German Design 1949 – 1989 : Two Countries, One History
Two Countries, One History
The cheap, colourful plastic designs from East Germany pitted against the coolfunctionalism of West German design: The publication German Design 1949 – 1989:Two Countries, One History does away with such clichés. More than 30 years afterGerman reunification, it presents a comprehensive overview of German design historyof the post-war period for the first time ever. With over 380 illustrations and numerousexamples from the fields of design—fashion, furniture, graphics, automobile, industrial,and interiors—the book shows how design featured in daily life on both sides of theWall, the important part it played in the reconstruction process and how it served asa propaganda tool during the Cold War. Key objects and protagonists—from DieterRams or Otl Aicher in the West to Rudolf Horn or Renate Müller in the East—arepresented alongside formative factors such as the Bauhaus legacy and importantinstitutions. The exceptional case of the division of Germany allows a uniquecomparative perspective on the role design played in promoting socialism andcapitalism. While in the Federal Republic to the West, it became a generator of theexport economy and the "Made in Germany" brand, in the East it was intended to fuelthe socialist planned economy and affordability for broad sections of the populationwas key. While the book highlights the different realities of East and West, the manycross references that connected design in both are also examined. It impressivelyillustrates the many facets of German design history in the post-war period.
With contributions by Paul Betts, Greg Castillo, Petra Eisele, Siegfried Gronert, Jana Scholze, Katharina Pfützner, Eli Rubin, Katrin Schreiter, Oliver Sukrow, Carsten Wolff, among others; interviews with Prem Krishnamurthy, Renate Müller and Dieter Rams.