HANDMADE IN GERMANY

 Handmade in GermanyImage courtesy of “Handmade in Germany”

HANDMADE IN GERMANY
An International Touring Exhibition of German Manufactories
2018 – 2020

The Direktorenhaus, the Museum for Art, Craft & Design, has its own collection, in addition to changing exhibitions. At the center of the exhibitions stand the noticeably increased importance of design and aesthetics in today’s life. Thus, the program revolves around current design phenomena and deliberately involves the boundaries of architecture, art and crafts. Since 2010, the Direktorenhaus has been organizing art and design exhibitions and is participating in an international art discourse with thematic exhibitions such as the Illustrative Biennial (Paris, Zurich) or the “Handmade in Germany” – Worldtour. The Deutsche Manufakturenstraße, the leading German manufacturing association, supplements the exhibition on a national level with tourist routes along the most important German manufacturers. The Direktorenhaus is the seat of Deutsche Manufakturenstraße and editor of the art magazine OBJECTS. Journal of Applied Arts.

                                 

Handmade in GermanyImage courtesy of “Handmade in Germany”

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Curated by Pascal Johanssen and Katja Kleiss of Direktorenhaus Berlin, this touring exhibition will span several years and continents to show a concentrated collection of German quality production: design objects and manufacturing products, all hand-made in Germany and stretching across all branches. The exclusive selection of exhibits represents the value and future of premium quality production with a commitment to time and handiwork especially against the backdrop of the current trend of mass production and globalisation.

Handmade in Germany” is a touring exhibition of German manufacturers around the world, spanning several years. Starting in Berlin, the exhibition first moves to St. Petersburg, then goes on to visit cities in Asia, America and the Middle East before returning to Europe oncemore. The exhibition will be shown in exciting cities and metropolises. For the most part, they will be reached by sea, but also by land. The idea of the tour itself is inspired by the “walz” or “journeyman years” – the journey taken on by apprentices of German trades after completing their apprenticeship, similar to the “Grand Tour” of the European nobility. The journeyman years are a German tradition still followed today, at the occasion of which the travelling craftsmen still wear the traditional garb.               

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In May 2018, the Handmade-Worldtour was the special guest at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. With over 800 exhibitors and 35.000 trade visitors from around the world, the ICFF represents the most renowned commercial platform for contemporary design in North America: a true hub for trade, trend spotting and a magnet for hundreds of thousands of design aficionados. For its 30th anniversary the ICFF organizers invited the German design exhibition “Handmade in Germany” as a highlight for its New York audience.

The ICFF’s exhibition venue is the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, built in midtown Manhattan in the 1980’s. The building with its distinctive space-frame structure replaced the New York Coliseum as the city’s main event location. Located on 11th Street in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen, it is the most frequented convention center in the United States and in many cases plays host to the biggest events of respective sectors. Among them is the ICFF which, with 800 exhibitors and 35.000 trade visitors, is the biggest and most important design fair in North America.

In May, the design world meets in New York City as part of NYCx Design: New York City’s Design Week host events, exhibitions and conventions throughout the city. The main event was the International Contemporary Furniture Fair ICFF. For the 30th time the ICFF presented designers and interior architects who showcased contemporary design trends in the areas of interior design, furniture, lighting, lifestyle and accessories as well as textiles. The trade fair allows an insight into the avant-garde of the most exquisite and innovative design products worldwide, all gathered under one roof. The focus of this year’s 30th anniversary is the “Handmade in Germany” exhibition showcasing master-pieces and award-winning design objects from Germany’s best manufactories and design studios.                 

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Germany has many good manufactories producing high-quality products. The reason for this is the historical tradition of German craftsmanship. The training – from apprentice to journeyman to master – is unique in the world; its purpose is to achieve a broad access to traditional knowledge as well as a great depth in the field, which makes handicrafts one of the most diverse and innovative sectors of the national economy. The “Handmade in Germany” exhibition uses selected exhibits to show what an important part handicrafts, including the spirit of artistic movements such as the Werkbund and the Bauhaus, play in Germany’s cultural heritage. “Handmade in Germany” is a journey through the objects and people of modern and traditional Germany. Exhibitors include world renowned luxury brands, superb manufactories, individual designers and award-winning art studios, such as the exquisite fountain pens of Graf von Faber-Castell, Pelikan and Lamy, porcelain manufactories Nymphenburg, Rosenthal, Hering Berlin and Fürstenberg or interior design brands COR, Wilde+Spieth and lighting designer Ingo Maurer.                                                                       

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The label “Made in Germany” has a worldwide reputation for quality – this sign of quality, however, mostly marks industrial production. In contrast, the “Handmade in Germany” exhibition signifies products which are created through individual master worksmanship by artists, designers and artisans: products which take time to be crafted and require a focus on detail from their creators, that lend them a very special aura. The exhibition “Handmade in Germany” shows the sensual side to German production. Not efficiency and engineering genius are centre stage here but shape and idea, the poetic, the numinous and the individuality of the world of objects. Objects are arbiters of cultural norms and values. The carefully selected collection demonstrates the relational structure and the fabric of meaning between objects and people. For the curators of the exhibition this relationship is a pivotal endeavour of our times: since the reasoning of our late capitalistic world, shrunken to a means-end rationality, needs alternatives, which don’t just reduce material things to being marketable “products”. They are an important part of our living environment, with all its impact on quality of life, nurturing and ability to judge.                        

more. www.handmade-worldtour.com

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