forming options are the attributes that make PLEXIGLAS® an equally attractive material for architecture and design.

With its variability in production this plastic put its stamp on the modernist movement, and made complex forms also feasable with transparency. From Panton's lightnings and chairs to the light roof construction of Munich’s Olympic Stadium, many new forms were made possible by this material.

Mathildenhöhe, where the exhibition was shown is also the birthplace of the german art deco movement (Jugendstil). Several houses and a museum show how this movement opened the way to modernism. This place near Frankfurt is until today important for the design scene because there is also located the "Design Zentrum Hessen" and the "FH Darmstadt - design faculty".

Our photo album from this excursion:
Plexiglas exhibition

Museum Künstlerkolonie in Darmstadt (Mathildenhöhe)
16th Sept. 2007 to 24. March 2008

Website of the Museum and the exhibition

Sunday, December 2, 2007

BMW Museum closes until 2008

On 6th December the popular BMW Museum in Munich closes to reopen in 2008. After renovation the exhibition will grow from 1000m² to 5000m². After the great new Porsche Museum and Mercedes Museum (both in Stuttgart) the BMW institution seemed a little bit old fashioned. In front of the Museum BMW opened the BMW World, a center for visitors and customers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

1000 visits on design museums blog!

Thanks for all contributors and all visitors

Great design exhibitions of the past #3

The Origin of Things (Dutch: Het ontstaan der dingen) was an exhibition from 10th May to 27th July 2003 at Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Important contemporary and past designers were presented with a sample and its design and production process.

The catalogue edited by Thimo Te Duits with good contributions is unfortunatly sold out.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Vintage Mac Museum

Virtual Design Museums must not only be virtual presentations of products, but could also be a good platform for historic software and their surfaces. I knew some good sites showing historic webdesign. The Vintage Mac Museum is a good sample for a combination of showing historic soft- and hardware as well.

Link to the Narita's Vintage Mac Museum

A museum will open in the "Design District Miami"

Since 1998, more than 50 showrooms and 10 architecture firms have opened in the "Design District" of Miami. Now it is planned to open the Craig Museum of Contemporary Art & Design.

"A museum project is stirring debate in the Miami Design District. Miami Beach-based Dacra Development is on the verge of erecting a 42,000-square-foot, six-story contemporary art museum at 140 N.E. 39th St., despite complaints by residents of the nearby Buena Vista East Historic Neighborhood Association."

Article in the Miami Post

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Zaha Hadid exhibition in the Design Museum London (until 25th. Nov)

The Design Museum is just east of Tower Bridge. I was surprised to read that the exterior design is not original, but constructed to look like vintage International Modern Style. There's a bookstore and cafe on the ground floor, then two floors of exhibits. It's not terribly large and there is an entrance fee. Currently there is an excellent exhibit showcasing the career of architect Zaha Hadid.

The first room was so theatrical at first I didn't know what I was looking at. The shot above is simply a table of architectural models in front an entire long wall of projected images. Hadid's work ranges from modern 21st century to certainly where no man has gone before. Her buildings are highly imaginative, many of them quite organic.

The children's book author and illustrator Scott Santoro writes in his blog about life in London.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Designweek here, Designweek there, Designweek everywhere

I'dont know which city was the first, but today we have I think a dozen design weeks in Europe. On the one side it is a chance for improving the public interest on design, on the other side we must ask which image of design is displayed.

The public interest should not only dissipated for displaying interior and lightning design, even f this is the most impressive for public installations. Most design is made in other subjects: Cars, machines, tools, software etc.

The question will be not which forms of design are the most spectacular, but what can design do to improve standard of living for as much people as possible on a economic way.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Visiting Hanover: The Kestner-Museum and the Sprengel-Museum

Yesterday I was in Hanover. The capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony in northern Germany is well known for the great Sprengel Art Museum and the EXPO world exhibition which take place in 2000. Until today publiv transportation is well designed: Trams and busses are custom designed from James Irvine for the city and every bus stop is designed by an other designer as a sculpture in public space. I visited two museums, the Kestner-Museum (of Decorative Arts and Design) and the Sprengel Museum (of Art).

