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.
Designers we met in Milano in 2000.
… 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 …
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.
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 Erlhoff (Hrsg.) (2009) DADAs Best Edition Nautilus German http://bit.ly/2olD4xq Uta Brandes and Michael Erlhoff have asked 18 DADA lovers from the world of art to nominate their favourite DADA piece. The result is a fascinating, inspiring and, in the best sense of the term, colourful mix of classic and lesser-known works. The point of art and poetry is to uncover and work with possibilities and forward-looking dreams, with fantasies and desires, and, to this end, Dada used everyday life as its playground.
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 (Hrsg./ ed.) (2009) Uta Brandes – She and she as a collective novel Walther König bilingual (German & English) http://amzn.to/2BGIMCg Written by friends of Uta Brandes, this book makes for an interesting and entertaining read, offering possibilities to think about identity, gender, cars, spies, history, life, biography and design. In both thoughtful and humorous ways, we learn something about the researcher and woman Uta Brandes. A gift to Uta Brandes from friends of Uta Brandes.