080609: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich: Every Thing Design

Museum für Gestaltung Zürich: Every Thing Design Gift table with peeler What makes an everyday consumer item to a classic design object? What establishes the meaning of an artefact? The “Every Thing Design” exhibition at the Museum of Design in Zurich offers answers to these questions. Verena Formanek, head of the collection, selected 400 objects from the - since 1875 - continuously growing collections of posters, design, artefacts, and graphics. Thereby Formanek not only makes the transformation of values visible, but also emphasizes the main task of a museum: regarding the art of collecting as a continuous selection procedure among everyday objects - given the ever-changing questions within a socio-cultural environment. The renowned Swiss design studio Oi created an inspiring show, whose open presentation reminds of a gift table. The exhibition is divided into 9 topics, however, the classification of the objects is in no way conclusive and therefore often incites additional questions: the legendary peeler “Rex” by Alfred Neweczerzal, positioned in the section “Permanence”, could – on account of the stimulus it offered its copycats - easily have also fit into the section “Design Reloaded”. While the potentially scandalous GGK Palmers posters are presented together with Marlboro posters and a lasciviously smoking Fin-de-Siècle lady by Alfons Mucha in the section “Seduction and Information”, the long-lasting bags by Freitag clash with the short-lasting packaging for Swiss Cailler’s Frigor chocolate by Jean Nouvel in the “Life Cycle and Ecology” section. Despite some gaps (which, depending on the viewer, will always be the case) Formanek’s selection is a great success. All significant positions in the field of applied arts are included; and any missing items should be regarded as a variation of those items displayed. Only the “Guest List”, a selection of individual objects chosen by nine distinguished designers seems inappropriate. Positioned at the end of the exhibition they convey the feeling as if the exhibition needed this kind of a backup from colleagues – something completely unnecessary in view of the quality shown. A selection by celebrated non-designers would have been more refreshing. The exhibition finds its adequate design in the unusual catalogue created by the Dutch book and graphic designer Irma Boom. Her award winning publication is honoured in the poster room of the museum. Whoever is interested in learning more about the fertile cooperation between Swiss design and production should visit the exhibition “Good Design, Good Business – Swiss graphics and advertising for Geigy 1940 – 1970” - one floor higher. By Harald Krämer Museum für Gestaltung Zürich 8005 Zurich, Ausstellungsstrasse 60, until 19.07.09 www.museum-gestaltung.ch

Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
8005 Zürich, Ausstellungsstrasse 60
Tel: +41 (0)43 446 67 67
Email: welcome@museum-gestaltung.ch
Öffnungszeiten: Di-Do 10-20, Fr-So 10-17

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