In 1999, as a result of an initiative by Köbi Gantenbein, chief editor of the magazine Hochpaterre, we were invited to St. Moritz (Switzerland) to talk with local officials from the culture and tourism departments about the establishment of a new design event. We proposed to invite important international design professionals to come to St. Moritz for three days each year before Christmas in order to discuss essential new design perspectives. We suggested, however, doing this without an audience because, otherwise, these kinds of discussions tend to turn into marketing events. The St. Moritz officials loved the idea and, starting in 2000, the St. Moritz Design Summit took place for the first time (followed by seven more editions) in the exclusive Suvretta House. To secure the summit’s financing, Michael Erlhoff (who, in 1991, together with British American Tobacco/BAT had founded the Raymond Loewy Foundation for the promotion of design) was able to get BAT, and thus the foundation, on board to support the project. And so we invited 30 excellent design experts each year to …
If one wants to avoid ideology, a theory of design must be formulated in an open way: contradictory, provisionally, provocatively, boundlessly. Michael Erlhoff: Theorie des Designs (2013) Wilhelm Fink German Get a copy
Using Instead of Owning – A fundamental essay on the relationship between user and product, in particular focusing on use rather than ownership and the resulting changes in the perception of artefacts and processes, as well as conclusions referring to potential services and different distribution structures. Highly topical, even 20 years after the book’s first publication! Michael Erlhoff (1995, 2001) Nutzen statt Besitzen Gerhard Steidl Verlag German Get a copy
Uta Brandes (2017): Gender Design – Streifzüge zwischen Theorie und Empirie BIRD / Birkhäuser German, some parts in English http://bit.ly/2EKuwqV Thinking about gender in terms of social construction has been state-of-the-art in many scientific fields for decades. Design, however, is still largely blind to the consideration of gender. This is remarkable because design defines everyday life, always and everywhere, and thus also defines the subjects acting in everyday life: the interaction between people and things is always gendered. This is the first book to treat the essential questions of gender in design, both in theory and in practice. It discusses the fundamental necessity of including gender in the design process and it introduces examples of corresponding design (research) projects. Uta Brandes was the first professor, who, until recently, explicitly taught Gender & Design at the Köln International School of Design. She advises companies in gender & design questions, she is co-founder and president of the international Gender Design Network (iGDN) and she supervises many projects, in particular in Hong Kong, China and Japan.
Perspectives on design terminology. A book for all those who work in design, study design, are interested in design or want to understand more about design. More than 100 international authors have written essays for this book, offering, regardless of cultural differences, suggestions for overarching essential categories of design and, thus, for a fundamental way of talking about design. Includes terminology from both recent and traditional design discourses. A practical book for study or browsing. Michael Erlhoff & Tim Marshall (Hrsg./ eds.) (2007): Wörterbuch Design / Design Dictionary BIRD / Birkhäuser available in German or English
Michael Erlhoff & Uta Brandes (2006): Non-Intentional Design http://amzn.to/2HBfCov English Design must embrace misunderstandings, mistakes and the so-called ‘misuse’ of its products as a source of innovation and an expression of cultural diversity. A photo book documenting everyday situations where the products of design are used in ways not initially intended by their creators.
Uta Brandes, Michael Erlhoff & Nadine Schemman (2009) Designtheorie und Designforschung UTB/W. Fink German http://bit.ly/2GyjWDI If you study design, you need a fundamental knowledge of theory, and design theory must also have an empirical relation to the real needs of real people. Therefore, this book is an introduction to both design research and design theory. Expertly written, this easy-to-read book provides information on qualitative and quantitative methods in design research. It also offers a theory toolset, describes the prospects of design research and much more.
Uta Brandes & Michael Erhoff (Hrsg.) (2012): My Desk is my Castle – Exploring Personalization Cultures Birkhäuser English http://bit.ly/2Fkgugy This study focuses on a comparative analysis of the use of desks. To this end, we looked at desks in insurance companies, banks, administrative offices, call centres and design studios, located in 12 countries on all continents.
Michael Erlhoff & Ruedi Baur (2007): Design studieren W. Fink UTB German http://bit.ly/2ESVujr Design has become one of the most popular fields of study. For very good reasons because, everywhere, people are beginning to understand the degree to which design shapes our everyday life, creates experiences and communicates new knowledge. Ruedi Baur’s and Michael Erlhoff’s fundamental introduction to the variety and quality of design studies includes information on the topicality and complexity of design, on the subjects taught, on the necessary qualifications and prerequisites, on where to study design and much more.
Michael Erlhoff, Philipp Heidkamp, Iris Utikal. (Hrsg.) (2008): Designing Public Birkhäuser German & English http://bit.ly/2EXOkKH Design can be found everywhere, in both public and private spaces and therefore we have to ask ourselves whether the differentiation between public and private is still useful in describing the world today. The authors presented in this book – including, among others, Bazon Brock, Gesche Joost, Uta Brandes, and Luigi Blau – reflect on this question and provide a wide array of insights into this issue.