The Kramer Principle.Design for Variable Use
Museum für Angewandte Kunst, [Museum of Applied Art], Frankfurt
6 February – 7 September 2014
Ferdinand Kramer is considered to be one of the most prominent architects and designers of German modern design. Long before companies such as IKEA came into existence, he created flexible self-built furniture, modular furniture systems and “knock-down” tables and wardrobes. Everything was designed in view of the changing living conditions of the 20th century.
Ferdinand Kramer (1898-1985) worked with Ernst Mays during the 1920s on designing the “New Frankfurt”. After emigrating to the USA, he returned to Frankfurt as the building director at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in the city and designed many buildings for the institution. Kramer’s work strongly reflects the changes in social developments because the design process always involves thinking about the (social) environment. Simplicity, variability, clarity and usability are attributes used to describe Kramer’s designs. An exhibition at the Museum of Applied Art in Frankfurt is now presenting 100 exhibits - lamps, ovens and pots dating from the early 1920s, standardised windows and door fittings as well as small pieces of furniture and standardised unit furniture from the New Frankfurt era, drawings and works from the time of Kramer’s emigration to the US, many samples from the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt’s inventory and rare objects in the family’s possession. The exhibition will be open from today at 7 p.m.