The first is not very huge, it displays from ancient Egyptian to Modern items of public life (especially metal works and furniture). A quite new department is about industrial design.
I don't know much about antiquities, the two mumies impressed me (there is a stereolithograpy model of the head inside, and x-ray pictures), the rest was ok. The industrial design department has not many exhibits, but all are notable (e.g rare Bauhaus-furniture). In the basement there was a temporary exhibition about Art Deco also with some design objects: a object o Christopher Dresser and some Behrens water kettles.
It should be mentioned that there is a path for children with special exhibits.

The Sprengel Museum is well known in Germany and very big, an aditional wing was opened in 1992. You will find works of almost all important artists of the 20th century. The works of contemporary artists show no surprices (other similar are known from otherwhere), notable is the donation of the Frenc artist Niki de Saint-Phalle, who donated 300 of their works to this institution, many are very unconvetional and show an other facette of her. German art of the beginning cebtury is also well represented. The artist Kurt Schwitters came from Hanover, his atelier is reconstructed inside the museum.
See also our picture album from Hanover:
Sprengel Museum + Kestner Museum

Friday, October 12, 2007

National Palace Museum, Taipei

I’m glad that I could visit the National Palace Museum in Taipei.
How people use the things in their daily life is the important part for designer to observe. We can see the different shape from the past how they made, and their amazing thoughts from the Ancient in China. As a designer, it helps us to broaden the immeasurable horizons, and to reconsider the point of view of current design.

Shin-Chia Huang, (

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Visitors welcome

More people visted museums in UK than games in the Premier League, and with 42,ooo,ooo visitors the numbers are much more higher than the visitors of theatres and musicals.
Especially art [and design] museums benefit from this world wide boom. 120,000 visitors came to a single exhibition in Hamburg, 500,000 to the National Gallery in Berlin.

Source: an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine (only in German)

"Nature Design - From Inspiration to Innovation"

is an exhibition at the "Museum for Gestaltung in Zürich" until 2th December. It refers on the phenomenon nature as a source of inspiration for design and architecture. Here is a short film about it:

Seeing the film my question is, if every organic designed can be labelled as "nature design"

Thursday, October 4, 2007

300% Spanish Design

The travelling exhibition was first made as a Spanish contribution for the Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan and was shown at the Saitama Museum of Modern Art. Later it travelled around the world. I visited the exhibition in Athens.

It is nothing unusual that a county presents itself by it's design, but it was new to show a country's history by design. 100 chairs 100 posters and 100 lamps stand for the development of Spanish industrialisation and culture.

The tour through time begins with Gaudí’s modernisme in the Art Deco period, and moves forward to the rationalist Gatepac movement until functional and post-modernism industrial design.

See also our picture album from the exhibition:
300% Spanish Design

Museo Dell'Arredo Contemporaneo

Furniture and especially chairs are very popular items for design museums (see article about chairs). The Museo Dell'Arredo Contemporaneo in Ravenna collects only furniture and displays the change from art deco to modernism and pop-art. Unfortunatly it is closed, so we can show only this short film about the permanent exhibition.

Objects: 150 items in exhibition (1880-1980)
Link to the museum

Beijing Design Museum

He Yuehua runs a private museum of design that hosts also experimental art shows and rock concerts.

- Poster art from Japan after World War II
- Danish and Swedish Design: consumer products, furniture and environmental design.
- Design 2000 Project: works by artists from more than 50 countries to celebrate the end of the millennium.

Article about the museum in "Beijingscene"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Design in Prague's museums

Last weekend I was in Prague. Unfortunatly my favourite National Museum of Technology (Národní technické muzeum) is closed for one month, so I vistited the Museum of Decorative Arts (upm) and the National Museum. Both are located in closer down town in custom-made buildings designed by the architect Josef Schulz. The entrace was in both around 5€/6$.

