The year 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of the East/West German border. In our main focus, we deal with current design in the east of Germany, introduce to you young design protagonists of the region, take a look at the university scene there and draw your attention to less well-known, but no less relevant projects and institutions. Even if this is not a retrospective on the GDR, the 40-year relationship and non-relationship of the two German states, the consequences of which still occupy us even today, come up time and again. All too often, there is still talk of “us” and “them”, although “[o]f course […] people in the East thought about flexible accommodation at the same time as people in the West or in Japan”, as photographer Wiebke Loeper states, among other things, in an interview. This is also an important statement because of the aspect of new nationalistic tendencies worldwide.
In general, it sometimes seems necessary for our world view to be called into question, for example by maps or breaking open philosophical and other discourses. Both interactive narrative concepts and new presentation formats could help us in this regard, likewise a reconsideration of supposedly proven historical findings, including those about avant-gardes. Last, but not least, for this reason, the following must not be allowed to pass unnoticed: in our archive issue, we criticised the temporary closure of the German Design Council’s library. We are all the happier that it is now open to the public again at a new location on the fair grounds of Messe Frankfurt. The importance of such historical spaces cannot be pointed out often enough: where else can we carry out comprehensive research and how else are we meant to draw valid conclusions?
Stephan Ott, Chefredakteur