21 for 20

By Cliff Campbell

It is the season of design, from now through the summer those who love all things product will be thoroughly spoiled. From Clerkenwell design week to Salone del Mobile all the way through to the Pinakothek Der Moderne the world is alive with spectacular design events. Seeing as well deigned products are so part. of our every day it’s important to have these exhibitions and shows to truly engage in things we often miss simply because they are so integrated into our daily lives. The Pinakothek Der Moderne is celebrating 20 years with a celebration of 21 iconic design items. Find out more in 21 for 20 Here

Image of left Everyone is awesome Everyone is awesome, (diversity)Matthew Ashton, 2020, The LEGO Group, Danemark Group, Denmark Foto: Die Neue Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Sammlung – The Design Museum [K. Mewes]

With four major museums under one roof, the Pinakothek Der Moderne is one of the largest and most impressive museums in the world for art, architecture and design of the 20th and 21st centuries. With a diverse and integrated approach find exhibitions and events from a variety of cultural fields shown with a distinct interdisciplinary agenda.

On the auspicious occasion of the museum’s 20th anniversary of the Pinakothek der Moderne, Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum presents 21 objects from the last 20 years. 

For every year there is an object shown that addresses design developments that have changed the world of design or serve as the basis for current design movements. 

Technology is often what moves design forward whether this be products or even fashion. In fashion think of the massive shift in shape and style once lycra was produced and now with 3D printing, we are witnessing new forms being generated.

Think of the Solid C2 chair by designer Patrick Jouin as one example of this; the first fully 3D-printed piece of furniture. Technical developments such as robotics have also increasingly influenced everyday life over the past two decades. This is exemplified by the AIBO ERS 210 entertainment robot, which imitates a dog and can react to its surroundings using touch sensors, a camera and microphones. 

Solid. C2 3D-Druckl, Patrick Jouin, 2004, Materialise MGX NV, Belgium. Foto: Die Neue Photo: Die Neue Sammlung The Design Museum [K. Mewes]

As our shift moves towards ecological aspects such as sustainability and fair trade in the last two decades again we see massive shifts in design. For instance, design studio Formafantasma developed vessels made of biomaterial and agricultural waste with its Autarchy series. Fairphone, in turn, pays attention to production processes and distribution channels that guarantee fair trade.  

Societal and social issues such as inclusion and diversity are also gaining more presence in recent years. This is reflected in the Go FlyEase accessible sneakers, which enable hands-free donning and doffing, and the Everybody is awesome Lego set that represents the LGBTQIA+ community with its different colours.  (Image on left)

One of the best elements of great design is its ability to help with everything from equality to accessing education and health. In some cases, designers featured technical and social developments. For example, the social robot AV1 Avatar enables children unable to attend school for extended periods to digitally participate in class and socially interact.  

All the objects on show present a small cross-section of the phenomena of the last two decades, finding their innovative and relevant creative expression through the medium of design.

The Pinakothek der Moderne is a modern art museum, situated in central Munich’s Kunstareal. Locals sometimes refer to it as the Dritte Pinakothek (third) after the Old (a museum for old masters’ works) and New (Its focus is European Art of the 18th and 19th centuries). It is one of the world’s largest museums for modern and contemporary art

The architecture of the spacious building with the glass-roofed rotunda invites visitors to explore links between the museums and gain new and surprising insights

Curator Rosa Carole Rodeck, 20 years of Pinakothek Der Moderne 21 objects opens 14th July to 15th January 2023 Find out more here pinakothek.de/en