Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Panasonic Design Museum, a new virtual design museum

It's nothing new to read about a company's history and their past products on their website. Panasonic is one step ahead and made the "Panasonic Design Museum" with background informations to every product and its time.

Discover and learn on: Link to Panasonic Design Museum the entry is free

Friday, November 21, 2008

Visiting an other museum in Germany: The MKG in Hamburg

The official website of Hamburg describes the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (Museum for Art and Business) as "one of Europe’s most important museums for applied arts". And the facts are impressive too: 220000 visitors p.a., openend in 1877 as an arts & crafts museum an historic building with a new wing designed by the famous German architect Schürmann (*1928).

So my tour to Hamburg included also a visit of this museum. The entrance fee was not very cheap but included the free use of an audio-guide and a personal instruction to this tool. I did not take the regular route but started at the furniture design collection. Post modernism is an important part of this collection, but all classics like the Aluminum Group and Lounge Chair by Eames or chairs by Panton are found here too. I missed design classics that are not furniture. But on display was only the Valentine typewriter by Sottsass and two audio objects made by Brionvega. A big surprise was the great exhibition of pianos. It was a kind of best of piano history. From decorative cembalos to modern grand pianos. I missed only the music. Let me say only this collection is worth to be visited, even if there were no modern items, like the Porsche Design piano for Bösendorfer. Other collections include antiquities from ancient Greece, Asia and Arabia. Interesting are the barocque interiors.

A surprise were the free exhibition posters for visitor at the exit/wardrobe. I took two designed by Ott+Stein made for the "Käfer: der Erfolgswagen" exhibition from 1997.

The photo album from the visit:
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Design vs. Art

How often design is confused with art and how often art is inspired by design? Michail Galanakis collected some impressions at the Art Fair Suomi 08:

On Thursday the 11th of September there was the opening of the Finnish Art Fair 2008. Venue was the famous Cable Factory and the organizers (MUU artists’ association) managed to put together a terrific show. Admittedly here reigns photographic art but contemporary, experimental, exciting. Painting was almost absent, and only a few attempts for sculptures. Video and performative arts were also present. Could this signify the trivialization of the art scene? Or simply the desire of the artists for reproducible less time consuming pieces that can sell at reasonably high prices in these times of artistic pluralism (saturation?) and foreseeable economic crisis? In any case it seems to work! There was certainly a commercial interest motivated by the wide artistic offer and its affordability. The highlight of the opening was the performances of London based Finnish artist HK. With her funny uncomplicated lyrics and staging she comments on popular culture and sexualisation. Briefly my impression of the fair is this: Finnish artists often demonstrate a dark idiosyncrasy; the “put-a-smile-on-your-face” occasions though do take place and consist of the instances when Finnish dryness and quirkiness make their defining artistic splash. For more: www.artfairsuomi.fi

by Michail Galanakis

Link to the complete picture gallery

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

World first Graphic Design Museum opened in Breda

On 11th June 2008 opened the world first Graphic Design Museum. The Institution is located in Breda in the Netherlands and describes itself "as museum, knowledge centre, teaching environment, shop for image culture, designer café and production house for graphic design". If it is the right thing to show only graphic design or not, which place could be better to show graphic design if not the Netherlands.

Museums' Website

Monday, May 26, 2008

Design Museums exhibit in Istanbul

During the ‘Design Cities’ festival the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art opened an exhibition with 109 masterpieces from the London Design Museum, Vitra Design Museum, London Victoria & Albert Museum, Thonet Museum and Centre Pompidou showing the work of 64 designers including William Morris, Owen Jones, Christopher Dresser, Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray, Achille Castiglioni, Ettore Sottsass, Gio Ponti, Otto Wagner and Josef Hoffman. Source:fibre2fashion

It is the first world class design exhibition in Turkey, and -who knows- perhaps a first step towards a Turkish Design Museum. During the last years a lot of new design impulses came from Turkey, with designers like Aziz Sariyer or companies like Nurus.

Website of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art

Monday, April 14, 2008

Visiting the MAK Vienna

Its permanent collections are displayed in a series of exhibition halls in the first floor, each of which has its own period (Renaissance, baroque, oriental, art deco) as well as a room about the Wiener Werkstätte (company that manufactured items of Austrian Avantgarde designers like Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser) and a room with architecture models.

