News: German industry needs to move away from the minimalist, Bauhaus-inspired aesthetic and develop a new design language is order to stay competitive, according to the organiser of the country's national design prize.
"German design is very functional, very minimal, but the world is moving," said Joerg Suermann, who earlier this year took over responsibility for the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany. "To be successful in the future we have to think about what will happen in the future, what is necessary for the future."
Suermann said that a new generation of German designers were turning their backs on the rationalist approach pioneered by German schools such as the Bauhaus and the Ulm School of Design, and whose pared-down aesthetic has dominated German industrial design.
"The young generation want to change something," Suermann told Dezeen. "They want to have a new design language. I think it's important to give them the visibility and to show off to the international [community] that we have not only Bauhaus, not only Ulm, that a lot of new things are happening."
Suermann is managing director of DMY Berlin, which this year took over administration of the state-backed design prize from the Frankfurt-based German Design Council, which had organised the award for 42 years. The prize will now be awarded in Berlin as part of a wider move to establish the German capital as the nation's cultural capital.
Under DMY Berlin, the award will shift its emphasis away from the big brands that have dominated in the past and instead celebrate the work of individual designers.
"German design is known in the world because of the big brands - Mercedes and so on," Suermann said. "Normally the big design awards are focusing on the design brands or companies. Our government gives the design award to support the design industry, and I think the designers also need support. If the designer gets an award for his work, then maybe it helps him to find new clients, and this is missing [other] awards. This is is what we want to change."
The winners of the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany will be announced on 25 October.
Top image shows Braun AG Studio 1 radio and record player by Hans Gugelot and Herbert Lindinger, 1956, Ulm.