20 June until December 2019
Design Dialogue
An Experiment

The new presentation of the Design Collection at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) starts with an experiment. Instead of completely reconceiving the galleries displaying Design after 1945, which were last overhauled in 2012, MKG is trying something new: Design Dialogue. The joint project between two of MKG’s collections is based on a broad concept of design that is in principle applicable to all areas that have to do with how we design our surroundings. Generally, when we speak of design, we mean primarily objects from the 20th and 21st centuries. If we trace the term’s origins, however, it can be applied much earlier in the sense of a designed world. The exhibition therefore demonstrates selected aspects of the history of design as a dialogue between handcrafted objects from the 16th to 19th centuries from the European Decorative Arts and Sculpture Collection and industrially manufactured, modern and contemporary design from the Modern Art Collection. Focusing on the four main areas of mobility, multifunctionality, material, and brand, the show offers a completely new perspective on the objects in the collections that extends across the centuries to explore similarities and differences: What patterns and trends can be recognized? What role do innovations and technical advances play? Where can we find corresponding or contrasting elements? What is the significance of people’s needs?

Photo: Exhibition view, photo: MKG