The 'Studiensammlung' in the basement contains fascinating studies of different materials, like metal, wood, ceramics and the furniture collection. This part seems to be the more succeded part of the collection. It looks like a stock house and the clear white painted walls without windows focus the view on the exhibits.

The exhibition in the first floor suffers from the strong and heavy decorated rooms. It's hard to feel them, because the building draw off the attention, e.g. in the floor it was hard to see the welded architecture model of Zaha Hadid's Feuerwehrhaus.

The wide range of rare exhibits give a goog overview of 20th century design, for experts it is the best place to see and discover the relevance of the Austrian part of the modernist movement. In an other city this would be the mayor tourist attraction, but competition is hard in the capital of Habsburg and music history, historism and art decó and the viennese coffee houses. But visit the MAK and you will see Vienna with other eyes!

1863, since 15th November 1871 in this building, 1875-1877 new wing. In 1989-1993 there was a complete renovation and an additional wing built. The main building is a historistic building of similar structure and condition as the UPM in Prague and the first museum on the Ringstraße (the elegant ring-boulevard)

Web site
Poor and only for advertising made websites were my motivation to begin the design museums blog. But the website of the MAK Vienna is good and gives you a extensive overview of its activities. See the notable online-database of the collection or the online-database of Austrian design.

See the album with pictures from the museum
MAK Wien

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ID100Y, how designers celebrate design history

Last year I read a book about Peter Behrens who was the first industrial designer in history. Talking with Daun, a friend from my time at HfG Offenbach we discussed how can designers celebrate the 100th birthday of industrial design. We have no material exhibits and no background of an historicians education. So we started to redesign some design classics of the past.

See the results and vote for your favourite design!

Triennale Design Museum in Milan

On 6th December opened the Triennale Design Museum. Here is an adverting film about it (only in Italian):

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nordic Museum in Seattle hears focus on design

In Seattle a 75,000 square foot museum will be constructed at a cost of $50 million. The basic concept was a museum that can host major international exhibits, showcase local Scandinavian history and art, while becoming an international level institution emphasizing Nordic design, culture and heritage. The concept was changed from a historic towards a more design oriented museum. It could be the first museum of Scandinavian design outside Europe and the first design museum dedicated on the design of an other country.

Read more in the article of Ballardnewstribune.com

Is the museums exhibition design worth to be preserved?

A museum preserves and exhibits this. Sometimes the building is an exhibit itself, if it is built by an famous architect, or if it is of historic relevance.

But what if the exhibition design becomes historic as well? In 1976 the famous functionalist German graphic designer Otl Aicher made the corporate design of the "Historisches Museum Frankfurt". From pictograms to displays and prospectus. Today only some fragments remain in the prehistoric and numismatic department.

The clear functional design of the Ulm School (founded by Inge Scholl, Otl Aicher and Max Bill) already vanished from daily life, and my generation could experience it only by books or some exhibits. In this museum somebody can see the perhaps last remaining original exhibition made by Otl Aicher. It's future is unsafe because the geat parts of the Museum will be teared down and replaced by a new building.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Design Museum Bag" for £1

Everybody knows the commercial activities of museums offering things to take with you as a souvenir. From postcards to reeditions of exhibits, you will find a lot of things. My favourites are the book shop in museums, they offer also catalogues and posters of older exhibitions.

The Design Museum in London sales reusable bags also through numerous retailers, the - Design Museum Bag is sold for just £1 to reduce the use of plastic bags. It's a re-usable non-woven bag, available with a long shoulder strap or as a double-handled shopper, both featuring the Design Museum artwork on a black background.

More on the Design Museum Online-Shop

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sign of the Times

What could be more impressive in graphic design than the many illuminated advertisings at night. In Hong Kong they are even a kind of tourist attraction.

Today I found an article in the web that in Cincinnati exists the American Sign Museum. It opened in 2005 as an non-profit museum and shows an selection of the 300 signs. About 2,000 people visit annually. The response has been good enough that the museum will open in a new site late this year or in early 2009. The new property will initially more than triple the current space and provide 28-foot-high ceilings to accommodate larger signs.

