Early in the twentieth century, design from Germany attained international significance. After 1949, its development followed a uniquetrajectory: design as it had evolved before the war developed and changed in completely different circumstances in the two parts of the divided country. Collaborating with the Vitra Design Museum, the Kunstgewerbemuseum of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden is mounting an exhibition that provides an extensive overview of postwar German design history. It highlights not only the different realities of design in the East and West, but also the parallels and cross-connections.
The extraordinary circumstance of having a double history brings into focus the status of design in different material and social conditions. Accordingly, the first section of the exhibition focusses on how design in both countries featured as an instrument of political propaganda and as a tool for the formation of identity. In addition, objects are presented that show a connection between the two countries. On both sides of the wall, it was seen as relevant to link into modern ideas and to engage in economic exchange. The exhibition departs from past retrospective shows and publications on “German” design which only rarely afforded East German design culture its own significance and meaning.
An exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum, the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the Wüstenrot Foundation.