The permanent exhibition of the Museum of Decorative Arts (Uměleckoprůmyslové museum) consists 4 halls on one floor. It shows a lot of handcrafts, especially baroque household goods, clothes and furniture, the 20th century seems to be under-represented.

I expected exhibits of cubism and functionalism, both very important for Czech and European design, but was disappointed: Cubism was represented by only one armoir in this building and nothing was displayed on functionalism (perhaps both are displayed in the dependances)
The important comtemporary Czech typography was represented by 6 posters with font samples from Marek Pistora and the corporate design manual of the museum (it could be more). Interesting was the exhibition Models&Prototypes showing sketches with design of
baroque items. You can see how that the division of labour was high developed even this time.

I suspect that the rich collection is not displayed in an exhibition, some topics have own external buildings in Prague:

Cubistic exhibits are shown in the Museum of Cubism (Celetná Street)
19th, 20th and 21st century art at the Trade Fair Palace (Dukelských hrdinů Street)
Prague Jewellery Collection (Cihelná Street)

The National Museum is very big, several departments show the history of geology and flora & fauna (worldwide) and the history of civilisation (Czech and Slovak Republik). The exhibition concept seems old fashioned but is in very good condition, so it is an exhibit itself. I hope it will be preserved and not be changed.

See the picture album of the visit:
Prague, Sept. 2007

FACTS Museum of Decorative Arts (UPM)
Founded: 1818 (building from 1885-1891 Arch: Josef Schulz)
Permanent exhibition renovated in 2000

FACTS National Museum
Founded: 1885 (building from 1897-1899 Arch: Josef Schulz)
Objects: 14,000,000 items

Thursday, September 27, 2007

History of presentation in design: See this film made in 1996!

I asked myself how design projects were visualised without Powerpoint, Flash or other programs. I did'nt find any useful material in the web. But here is an interesting presentation from 1996, when presenting with the computer was not very common. The presented concept is about a pre-GPS navigation system

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The chair, a popular object in design museums

Chairs sitting pretty as a design icon, but for how long? is an article from Alice Rawsthorm who lives in London:

...Why have chairs assumed so much importance? We all need comfortable objects to sit on, and to suspend us at the correct height to type or eat, while, we hope, saving us from back pain. But isn't it odd that something that was designed to do just that should occupy more cultural space than arguably more useful and complex objects? How has the chair been loaded with so much symbolism and meaning, and attained such stratospheric prices? And will it be as important to the design history of this century, as it was to the last? ...

The complete text: an article in the Herald Tribune

Photo: C. Vittoratos in the exhibition 300% Spanish Design in Athens

Design Week Helsinki 2007 #3 the habitare fair

The Design Week Helsinki is running the same time as the HABITARE, the biggest Finnish furniture and interior design fair. Michail Galanakis visited the fair on 23th September:

I waited the last day to visit Habitare 07. Already the reputation of ahead! had spread: this was the part most interesting regarding new concepts, experimental design and fresh outlooks. Most of the pictures that accompany this text are from ahead! and concerned design production companies, design associations and manufacturers (showroom Finland: verso design, secto design, selki-asema, Formverk, Rintala interiors, adora textiles, the Artisans, Designers and Artists Cooperative of Fiskars, onoma art, and more), design schools and their stands (Turku University of Applied Sciences, Lahti Institute of Design, University of Lapland and University of Art and Design Helsinki), and the “container village”. The last was a conglomeration of cargo containers, each housing an exhibit-installation of Finnish or international designers, such as Jurgen Bay, Ola Kolehmainen, Bruno Borrione, Ludi Architects, Ilkka Suppanen, Jasper Morrison & Naoto Fukasawa, and the Diesel Creative team of Renzo Rosso.

