20 October 2017


form feature 2.
Revisiting the Past

The 60th anniversary of form has been with us throughout the year, leading to an intensive engagement with the history of the magazine. It is an engagement, to which everyone interested in the development of design and its history over the last 60 years is welcome to join.


For the “Revisiting the Past” series, we looked for a point of departure in each decade and then responded to these with a contribution from today’s perspective. We have put together the triggers we chose, and these are now available for you to view on our website, under 60 Years of form. You’ll find one part of this six-part series in each of our 2017 issues. And we have also summarised the series for our anniversary publication of the same name and added a supplementary item to each part:


The four-part series “Design History” by Herbert Lindinger, from the years 1964 to 1965, prompted us to write a report about the design collector Sebastian Jacobi, whose work demonstrates that history is always about how you see or look at things: a point of view. We have added an interview with the designer Herbert Lindinger himself.

Although the question of functionalism was widely debated in the 1970s, the issues raised were never definitively clarified or settled. For the second part of the series we asked Daniel Hornuff for his thoughts on the salient issues, and supplemented his reflections with a text by Marc Hassenzahl on the importance of emotional design.

What statement were adverts for design studios, published in form in the 1980s, making? Our analysis doesn’t just provide an insight into their self-image and the zeitgeist, but also considers the use of ads as a medium of discourse.

Europe is changing – it’s a fact that also affected design in the 1990s. At that time, the focus was on a critical look at the topic from an economic point of view, while today’s focus is on cultural values. We compiled a range of positions on design in Europe and then asked Saskia van Stein, Director of Bureau Europa, about her views: She makes a plea not just for a European approach but a planetary one.

In 1997 we launched the website form.de, and in form 160 we therefore proclaimed: “Welcome to the World Wide Web. It at long last contains a design address.” We asked two authors to write about the “two sites of the coin” of the Internet. Jonathan Taplin criticises the unrestricted power of Internet giants, while Daniel Moßbrucker warns of over-regulation that places more limits on freedom than the safeguards it creates. In “Video Kills the World Wide Web”, Kris De Decker looks at why we need to question the Internet even in terms of its carbon footprint.

Revisiting the past only has relevance if you use it to develop a future perspective and this is what we’ve done in the last part of the series. Jonas Rehn first presents six approaches in design, which characterise the discipline in the future, and then goes on to illustrate future skills of designers from holistic to specialist.


Order form feature 2 “Revisting the Past” now in our shop and research 60 years of design history in the form Archive.


Nº 284
Region of Design

form Design Magazine

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