Nº 272

Editorial

Design

If you saw the most recent Munich episode of the celebrated German-language crime series Tatort, “Die Liebe, ein seltsames Spiel” [Love Is a Strange Game], you would have witnessed a spectacle of a special kind. 36 minutes and 45 seconds into the episode, detectives Batic and Leitmayr sit down in an architect’s office on the Chaos armchair (2001) by Konstantin Grcic. That  in itself is not especially surprising, since in real life the office is located in the headquarters of Classicon, the manufacturer of Chaos. What is more remarkable than the subtle product placement in this scene is, rather, the cleverly choreographed appropriation or rather seizure of occupancy of the armchair: barely a second passes in which one of the two detectives isn’t sliding on the seat from back to front and back again, rocking back and forth, or seeking his balance while holding onto the backrest. “I wanted to break with the conventions of correct, formal seating,” Grcic writes about his design. “The chair avoids imposing any particular posture on the sitter. Instead, it invites us to do what we do anyway: to perch, fidget, turn, shift.” When designed objects mean us well, they permit us an intuitive behaviour and indeed even demand it. Even if this at times asks a great deal of us – enabling is and remains an essential role of design. In this process, it is irrelevant whether these things drift our way as part of an architectural experiment, in a natural history museum or by means of materials experiments.

 

Context

It is not only our intuition that plays a large role in structuring our world, but also the (re-) cognition of patterns, for instance in dating or in visualisation. In our focus section, we investigate the special features of patterns, engage with the meaning and purpose of sample collections, ask why people opt for prefabricated houses, and introduce projects that demonstrate what different functions patterns can assume apart from structuring.

 

Situation

Not only with regard to current events, we have dedicated the fourth part of our anniversary series to the European idea. For some time, this – or rather the EU as its political and at times bureaucratic embodiment – has been subject to considerable hostility, both internally and externally. The critics don’t seem to propose any alternatives other than retrograde, national solo efforts at the cost of economically disadvantaged regions in the style of “Make America Great Again” or “Let’s Take Back Control”. Isn’t it high time that design took sides? Even if just to be ready for discussion and conflict as we confront the small-minded and those clinging to the past – who, by the way, have long since been partisan?

Last but not least: we are about to move. Naturally, we remain true to the city – we are simply moving to a different part of town. From July 2017, form will have its residence in Frankfurt-Bockenheim. 

 

Stephan Ott, Editor-in-Chief

 

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Nº 272. Pattern
Jul/Aug 2017

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