My overall impression of ahead! is that once again one of the most favored themes of aspiring design exhibitions was the CHAIR. I find the theme unchallenging although it sells enormously. The Lahti Institute of Design had a conceptual aspiration to present an ambiance as a design
product. Lahti’s room though because of its product vacuum was attracting very little visitors; in other words it wasn’t selling well. In ahead! one could find interesting design pieces with a certain dignity in the use of material, the execution of the design and the purity of the design itself. One could find austere Finnish design furniture and objects, as well as more playful ones by the younger
generation of designers; however, a fair is a fair and all is a consumption trick. Paradoxically, it is when this trick is invested withdifferent layers of meaning that it sells best. I felt this with the
“container village.” All an all ahead! was not that innovative, but it transmitted the tranquil reassurance that things are not stale but rather promising (regarding aesthetics, creativity and economic viability).

Final note: Design for People vs. People for Design
Finland is not famous for its customer services (funny to say that to Greeks who are neither particularly polite). There are instances that justify this ill reputation as well as graceful exceptions. While admiring the exhibits of the furniture manufacturer Piiroinen, I tried the resized classic chair PK1. A metal part in the back rest was protruding and I hit slightly my upper back. The representative of the company came to talk to me. I explained my reserve about the chair. The tired young woman looked at me with her smiling face and told me with the most natural way: your body is wrong for the chair; we haven’t heard this complain by anyone else. She found hard to accept that maybe there was a small design issue to improve especially since the chair was enlarged 6% from the original design.
I am one of those believing that Design for All is a fad, although it does create awareness, especially amongst designers, about our discriminatory misconceptions. However, it is one think to hear that an object is not suitable for oneself and quite another to hear that oneself is not suitable for an inanimate object.

Michail Galanakis, UIAH Helsinki (

See also our great picture album from the fair:

HABITARE, Helsinki 2007


Technik Museum Sinsheim

This private museum near Stuttgart (and 2 hours from Frankfurt) is one of the most popular museums in Germany. The mayor difference to other similar museums is the absence of an complete and or an accurate description of technical history. It is worth to visit it, becaouse of the extremly rare objects. But you have to collect some informations before to enjoy them.

Almost all important cars of the 20th century are displayed in the museum, from luxury linousines like Duisenberg (USA), Mercedes and Maybach to mass motorisation of the 1950ies with great American dream cars and popular Europan supersmall size cars.

The highlights are the Bugattis, even an extremly rare Royale (only 7 were built) and of course the airplanes. Sinsheim is the only place where you can see and compare the Concorde and its Russian counterpart, the TU-144 and make your own oppinion if the design was stolen or not.

My personal favourites were the three JU-52 planes (one of them was temporarely restored in the museums court, after two decades on the roof of the museum) and an unrestored crashed and rusty Porsche 356 Speedster.

From a design aspect it is interesting to see the interiors of the planes, (even if they are incomplete, the interior of the Concorde was designed by André Putman).

See also our picture album from the museum:
Technik Museum Sinsheim

Founded: 1981
Objects: 3,000 objects on 50.000m²
(over 300 cars, 40 racing cars, 200 motorcycles, 27 locomotives, 60 airplanes)

Visitors: 1.000.000 p.a.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Design Week Helsinki 2007 #2

The Helsinki Design week is an annual event and is organized since 2005.

Kari Korkman is the soul behind of it all and calls himself I think a design producer is a very nice and approachable person. My only question about these events is that they are one off every year and take place all together in the end of summer beginning of autumn. In the dark winter months very little is happening (apart from the Forces of Light that have been shrinking every year). On the other hand, as Helsinki is a small capital and Finland in general has a strong tradition and appreciation of design, you can imagine that everything that is happening is showcasing in Helsinki.

By this I mean that there are a lot design shops, galleries, and design is more or less part of every day life for the middle class. It is interesting though that for instance Marimekko which is a legendary brand has a huge range of products to fulfill needs and desires of lower income earners too. As I say: there is no household without at least one Marimekko product. From my perspective Finnish designers are somehow trying to overcome the conventions of Finnish design and without losing their distinct identity to become more international. Multiculturalism in this small country is a big issue, as NOKIA expands and internationalization worries especially peoples of recent nations.
Michail Galanakis, UIAH Helsinki (

see also the post below

My Home - Seven experiments for new living

is an exhibition in the Vitra Design Museum about design of interior design today. I think it could be one of the most important events after many years, showing how developments could be. Watch this informative film!

