The Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) is opening its permanent exhibition to encourage a dialogue with Slow Design. Various furniture designs and objects on display enter into an exchange with historical exhibits ranging from Baroque to Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Each of them articulates a specific zeitgeist and conscious debate that is currently influencing the design world: “slow” design for rapid change. The objects by young designers were created especially for this project and made entirely of American hardwoods. The special exhibition has been mentored by designers Hanne Willmann, Sebastian Herkner and Garth Roberts, and was developed in cooperation with the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC).
For some time now, our society has been characterised by a noticeable shift in values that goes hand in hand with a new understanding of quality concerning design. Consumers are scrutinising what they buy more than ever before. They take into account the design process, manufacturing locations and utilised materials, as well as the overriding issues of sustainability and durability. Increasing importance is accorded products and objects that allow materials to circulate in material cycles for as long as possible – in other words, products conceived with circular design in mind.
The term slow – as used in connection with the development of Slow Fashion or Slow Food – refers to a holistic approach in regard to creative thinking, processes and products. It does not relate to how long it takes to design or produce something. Instead, it pertains to an expanded state of consciousness, accountability for daily actions, and the potential for enriching the experiences of individuals and communities.
Designers have an enormous influence on how products are planned, where they are produced, what resources they exploit, and how they are manufactured. In critical discourses on sustainability and throwaway culture, a “slower” approach to design is gaining ground. In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, a conscious shift can be observed towards objects that are long-lasting, timeless in design, high quality and enduring beyond the tastes of current consumers. The future of this development lies in the hands of the next generation of designers. This transition, however, is evident in the economy too, with companies increasingly focusing on these aspects as well. Slow design is also evolving into a business mindset as well.
AHEC’s SLOW project provides a platform for young design graduates. Selected by a jury of experts, participants were invited to design innovative products and objects, and to develop ideas that reflect a movement towards slow design. Using American red oak, hard and soft maple, and cherry, each designer has created an object embodying their interpretation of the phrase “slow design for fast change”. Slow design goes hand in hand with precise craftsmanship, which explains why the designs were manufactured by Holzfreude, a workshop based in Butzbach, Hesse (Germany).
Maximilian Beck, Clémece Buytaert, Simon Gehring, Hansil Heo, Sarah Hossli and Lorenz Noelle, Anna Koppmann, Haus Otto (Nils Körner and Patrick Henry Nagel), Theo Luvisotto and Max Rohregger.
Sebastian Herkner, Garth Roberts, Hanne Willmann
The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is a strong advocate of wood as a raw material and has successfully developed a sustainable brand around hardwoods from the USA. AHEC is one of the pioneers behind the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis of hardwoods. Through innovative design projects such as Legacy, The Smile and MultiPly for the London Design Festival, AHEC demonstrates the performance potential of these sustainable materials and provides valuable inspiration.
Address / Getting there
U-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
S-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
Bus: Potsdamer Brücke, Potsdamer Platz Bhf / Voßstraße, Kulturforum, Philharmonie
Sun 11:00 - 18:00
Tue 10:00 - 18:00
Wed 10:00 - 18:00
Thu 10:00 - 18:00
Fri 10:00 - 18:00
Sat 11:00 - 18:00
Opening times on public holidays Opening hours
Prices / Tickets
Museum ticket Kunstgewerbemuseum Kulturforum
8,00 EUR Concessions 4,00
Annual Ticket from 25 €
free time slot ticket required