Showtime by Tobias Rehberger and Claus Richter

Artists Tobias Rehberger and Claus Richter designed the interior of trade fair Design Annual 2008 which begins tomorrow at Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany.


The theme of this year's exhibition and events program is Showtime and the artists have created an environment which features "flying pies, weeping trees, confused giraffes, speaking clocks and owls that play the flute". Organisers Stylepark have described the installation as a “Disneyland-favela.”


The Design Annual continues until Monday 7 July.


Here are some images of the interior being installed on site, followed by snapshots from Claus Richter’s studio.


Watch a video of Tobias Rehberger and Claus Richter talking about the Design Annual project (in German) here.



All images © Stylepark.
The following information is from the Design Annual organisers:


The Design Annual is an annual event for high-end design which in 2008 will once again turn Frankfurt / Main into the heart of the international design scene overnight.

The Design Annual

Messe Frankfurt in cooperation with Stylepark established a new and quite unprecedented format for a trade fair, namely The Design Annual. The Design Annual is an annual event for high-end design which in 2008 will once again turn Frankfurt / Main into the heart of the international design scene overnight. In the Festhalle in Frankfurt, the two partners will be presenting the best manufacturers of the high-end design segment in the areas of furniture and outdoor furniture, textiles and flooring, bathrooms and kitchens, office furniture, lighting, accessories, cutlery, electronic installations and home entertainment.


The Design Annual is a curated event with a limited number of exhibitors who guarantee visitors and other exhibitors an exclusive and innovative experience. The Design Annual has set itself the task of highlighting the foundations of design. Thus the event deliberately does not restrict itself to exhibiting products and objects, but rather reflects on design as part of the overall social design process and strikingly visualizes individual facets of the related debates.


“The Design Annual – inside: showtime” in July 2008 will highlight an aspect of design and make it tangible for visitors that affects the design process just as much as does marketing and which plays a role in the presentation of a finished product just as much as in its use. What is important is showing and orchestrating the products, design itself and its protagonists and making these highly visible.


The term “showtime”

The term “showtime” defines a phenomenon with many sides: Showtime is the time of showing, of orchestrating, that is the moment when something appears on the stage or is elevated out of the darkness of its creative process into the spotlight. However, showtime is also the moment when an idea takes on form, when something starts to solidify which only a short time before was still concealed in the fog of the unattainable.


Today, more than ever, trade fairs, showrooms, museums and design stores present themselves as glamorously staged fantasy worlds. Events outside the mainstream have long since ceased to be innovation drivers and now reflect financially-strong interested parties. Design shows, prototype series and design editions are all brilliantly marketed. Eye-catching orchestrations and sensational ‘personal edition shows’ present people hardly any differently to objects. Without these orchestrations, high-end design seems to have a difficult time of it today.


Products are staged with show effects and glamorous events, but so are the minds behind them. While showing and presenting things is certainly nothing new, what has changed in recent years are the forms of orchestration and the factors involved. The opportunities have generally become more complex, the media have become more technically versatile and easier to use and manage. As such, the emotional shows given by major companies and spectacular presentations of products and designers are mostly a result of marketing-effective tools which, whether deliberately or not, permanently question the relationship between content and show and between meaning and image.


“The Design Annual – inside: showtime” aims to stimulate a discussion of the notions of staging and orchestrating, showcasing and presenting, the generation of emotions and how thoughts are manifested, show effects and profound changes in the field of presentation.


The spatial concept

There it is, finally hanging up there as though on a mountain face, this small labyrinth-like, bewitchingly colorful, madly flashing, tenderly romantic and miracle-working mountain village of the imagination, in which Tobias Rehberger and Claus Richter are staging an encounter between art and design, an interface between show and reality. It will trigger a wave of childlike joy and amazement which will hopefully spread and infuse our everyday lives.


The saws are still sawing and the brushes still whisking across the surfaces, the paint is still dripping and the sweat still trickling, some attractions are still waiting in the foyer before they can finally move in, but it will soon be finished! On Friday, all the curiosity and waiting will come to an end. For that is the day we have all been waiting for, when “The Design Annual – inside: showtime” will open in the Frankfurt Festhalle.