Link to a article of WDR TV (in German) with a Link to a report on their WEBTV

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Design Week Helsinki 2007 #1: Design Partners

Tuesday 18th of September, there was the public opening of the exhibition of Design Partners 07, in the famous Cable Factory (multifunctional space old cable factory) in Helsinki. Link to the exhibition

The organizers promised, as in previous years, a point of communication and relaxed interaction. Big names of Finnish design and industry, and new talents co-exist and the effect is a design wonderland, with smaller and bigger surprises. All design fields are represented here; industrial, ceramic, interior, fashion and textile, furniture, and architecture. Panel talks, side exhibitions, like the one with the biggest names of French design, are all enriching an institution such as the design partners, part of Helsinki Design Week.
My favorites were the mobile lamp by Mikko Pakkanen, the silk cocoon and latex lamps, the concrete bench incorporating old fabrics and high technology. Interesting was the IKEA fashion collection where IKEA sponsored fashion and interior design creating an atmospheric living room.

Michail Galanakis, UIAH Helsinki (

See also our picture album from the exhibition:
Design Partners, Helsinki 2007
Helsinki Design Week is an event for designers and consumers
arraged for the third time (2005, 2006,2007).
It is combined with the "Habitare" furniture fair and the
"Architecture and Design Day"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Design for the Other 90%

“The majority of the world’s designers focus all their efforts on developing products and services exclusively for the richest 10% of the world’s customers. Nothing less than a revolution in design is needed to reach the other 90%.”
(Dr. Paul Polak, International Development Enterprises)

The exhibition at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum analyzes 30 humanitarian design projects. It is on view through September 23, 2007.

Link to the exhibition

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Modern Design Museum TV

The film maker Tsuyoshi Takashiro made a small movie called Modern Design Museum TV showing famous items of 2oth century design.

Link to Takashiro

Friday, August 3, 2007

Great design exhibitions of the past #1

Frankfurt, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) 1988

The late 1980ies in industrial design were dominated by the "anything-goes" mentality. The DAM decided to anwer with an exhibition what could be criteria and impulses for future design developments. This exhibition organised by Prof. Volker Fischer showed from functionalism to postmodernism all design movements and companies of this time.

The catalogue is itself an important discourse and was edited many times. Design authors like Jochen Gros, Volker Fischer, Volker Albus and Matteo Thun write about themes like "miniaturisation and design" or "neo-barock influences in postmodernism".

Myself in 2000 I learned from this book to prepare my design studies.

List of past and new exhibitions

Do you know that the Book "The origin of things" came together with an exhibition with the same name in 2003 in Rotterdam? Or that bath and design was the theme of an exhibition in Hamburg?

Our "List of some design history relevant exhibitions" gives you an overview on important milestones of exhibitions and helps you searching concrete informations about themes of design history.

Friday, July 20, 2007

"Innovation vs. Imitation," Plagiarius Museum opens in Solingen

Aktion Plagiarius was initiated in 1977 by Rido Busse giving negative awards to design imitators for their "unimaginative and shameless behaviour!"
Even if the presentation of prices was followed by many articles in the press, the collection was looking for a permanent home for a long time. On April 1st, the Plagiarius Museum in Solingen, Germany officially opened its doors to the public, unveiling a parade of 300 original products alongside their knock-off inferiors.

Similar, but with a focus more on brands is the Musée de la Contrefaçon in Paris

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"50 $ Design Museum"

As industrial goods many well designed items of the past are still available on the market.

A few years back, I.D. Magazine ran a great feature, asking various designers to put together "design museums" using only $50. Unfortunatly it isn't available online, but I found a (more graphic oriented) replika in the web.

Link to the webpost

Digital Department of Design Museum London

The Design Museum London is at this time the only design museum with both, an important physical and a virtual department. The user of the virtual profits from cogent texts and the additional department of digital design.

