The house we built - a new home for art fashion and design

Kuehn Malvezzi & Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

For years we’ve been working on this guidance system for the Museum of Applied Arts Berlin .... it just reopened after the massive renovation .... we’re really proud of this, since we’ve been redefining everything from the guidance system down to the labels in the display ....

A Home for Art, Fashion and Design

On 22nd November, after extensive renovations, the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) in the Kulturforum will greet the world in dazzling, new attire. Many parts of the building, designed in 1996 by Rolf Gutbrod in the spirit of post-war modernism, have been remodelled by the architectural firm of Kuehn Malvezzi. In the foyer, the ticket desk, information desk and cloakroom have been housed in white, cube-shaped installations, whose simplified form allows them to retreat into the background, leaving the staircase to occupy a space of its own. The treads of the stairs have been enclosed in a sumptuous casing, emphasising the horizontal and lending a unity to the staircase while at the same time bringing out its sculptural quality. An easy-to-follow signage system explains the spatial arrangement of the building, directing visitors around it by means of red, overhead signs. Also newly designed are the exhibition rooms for the Fashion, Design, and Jugendstil to Art Deco collections. A home for art, fashion and design To present its huge range of exhibits, covering a multitude of styles and materials, the Kunstgewerbemuseum offers a variety of themed tours. The new fashion gallery beckons as soon as you enter. In large showcases, installed in rooms lit dimly for conservation purposes, mannequins model around 130 costumes and accessories. Representing 150 years of fashion history, the display conveys a sense of strolling through a shopping arcade, with the creations of such famous couturiers as Paul Poiret, Elsa Schiaparelli and Christian Dior in the windows. This is the first time that Berlin has had a permanent exhibition covering every aspect of fashion. The core of the display is the international collection of Martin Kamer and Wolfgang Ruf, which was purchased in 2009. Another highlight is the new Design Collection display in the basement. This top-quality selection presents Bauhaus classics alongside the designs of contemporary design celebrities such as Ettore Sottsass, Philippe Starck and Konstantin Grcic. A chair gallery rounds off the tour, with a selection of innovative designs from the 19th century to the present day. The chair illustrates the different possibilities of design better than almost any other object; here the spectrum ranges from the simple and serviceable to the luxurious, culminating in designs where imagination completely overtakes functionality. On the ground and first floors, the museum presents a systematic survey of European masterpieces of the minor arts, from the Middle Ages to Art Deco. On the ground floor are precious Mediaeval devotional objects, including the famous Guelph Treasure, together with magnificent Renaissance artefacts such as the silver treasure of Lüneburg city council. Upstairs, the Baroque passion for collecting is exemplified in the phenomenon of the Kunstkammer - collections of exquisite curiosities and objets d'art housed inelaborate collectors' cabinets. The large cabinet by David Roentgen, an iconic masterpiece of its kind, marks the transition from Baroque to Neoclassical taste. Four 'rooms within rooms' have been created to display the Jugendstil to Art Deco Collection. Inside these intimate spaces are stages for items of furniture and exhibits of outstanding interest, while further objects are displayed in showcases set into their outer walls. Organised thematically, these different display areas are devoted to artistic movements between the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris and the end of the 1920s. They form the perfect setting for the ornaments of René Lalique, the furniture of Henry van de Velde and the stained glass of César Klein.

There it goes, here it comes – Again – Buy yourself into 2015

Double Standards

Good bye 2014, hello 2015. Our brand new DIN A0 (894:1184cm) calendar is available from now on in our PRODUCTS section. As flat pack, folded down to DIN A4 or, loads of you were asking for it for years, rolled up (nicer, but higher shipping costs) sent to you in a poster tube. This year we went for black and white after all the fluorescent bright colours in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 ---- we thought it’s time to go very basic again. Oh, before we forget .... no, the frame is not coming with the calendar.

Here comes the new photographer - RealSureal

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg

It was a delight to work on this book for the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg with Mr. Dietmar Siegert, the well known photography collector from Munich. What we came up with was a book packed with many, many photographs of the avant-garde movement and surrealists. The texts in the book are just amazing ... something for a long cold winter evening. Enjoy it with a glass of whisky near the fire place. There is a great article (unfortunately in German only) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in case you’d like to read how well received the exhibition was by the journalist.

Using one thing – take it for another

Ocaña Barcelona

March 23rd 2012 Ocaña, a café, bar, restaurant opened its doors with an unbelievable party. We were so proud taking part in this project with the many little things we have created for them. Ocaña was living in this exact house on Plaça Reial in Barcelona.

José Pérez Ocaña (1947-1983)

“They ask me if I am a transvestite. I am not a transvestite, I am a clown and Las Ramblas is my stage…”

“I’m an outcast, like the prostitutes, pimps, queers, or the thieves who steal motorbikes. Even though I am a painter, I understand their world. I can identify with all these people. I love them, I find them fascinating…”

Ocaña, always a freedom defender, was a leading character of a lot of alternative movements of the Spanish transition in Barcelona during the 70′s. The artist started as a house painter and ended up painting with fine brushes on canvas. He was born in 1947 in Cantillana, a village in Sevilla.

But Barcelona was clearly the best stage of his own life. He lived at Plaza Real next to Ocaña. His balcony was well known for its Altar dedicated to the virgin of “La Asunción” and for being always full of flowers.

The whole system behind it is to use material that already exists and reuse them in different ways. So we created 500 posters for the opening, designing them on the go on the screen printing table using international newspapers we bought every day for about half a year. None of the posters had the exact same design and each of them was numbered. And so we did with the invites. Each of the 2000 invites was carrying 12 stamps freely placed on the card..... we kept ourselves busy for a couple of days with this. We created a whole world for Ocaña .... business cards, letterheads, menus for the café, bar and restaurant. This project was the best nightmare one can ever imagine. Thank you Ocaña.

Visit the Ocaña website here

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