Design is all-pervasive. It’s present everywhere we look and in everything we use. It surrounds us in various forms, from buildings, products, cars, advertisements to posters. It touches every aspect of our lives, whether it makes its presence obviously felt or not. Actually, the hallmark of good design is that it works unobtrusively behind the scenes without us being aware of it—in the newspapers we read, the mobile phones and laptops we use, the cars we drive and the chairs we sit on!
Design is one of the most important contributions for which Germany has a deserved reputation. German products—known the world over for their quality seal “Made in Germany”—are much sought after. They are valued for their aesthetics, high-quality standards, reliability and durability. Our automobiles, recognised for their top-class engineering and design, have huge aspirational value.
Bauhaus is another significant German contribution. This world-renowned movement, started by the Bauhaus school, had—and continues to have—a great influence on architecture and interior design, industrial and product design, fine art and typography. It looks at design as a problem-solving process. Form always follows function. Buildings, furniture and objects are meant to be practical, clutter-free and utilitarian, keeping mass production in mind. Uniting fine arts and crafts into a Gesamtkunstwerk or “total work of art”, Bauhaus aspired to improve the daily lives of people. This led to the birth of a new profession: the designer.
The year 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus design school. So, if you happen to be visiting Germany then, do keep an eye out for special exhibitions and events that celebrate this movement that shaped design as we know it today. In this issue of What’s Up, Germany?, we dive into the fascinating world of design and acknowledge its quiet, enriching presence.