Actual there is an exhibition about chairs and about Apple Design

Link to the digital design museum

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Eames in Gent

Today (17th June) it's exactly 100 years ago that Charles Eames was born in Missouri. One century later his work is an icon for industrial design. The exhibition at Gent Design Museum shows the complete range of their work including furniture, short films and the Eameses collection of ethnic items.

An other interesting exhibition currently at Gent Design Museum is "Kitsch, Camp or Design"

The short film Eames Lounge Chair Assembly (1956)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Neue Sammlung, a historic grown collection

The "Neue Sammlung" (New Collection) was founded as a state museum of Bavaria in 1925 and represented a departure from the historically artificial focus of traditional arts and crafts museums. It has existed as the department of arts and crafts, which was intended as an extension of the Bavarian National Museum until this very day, and has established a reputation far beyond the borders of Bavaria and indeed Germany. The word "new" in the title was a reference to what the museum stood for, and has been of relevance ever since.

During the Third Reich parts of the collection were sold or gifted. After World War II the collection growed again especially with donations of big companies like Siemens or Olivetti. Even if the Neue Sammlung was a leading collection it had no museum to display its permanent collection. The communication was by special exhibitions and books. The books edited by Hans Wichmann are today an important reference and often the only source were some design objects are explained.

The turnover came with the opening of the museum in Nuremberg (1999), the resonace of visitors and media was great. After this success the Bavarian government gave the money for a second museum in Munich (2002), a third specialised in ceramics opened in Weiden.

Thessaloniki Design Museum, still a homeless museum

The Thessaloniki Design Museum is the personal work of Stergios Delialis, a Greek industrial designer. In its over 10 years, the museum, in cooperation with Greek and international educational and cultural organisations and museums, has organised more than 80 exhibitions along with lectures, seminars and educational programmes (eg. "American Mid-Century Design and "Helvetica" about functional objects in 2007).

A homeless museum
Until 1997 it was housed in ground floor premises on Mitropoleos Street. Today it is searching for a permanent home. Even so it remains active with exhibitions abroad, film shows and lectures.

The problem of homeless museums is well known: A+D in Los Angeles lost its home, the Neue Sammlung in Munich had until 2003 no permanent exhibition (even it it was the greatest design collection in the world). It is hard to understand why politicians do not support design museums. It seems to be easier to finance a traditional or archaelogic museum, even if design museums are more successfull.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"A + D opens final show before being evicted!"

Architecture+Design Museum in Los Angeles lost it's home. I found a webpost about actual developments on the Architecture+Design Museum in Los Angeles

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Corporate Design Museums: Vitra Design Museum

Making a tour to Basle in Switzerland you will have at least one argument going some kilometres back to Germany.
Vitra is not the only company with structures designed by star architects or with an own design museum. But at no other company industrial design and architecture are completly integrated into company's identity.

It is more the owner's passion for design than an PR attitude and you will feel it. Today the Vitra Design Museum owns the bequest of famous designers like Eames, Panton, Prouve and Girard and is internationally active as a cultural institution making research and exhibitions about design history and contemporary design as well.

Architecture: building by Frank O. Gehry, 1987
(extension:former fire station, architect:Zaha Hadid, 1993)
Objects: 3000 Objects

Chair Collection
Buildings of Vitra itself

Friday, June 22, 2007

Visiting MAK Frankfurt

The MAK Frankfurt (Museum für angewandte Kunst) is located on the Museumsufer (Museum pier) on the river Main. The first impression is the clear white and geometric architecture of this building ( an early work of Richard Meier) in an old park. The museum was until the late 1990s called Museum für Kunsthandwerk (M. for decorative Arts) and has a large collection of European, Oriental and Asian antiques eg. furniture, carpets, vases. The turn to a design museum is holding on, and next to industrial design, interface design is displayed.

Nobody will visit this design museum only to see the Panton chairs, old Apple computers or Alessi products. The argument to see the design collection is the smart selection made by the well know design author Prof.Dr. Volker Fischer. An other argument is that the visitor can easily compare with pre-industrial design products in the other rooms.

