Nº 260
Design and Ethics

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Text: Stephan Ott


Some topics occupy us throughout our lives, due to personal interest or professional necessity. In lucky cases, interest and necessity coincide, as for Alfredo Häberli in his latest project for BMW. In the course of a lifetime, however, things may change, topics may take a new turn, calling for a new approach to questions one had considered over and done with or long since resolved. For example, in spite of the ubiquity of digital technology (or precisely because of it), we have been noticing a renewed interest in analogue technology. We also think it appropriate to subject the Bauhaus and some of those associated with it to a more critical appraisal than is currently usual, especially in view of the upcoming celebrations during its centenary. In other cases, urgently needed changes to ways of thinking and acting are motivated by personal fate, misfortune caused by political errors, or new (scientific) insights.

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Text: Franziska Porsch

Display windows are our portal to what remains of the analogue consumer world. Fashion, in particular, cries out to be staged, whether to convey the character of specific garments, to evoke a certain lifestyle or to communicate the image of the label being sold, and persuade people to buy it. Although not always consciously noticed by passers-by, mannequins play a key role in this process. These days they are to be had in countless different poses, materials, proportions, and abstractions of the human body.

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No Way Out

Kein Design ohne Verantwortung

Text: Kai Rosenstein
Translation: Iain Reynolds

Ideally, a large part of a designer’s everyday life should go on making decisions – and each of these decisions is some- thing for which the designer is or should be prepared to take responsibility. That is a moral imperative. But what is the basis for such decisions? What factors influence them? And to what extent are designers not just able but duty-bound to apply the sum of their knowledge of the world to each decision? The latter, in particular, is surely a key question for any examination of design’s moral responsibility.

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Refugee Design

Eine Welt für sich

Text: Jessica Sicking
Translation: Nicholas Grindell

The news is currently dominated by the fate of refugees, from Syria and elsewhere, but we can be sure it won’t be long before these stories cease to be newsworthy, replaced by fresh tales of horror. For those concerned, however, the terrible experiences at the hands of people smugglers, at sea and on the road, are not the end but just the start of an odyssey through temporary accommodation and refugee camps that can last years or even decades. At first glance, all of this seems to be a political problem, something to be dealt with above all by politicians. But when it comes to accommodation and items for everyday use (under extreme living conditions, on a very tight budget) it becomes clear that designers definitively have a role to play here. 

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Take a look inside

Check out some pages of our current issue in more detail.


Nº 270
South Korea

form Design Magazine

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Die Kunst mit dem Zeichen

Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt

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form Edition #1

Risoprints by Sigrid Calon

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Room Acoustics





Farm Blocks


Bread and Butter Berlin


Exhibitions, fairs, festivals, events, conferences, symposia, competitions

Focus: Design and Ethics

Zwischen Dilemma und Zwickmühle

Between Dilemma and Zugzwang


Neue Wissensordnungen

Avenues Towards a World Brain


Nils Ole Oermann

There Is no such Thing as Design Ethics


Legal oder legitim?

Law and Ethics


No Way Out

Kein Design ohne Verantwortung



Gleiten in Visionen



Des Digitalen müde

Tired of the Digital


Design Perspectives 2

Design in Research


Refugee Design

Eine Welt für sich


Carte Blanche
Studio PSK

Polyphonic Playground



Bauhaus Sacrosanct?


Fast Forward

Synthetische Biologie



New books, DVDs, magazines, websites und apps


Robert Kisch: