The Rubber Cup goes back to Richard Sapper, then-professor at the Stuttgart Academy of Art: students from all universities were invited to participate in this race on the condition that their vehicles were powered by nothing but 20g of rubber. This usually resulted in rather big vehicles as the tension of the rubber was supposed to generate the speed of movement so that the vehicles would either be rather fast or would run over a long period of time. The Köln International School of Design (KISD) also set up a project to participate in the race. After many attempts to power the vehicle through the tension of the rubber, a totally different concept was developed: the rubber was cut into small pieces, set on fire and the heat of combustion was used to power a very small vehicle. The KISD vehicle won the race against many competitors because it was clearly the fastest.
Unsatisfied with both the largely miserable quality and local presence of Hannover-based writers, Uta Brandes and Michael Erlhoff placed a distinctive note in the local paper HA.Z: all those considering themselves writers should convene in front of the opera house for a joint reading session on a Saturday , 12 pm, in November 1980. About 100 people came and started, after a signal, to read their texts. A simultaneous reading that, naturally, became increasingly louder as everyone tried to be louder, and thus to have more presence, than the others. The session was recorded with a non-professional recording device.
A conversation between Michael Erlhoff and the Austrian scholar and writer Oswald Wiener (approx. 1983, in German).
Designers we met in Milano in 2000.
The Second Conference on New Experimental Research in Design HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts | Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen Faculty of Design | Renatastrasse 11 | 31134 Hildesheim, Germany Building A, Room E04 (Auditorium) 15 + 16 June, 2018, 11 a.m. After the overwhelming success of the first NERD conference, held last year at HBK Braunschweig, the second conference will take place in June (15 & 16) in Hildesheim, Germany: We want to present and discuss the quality, significance and versatility of young design research. This is important for the development of our societies, of research and of business and for a better understanding of what design research actually is and does, as well as for the unfolding of new prospects. Young design researchers from different countries will present their mind-broadening and pioneering work. Each presentation will take 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of discussion. The conference is open (and free) to the public at large: everyone is warmly invited to participate. We would, however, kindly ask you to register only if you are able …
… and the bedesign library (photo: Nele Martensen).
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
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