Last renovation: 1985
(new building by star-architect Richard Meier)
Objects: 30.000 Objects (design and art decoratif)

Bel-Air Lounge Chair (1981, Memphis-Group Milano)
Têtê-à-têtê Chair (1983, Colorcore Formica, NY)
Chippendale Chair (1984, Knoll itl.)

CNC-Lab Furniture (1995, HfG Offenbach)
Media exhibits

Visiting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

During a trip though the Netherlands in 2003 I visited this museum. Some months before it was renovated. Unfortunatly it has too many highlights in other departments like the famous Pieter Brueghel's tower of babel, so industrial design is secondary for visitors. The curators try to mix the exhibits to solve this, and the confrontation is well done. Design and art on the same wall seems to be the best concept to explain and display the difference between art and design.

To place different chairs in the cafeteria is a good idea toward a closer participation of visitors.

Virtual Design Museum of TU Delft

The IDE Virtual Design Museum of TU Delft was the first virtual design museum. I think I visited in 2000 first time and it was one of the rare online picture sources for design history at that time.

Today it is much easier to find good pictures, so the future requirements will be a good selection or a guided tour through the exhibits of design history. I hope they will do it, because their database is quite big now.

Link to the Virtual Design Museum of TU Delft

From a physical design museum towards a virtual design museum

The essay of Angeliki Dimaki made at Technology Institute of Athens deals with the potential of virtual design museums and the chance to make the stock part of collections accessable. The project was made for the Thessaloniki Design Museum.

Link to the pdf. document

Essay about the crisis of museums (in German)

Today I found this essay about the crisis of museums. Michael Parmetier critisizes the phenomenon to preserve everything old and unused. One paragraph is dealing with design museums and art museums. The author sais here that Some art museums are only displays for actual industrial production (Manche Museen für moderne Kunst sind nichts weiter als Schaufenster der aktuellen Produktion.)
Link to the article

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stedelijk is closed until end of 2008

The Stedelijk Museum in Rotterdam is closed until end of 2008. During the renovation a temporary location is installed at the Post CS building (near Central Station).
Source: their website in June 2007

Deutsches Museum, almost a design museum?

The Deutsches Museum (German Museum) is much older than industrial design, and it is not a design museum. It shows mostly technological exhibits but design interested people will find here famous industrial design things which were simply too large for other design museum or not id specific enough (Which design museum would display a locomotive or a ship, even if its design is important). But the love of its curators for large items has also disadvantages. The Museum on the Museuminsel in Munich (not to be confused with the Museumsinsel in Berlin) was one day too small and it opened a dependance on the Theresienhöhe (next to Theresienwiese, where the famous Oktoberfest takes place). So visit both and and enjoy their faible for large exhibits.

Neue Sammlung in the Pinakothek der Moderne

If a museum or collection in Europe could claim to have almost everything in industrial design and graphics it could be the institution "Neue Sammlung" with their museum "Pinakothek der Moderne" in Munich (other dependances with museums are in Nuremberg and Weiden).

Is this a good argument? It isn't! Who wants to see so many things (even if only a selection is displayed) ? But: Where will you have the chance to see original products by Christopher Dresser or rare products by Marianne Brandt? Come here, and ignore Eames chairs and Peter Behrens water kettles, see direct only the rare things!

FACTS (Munich)
Founded: 1925
Last renovation: 2002 (new building)
Objects: 70.000 Objects (all dep.)
Visitors: 1.000.000 p.a. (2003-2004, all dep.)


Museums are until today a display for historic collections and civic education. In near future the quality of museums will be rated more and more by their ability to offer their quality online. The time when museum websites were oly advertising sites for exhibitions and opening times will be over (I hope so) . Especially the design museums can benefit from feeding their websites.

As a visitor of I want to share impressions with other visitors. This source should prove the information on design relevant topics exhibited in museums and designmuseums in general.

Join us, you are welcome!