Pa-dong! The furniture of Susi and Ueli Berger
Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich, Toni-Areal
29 June – 19 August 2018
In 1962, as inspiration for their furniture designs, the designers Susi and Ueli Berger asked themselves “How do young people in blue jeans who aren’t interested in saving for marriage live?”
Susi and Ueli Berger, a Swiss duo active between 1962 and 2006, created striking designs categorised as pop or radical design. Their work created a counterpoint to the Swiss “Gute Form” as well as a new vivid yet playful language somewhere between object art and everyday culture. They drew inspiration from comics or folk art, resulting in designs of astonishing ambiguity. Other influences included pop art, alternative lifestyles, high and low culture, Buddhism, and Ettore Sottsass.
The Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich presents the exhibition on the occasion of the publication of a comprehensive catalogue of their work. The exhibition showcases the iconic Soft Chair (1967), the Wolkenlampe (1970) and Fächermann (1977), as well as original drawings, prototypes, and photos from the museum’s archive.
Their furniture designs acquired varying degrees of resonance – the cloud lamp, for example, is a two-piece, vacuum-formed pendant luminaire with a maximum diameter of 70 centimetres, made from the then novel material polystyrene. The lamp is a mixture of product and sculpture and reached the height of popularity in 1974, when 75 lights were hung under a blue ceiling in an installation depicting the sky. It has been produced serially since 1976. Further works from the museum’s own collection can be viewed in the eMuseum.