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German University Cairo 2008

Cairo 2008

After having been invited by the rectorate of the German University Cairo (GUC) already before in order to consult the design faculty, we came back to teach a design course. Like in most other universities in Egypt at least 80% of the students at GUC are female. (This is because boys deliberately are sent abroad for their studies, while girls have to stay at home with their parents.) Therefore the subject explicitly dealt with female matters: “Female Power”. Unlike the few mal participants the female students loved the project and were extremely innovative. – Here are some examples from that course.  

St. Moritz Design Summit

St. Moritz Design Summit – 2000-2007

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 …

NID - Non intentional Design

Non Intentional Design (NID)

A term that has been invented by Uta Brandes and Michael Erlhoff: “Non Intentional Design” describes what people do spontaneously and without any deliberate intention because they are faced with a sudden problem that they have or want to solve. NID refers to the use and conversion of many objects by people in their everyday lives. NID defies any norm, endows seemingly unambiguous objects with a variety of design options. It implies transformation and intelligent new functions. It arises from temporary situations of lacking something as well as from convenience or playfulness. It cuts costs and can reduce the overabundance of products. More often than not it is reversible or the used-up product finds a new and final purpose. NID is about the use and “exploitation” of objects already defined: The chair (also) becomes a coat stand, a surface to put things on, a ladder, or by piling books on the seat a children’s chair. Paperclips are (also) suitable for cleaning fingernails. Magnets on the refrigerator turn it into a notice board. Steps are not …

4zu3 Bundeskunsthalle 1. Juni-2000

4:3 – Fifty Years of Italian and German Design

An Exhibition at the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany June to November 2000 In 1988, the then-director of the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany asked Michael Erlhoff to develop a concept for a large design exhibition. At that time, the Bundeskunsthalle, as the institution is usually referred to, still had significant financial resources to realise such projects. Michael decided to plan and implement a comprehensive exhibition on the two most significant cultural contexts of design after 1950: Italy and Germany. Some people from both the Italian and German design scene fervently criticised this idea immediately because the Italian side thought this was just to demonstrate the supremacy of German design and the German side suspected the exact opposite. For the exhibition architecture, Michael got on board Zamp Kelp and Volker Albus. He also developed a concept whereby the individual designers or design studios were given an ‘island’, or, in other words, a stand-alone platform within the very large exhibition hall (the islands came in different …

Sound of Design // approx. 2000

These acoustic pieces were created in a short-term project (starting on a Monday afternoon and ending with a public presentation on Friday morning of the same week) around the year 2000, addressing the question as to how the quality or the particular qualities of design could be expressed acoustically. Different teams of students developed very impressive compositions.                    

Song for the graduation ceremony at KISD 1999

  Lyrics, music and vocals: Tanja Godlewsky and Claudia Leu (now: Claudia Herling) Arrangement and production: Oliver J. Leu and David Oswald When Tanja Godlewsky and Claudia Leu were still students at KISD (and also a few years after they had graduated), they sometimes performed wonderful, self-created songs at special events. Legendary. Oliver Leu and David Oswald were also KISD students. Today, all four are professional designers and teach at various universities.