"Enduring, not ultimate form": anniversary exhibition opened successfully

With more than 1,000 guests, the exhibition "’Enduring, not ultimate form’": 60 years of design history in Essen - from ‘Industrieform’ to Red Dot” was opened on the evening of 28 June 2015. It is the first joint exhibition by Ruhr Museum and Red Dot Design Museum Essen, the two large museums at Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site. It reconstructs the first “Permanent Show of Elegant Industrial Products” from 1955, showing a large number of the original exhibits from that exposition, including the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. Moreover, the exhibition presents current and historical exhibits, and documents eyewitness accounts alongside posters and photographs from six decades.

The musical opening was provided by Prof. Dirk Reith, a prominent representative of the New Music and Professor at Folkwang University of the Arts, who performed a reinterpretation of the “Kesselhaus Suite”. In 1997, he had composed the overture on the occasion of the festive opening of the house, which was rebuilt by Sir Norman Foster and serves as the seat of the Red Dot Design Museum today. After the welcoming address by Professor Dr Peter Zec, founder and CEO of the Red Dot Award, the patron of the exhibition delivered his speech: Professor Dr Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag, pointed to the importance of formgiving and honoured the Red Dot Design Museum Essen as a flagship of good design.

Being the representative of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Minister of Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin surprised the guests with a video message which followed his speech. In this way Hannelore Kraft, Prime Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, sent her congratulations on the 60-years jubilee of the Red Dot Award. Subsequent to welcoming speeches by Andreas Bomheuer, Head of Culture, Integration and Sport Department of Essen, and Hermann Marth, Chairman Stiftung Zollverein, Professor Heinrich Theodor Grütter introduced the guests to the topic of the exhibition. The Director of the Ruhr Museum emphasised the long tradition of design in Essen, Germany, which is being successfully upheld with the internationally renowned Red Dot since the 1950s.

After the festive exhibition opening in Hall 12 at Zollverein World Heritage, the guests met in Hall 5, where "Enduring, not ultimate form" can be seen until 23 August 2015. Until the late evening, they explored the exhibition and went on a time journey of the rich history of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen. On the one hand the title “Enduring, not ultimate form” refers to the constant change and optimisation of everyday objects, on the other hand to the history of the exhibitions and competitions of Design Zentrum NRW, which steadily develop further.

"Enduring, not ultimate form"
60 years of design history in Essen - from "Industrieform" to Red Dot

A joint exhibition of Ruhr Museum and Red Dot Design Museum Essen

Exhibition duration
29 June - 23 August 2015

Exhibition location
Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site
Areal A [Schacht/Shaft XII], Hall 5 [A5]
Gelsenkirchener Straße 181
45309 Essen