Article in USATODAY
Website of the American Sign Museum

photo: design museums blog

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Visiting Nuremberg: The "Neues Museum" and the "DB Museum"

Yesterday I was in Nuremberg. The capital of the Franconian County in Bavaria is well known in Germany for it's Christmas market and the traditional Christmas sweets like "Lebkuchen". The last time I visited this town during my studies in 2003 on a step to Munich. We visited the "Neues Museum" (which hosted exhibits of the "Neue Sammlung" design collection at this time) and the Nazi buildings with the world war II documentation centre. At my trip yesterday I decided to see the "Neues Museum" (new museum) again and was disappointed. In 2003 I was surprised by the freshness of the building and the ambivalence of industrial design and contemporary art side by side. The design items are at the present time not showed, but the art collection did not benefit from the surplus of space. It is a fact that you will find some famous artists like Beuys or Avramidis, but you will miss a general system or a path. The permanent art exhibition looks like an overdimensioned flea market of expensive works without any system. Even a private collector would invest more time in a concept of uniformity or a patchwork. So it is not a wonder that this museum has a lack of visitors, even if it is in the heart of town. It is too boring for tourists and too poor in exhibits for art fans. Let's see what happens when the design collection is back!

After this shock the "DB Museum" was a real oasis! The Museum of three former state owened companies (Deutsche Bahn - the railways, Deutsche Post and Deutsche Telekom) shows the history of technology under a strict chronological order. Many objects are of course also stepstones of industrial design. The museum is also very friendly to children, many things could be touched or be put in operation. From a design aspect interesting in the railway department was the 1:1 model of the ICE 3 (incl. the interior!) designed by Alexander Neumeister and Siemens; corporate design manuals, posters and furniture of stations. The communication department showed some cars, a good phone collection (they could be tried) and also posters. Here I missed a good attribution to stamp design (but this is showed at the other museums of the Deutsche Post). A seperate hall on the other side of the street, shows some additional rolling stock without any explanation.
In general this museum shows not the great treasures of technology, but if the criteria is the education, it could be one of the best in teaching technology and its history.

With 4€ for every museum the admission price was fair.

Click on the picture to see the photo album of this excursion:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hangaram Design Museum

The Hangaram Design Museum in Seoul is located within the Seoul Arts Center, an cultural institution for music (music hall & opera house) arts (Fine Art Plaza & art museum, calligraphy art museum) and design.

Three different exhibitions were displayed at the Hangaram Design Museum, at the entrance is a popular cafe, conspicuous with the colourful Philippe Starck chairs.

All light! All right? (new influences in lightning design)
Dialog in the dark (the famous dialog museum exhibition)
Verner Panton (retrospective)

I went first to all light! All right? It was huge hall in dark. At the beginning there were cabinet/ square box for display of each light. Here was displayed work of famous international designers. And far inside was displayed work of Korean designers. In a free space without box, each light has enough space for it own lightning.

And in a separated hall there was fashion light! Passion light exhibition. This was consisting of 4 designers. Philippe Starck, Verner Panton, Jasper Morrison, Susanne Kessler & Petra Eichler.

On the wall was made with Paper cut art a nature in a deep forest. Such as a bird and trees and small dear. In the middle of the hall was a island on which was furniture and light of each designer displayed.

The Verner Panton retrospective showed famous exhibits like the Panton chair, the Heart corn and corn chair but also the many lightnings he made for Louis Poulsen.

After my visit in design museum I have also seen the Calligraphy Art Museum and art museum. In Art museum i could see fresh drawings of young Korean painters. Many of them were young but also well known in their branch. They were whether professor of university or winner of an award. I could see by this exhibition young talented painter in our generation in Korea. As following program was in Calligraphy Exhibition named “Emtpy Fullness” by Choi, Jung-Gyun. His widow sponsored these Drawings for this Exibihition. His work was Drawing with Poem or Writing only.

Text by Daun Chung

It was prohibited to make photos, but I found a good flickr-album about the Verner Panton Exhibition.