Learning from the Bauhaus: ZEIT.BEZÜGE

The Learning from the Bauhaus exhibition will feature items of furniture paired up from various Wilkhahn chair generations. Photo: Wilkhahn

The Learning from the Bauhaus exhibition reveals how Wilkhahn is translating modernism into the future by pairing up 18 items of furniture so that historical milestones are juxtaposed with contemporary equivalents. Designs by Herbert Hirche, Roland Rainer, Walter Papst, Georg Leowald, Delta-Design, Nick Roericht and Klaus Franck are married with current Wilkhahn products by RSW, Wolfgang C.R. Mezger, jehs+laub, Phoenix Design, Andreas Störiko, Thorsten Franck, WhiteID and the Wilkhahn design department. The exhibition features seats in abstract designs to encourage changes of movement, versatile combinations of plastic shells with diverse chair frames, stackable chairs with A-shaped frames and skid-base chairs, executive chairs and office chairs with synchronous movement capabilities.

Serape (design: Swenja Fleur Fabian), which won first prize in the student ZEIT.Bezüge competition, envelops the Metrik cantilever chair (design: WhiteID) like a warming blanket. Photo: Wilkhahn
Fotos: Wilkhahn

Nine pairs and one seminal chair

Pairing up the furniture reveals how new materials and production technologies lead to new functionality and forms of expression and that the principles and types developed back in the Bauhaus era are still very much relevant today. The showcase of PrintStool One’s production (design: Thorsten Franck) is particularly absorbing. In this case, a 3D-printed stool is displayed in the context of the original Bauhaus ideas where industrial processes and craftsmanship, theory and practice, design and construction, customers and manufacturers can reunite through cutting-edge, digital production processes.

The Serape throw (design: Swenja Fleur Fabian) also comes in grey. Photo: Wilkhahn

ZEIT.BEZÜGE for the cantilever chair
ZEIT.BEZÜGE is the title of the ideas competition at OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts. In German, the title is a play on words meaning literally references to time and the word “Bezüge” throws or covers for items of furniture. The competition also looks at the past, present and future. Wilkhahn organised the competition with its agent designfunktion. Nine students explored the teaching methods at the Bauhaus in order to develop throws for the Metrik cantilever chair (design: WhiteID) against the background of the challenges and issues that concern society today. After all, the cantilever chair is regarded as an exemplary invention and development at the Bauhaus. For the first time, a sparing approach to the materials used was combined with a high degree of comfort and low-cost opportunities for mass production by using tubular steel.

The Learning from the Bauhaus exhibition with pairs of chairs (at the front: Occo, design jehs+laub). Photo: Wilkhahn
Wooden Wilkhahn chair in the Learning from the Bauhaus exhibition. Photo: Wilkhahn
Poster with Wilkhahn designers for the Learning from the Bauhaus exhibition, view of the Labor exhibition space. Photo: Wilkhahn
Fotos: Wilkhahn

A flying carpet, woollen pads and tea bags

On 8 July, judges reviewed and evaluated the entries, which came in the shape of sketchbooks, collages and concept descriptions. Whether the materials used were natural or a result of creative recycling, their sustainability was the prevailing theme in all the designs, which focused on the relationship to the user and customer.

Presentation for the student ZEIT.Bezüge exhibition. Photo: Wilkhahn
Prize winner Swenja Fleur Fabian and the judges of the student ZEIT.Bezüge competition. Photo: Wilkhahn

Editor-in-chief Susanne Tamborini-Liebenberg from MD magazine, architect and interior designer Prof. Ulrike Kerber from TH OWL, staff from WhiteID design studio, design director Hannes Neubert from the weavers Gebrüder Munzert and Michael Englisch, head of design and development at Wilkhahn, unanimously awarded first prize to Swenja Fleur Fabian for her serape. The design combines Marcel Breuer’s cantilever concept of sitting on “columns of air” with a “flying carpet” as a seat and what looks like a slipcover for the back and side rests. It’s all in the name because, similarly to the multipurpose blanket from Mexico, the informal throw doubles as a poncho if temperatures drop, while in summer it has handy pockets to stow away the sort of valuables we like to keep close at hand, such as our mobile phones.

The prize-winning serape with a pocket at the side...
...and doubling up as a warm blanket. Photos: Wilkhahn

The second prize went to Ann-Kristin Fischer for her crudo design, in which the regional production of natural wool and the traditional way it’s processed are contrasted with the high-tech production of the Metrik cantilever chair. The design also allows the addition of cooling or warming components depending on seasons.

In the case of the third prize for the Take a Seat design by Rika Schuhen, the judges praised the multi-layered, conceptual derivations from the Bauhaus teachings on architecture and the link between industrial processes and craftsmanship. The innovative seat cover is based on tea bags sewn together and positioned randomly, which lend the seat a brand-new appearance.

The 1st prize is a limited special edition at designfunktion

Over the past few weeks, Wilkhahn’s design management team and the competition winner have made prototypes of the serape so that they’re ready for production. They will be presented for the first time when the exhibition opens and can be purchased in the coming months as a limited special edition for the Bauhaus anniversary year exclusively via designfunktion.


Opening of the exhibition

Date: 13 November 2019, 6 p.m.
Place: Labor on the Wilkhahn campus (architect: Georg Leowald based on plans by Herbert Hirche), Fritz-Hahne-Strasse 8, 31848 Bad Münder, Germany (district: Eimbeckhausen).
For appointments to visit the exhibition send a mail to: gisela.hahne@wilkhahn.de


The exhibition can be viewed from 14 November 2019 until 27 March 2020 by prior appointment. Please arrange appointments by mailing gisela.hahne@wilkhahn.de


The Detmold School for Architecture and Interior design at OWL

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