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Monthly Design Review - November 2016

In this month's review, a focus on Berlin (which I've been researching for a film): The Bauhaus Archive, a museum for Architectural Drawing, Photographs of life in West and East Berlin before the fall of the wall, and a museum for things.


BERLIN 1978-1987 by Boris Becker (2015)

During the years 1978-1987, Boris Becker photographed in a divided Berlin. In his images we can see post-war Berlin, the effects of the wall and the differences between east and west. The book is arranged in chapters that form image-groups and also testify of the political sensitivity of the artist: The east and west sector of the city, the wall and border installations, the desolate diplomatic-district, the subway reduced to empty wooden wagons and deserted stations, and a series of bunkers. The color palette is intricately subdued and the mundane details of every day furniture poignantly reflect a mood specifically related to that era in German history.

To see more images and buy the book, visit Pogobooks.

To see the photographer's work, visit his website.


DDR IN COLOR by Klaus Morgenstern (2013)

The photographer Klaus Morgenstern depicts with his photos the social realty of the GDR and the everyday life of the people in East Berlin over 30 years. Present are the military marches and socialist gatherings, but also leisure activities and small daily details. The color is vivid and rich, and it helps to bring us closer to a reality that is no longer imaginable.

To see buy the book, visit Amazon Germany.


MUSEUM DER DINGE - Berlin, Germany

The Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge (Werkbund Archive – Museum of Things) chronicles the product culture of the 20th and 21st centuries, a culture marked by mass production and industrial manufacturing. At the core of the collection is the archive of the Deutsche Werkbund (DWB). Founded in 1907, this group of German artists, designers, and manufacturers was one of the leading organizations pushing for a cultural utopia achieved through design and way-of-life reforms at the beginning of the 20th century.

For more information about location and opening hours visit the museum's website.



The Bauhaus museum and archive studies and presents the history and influence of the Bauhaus, the twentieth century’s most important college of architecture, design and art. Its collection is the largest in the world, and presents not only thematic exhibitions on the Bauhaus, but also regular exhibitions of contemporary design from the creative community. The museums's focus is on the famous Bauhaus ‘classics’ and works from its artistic and teaching activities – which are presented in a permanent exhibition. In addition the museum offers tours, workshops and a large research library with an extensive collection of books, correspondence, manuscripts and other documents connected with the Bauhaus.

For more information about location and opening hours visit the museum's website.


DDR MUSEUM - Berlin, Germany

The only museum in Berlin to focus on everyday life in the former East Germany, the DDR Museum widens the conventional focus away from the Stasi and the Berlin wall to encompass everyday life.

The permanent exhibition takes its motto ‘history to touch and feel’ quite literally: visitors enter a 1:20 scale model of a typical GDR prefabricated high-rise estate; Information and exhibits are stowed away and hidden in drawers, closets and behind doors; The exhibits can be touched and used, the kitchen still has the cooking smells of way back when, and a trabi is available to take visitors on a virtual tour of the area.

For more information about location and opening hours visit the museum's website.



Berlin, Germany

Architect Sergei Tchoban, a a leading architectural drawer, created the foundation in 2009 and also donated a part of his collection of outstanding drawings made by architects from the 16th to the 21st century with a focus on Russian Constructivists.

The Tchoban Foundation displays four exhibitions per year, currently showing a retrospective devoted to drawings by the famous British architect Peter Cook, who is celebrating his 80th birthday this year.

See the museum's declaration: "What is still drawn today? Which architects continue to master the art of hand drawing? What place has the skilled use of pen and ink in an age of computer aided design? In the 21st century, virtually no architect seeks to persuade clients of their capacities as a designer by means of sketches or perspective views. In architectural education today, there is also less emphasis on learning the craft of drawing although the ability to convey ideas through drawing by hand remains essential in developing form and proportion".

For more information about location and opening hours visit the museum's website.


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