On 1 August, 2014, Dr. Martin Mäntele, director of the HfG-Archive, took a large group on a tour of the RMIT Gallery exhibition The Ulm School of Design. Dr Mäntele spoke about the ‘Ulm Model’ and the designer’s role in helping to build a democratic society in a technologically driven age of mass production.
From 1953 until it closed in 1968 the influential Ulm School of Design in Germany was one of the world’s most important contemporary design academies. Regarded as being second only to the Bauhaus, the Ulm School reflected the spirit of change in Germany in the post-war years, and revolutionised artistic and architectural thinking and production.
Dr. Martin Mäntele:
“The idea [for the Ulm School of Design] was to sort of re-enact the Bauhaus – to live in it again….But then the younger generation said, well, so many things have happened and the whole world has changed [after the second world war] and we really now have to approach the concept of how do we train designers.
“This is the most important aspect of the Ulm School of Design. Up to then there was no school, nowhere in the world you could go to, to become an industrial designer. There was no curriculum which said you have to do this and this and this and all to become an industrial designer and that’s what they were trying to do.”
The Ulm School of Design, RMIT Gallery, Friday 1 August to Saturday 30 August, 2014.
* Main installation photos by Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery, 2014.