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 …
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 …
Designers we met in Milano in 2000.
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.
In 1990 the German Design Council organised a conference about the necessity to include design as an important tool for the further European development. Based on the approval of the European Union, and particularly supported by the design Associations of Spain, Italy and France it took place in the European Patent Office in Munich.
Photos of some of the most important and competent small publishers. -> Flickr Album
In 1980, the annual meeting of “Internationales Künstler-Gremium/IKG“ (International Artists Committee), which had been founded by Joseph Beuys, took place in Hanover. In the same year, Uta Brandes and Michael Erlhoff organised a reading of experimental literature at the Sprengel Museum with the title „New Poetry“. On this occasion, one also convened at the home of Uta and Michael, which, at the time, was located on 26 Warmbüchen Street in Hanover.
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.