Book Launch: Das gewöhnliche Design [The Ordinary Design]

Book Launch: Das gewöhnliche Design (The Ordinary Design)

At Socialform, Darmstadt

Author: Josephine Schroeder

On occasion of the Book Launch: Das gewöhnliche Design (The Ordinary Design), we are happy to welcome you to a small get-together. With a short introduction by the editors, refreshments, and the possibility to buy a copy of the design classic!

The facsimile reprint of the book Das gewöhnliche Design (The Ordinary Design) is a hidden classic of german design history. In 1976 a group of students and young professors at the Faculty of Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt questioned the way design objects were generally perceived, talked, and written about. They were looking for an alternative understanding of what constitutes good design. The group led by Friedrich Friedl and Gerd Ohlhauser started to collect ordinary things such as bottle openers, air pumps or bus timetables. These objects, all from anonymous authors, were exhibited at the faculty under the title Das gewöhnliche Design.

The approach was original enough so that the Rhenish Open-Air and Regional Museum Kommern bought the extraordinary ordinary exhibits, repeated the show, and printed an exhibition catalog. The catalog contained among others contributions by Bazon Brock, Peter von Kornatzki, and Adelhart Zippelius. The 110 black-and-white photographs provide a specific snapshot of what unspectacular product normality meant in the mid-70s.

Newly edited by Frank Philippin and Florian Walzel, the facsimile The Ordinary Design presented by Slanted returns the work to a wider audience. More than just making a design classic available again, this renews the question: How much of design is owed to the ordinary? In a time that dedicates its cultural attention almost exclusively to novelty and exceptionalism the every day utility is the silent opponent of “design.”

Book Launch: Das gewöhnliche Design (The Ordinary Design)

Friday, April 21st, 2023
6 p.m.

Rundeturmstraße 16
64283 Darmstadt

Preorder the book

Book Launch: Das gewöhnliche Design [The Ordinary Design]