11 December 2015 until 3 April 2016
No Name Design

Jack-knives, scissors, gloves and measuring instruments are items of daily use that make life easier but don’t receive much attention from their users. The Swiss product designer and teacher Franco Clivio (b. 1942) has collected them ‒ some 1,000 objects, for the most part small in scale, which the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) will present in an exhibition starting on 11 December 2015. What these articles have in common is clever form and functionality based on unusual ideas and designs. In the majority of cases it is not known who invented or designed them; they belong to the category of anonymous everyday design and are not part of the officially celebrated design culture. “No-Name Design” is a declaration of love to these inconspicuous objects, to their intelligent designs and the – usually concealed – technical ingenuity that surprises and amazes us when we take a closer look. The exhibition is a kind of chamber of curiosities of product design with encyclopaedic character. It shows what constitutes good, timeless design. The items included fill thirty display cases meticulously arranged by the photographer Hans Hansen. In twenty-nine chapters, Franco Clivio tells the stories behind the objects. Forty photo sequences illustrate how the various apparatuses and gadgets work in detail. A film portrait introduces the designer Franco Clivio and his “way of looking at things”. Deep affection for the commonplace, apparently ‘undesigned’ object suitable for daily use accompanies Clivio in his role as an academy teacher and a design practitioner in the employ of such companies as ERCO, FSB, Lamy, Gardena, Rodenstock or Siemens. The exhibition is being made possible with kind support from the Swiss cultural foundation Pro Helvetia, burkhardt leitner modular spaces and the Sarah Maier collection.

Photo: Hans Hansen