Red Dot exhibition "Design Identities" in the Cube Design Museum in Kerkrade

On 23 October 2015, the Red Dot exhibition "Design Identities" was opened in Kerkrade, Netherlands. Until 4 September 2016, awarded design from Germany and the Netherlands is on show at the Cube Design Museum. Curated and realised by the Red Dot Institute, the exhibition traces the cultural design identities of both countries.

The opening took place in the course of the opening ceremonies of the Cube Design Museum, the Earth Theater Columbus and the extended Discovery Center Continium at the invitation from Hans Gubbels, Director of the Discovery Center Continium. About 600 guests took the opportunity to experience the design exhibitions and presentations of the newly formed museums quarter in the Dutch province of Limburg.

In his welcoming speech, Vito Oražem, Managing Director of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, praised the blueprints of the Rotterdam based architectural office Shift Architecture, which conceived and realised the new buildings Cube and Columbus. "The result is even better than the good designs of the architects had indicated," said Vito Oražem. In 2012, the young architectural team led by Oana Rades, Harm Timmermans and Thijs van Bijsterveldt has been awarded with the Red Dot for their pavilion "Faculty Club" for the Tilburg University. The redesign of the museum square in Kerkrade, the first major project, followed immediately thereafter.

In his greeting, Vito Oražem also pointed to the long existing connections to Dutch companies and designers. As an example, he named the Kitchen Revolt Chair of the Dutch designer Friso Cramer. In 1955, the chair was on show in the first exhibition of the "Haus Industrieform", as the Design Zentrum was called back then, and was displayed in the anniversary exhibition "Enduring, not ultimate form" in 2015. Moreover, Oražem referred to the studio exhibition of Philips Design, which currently is presented in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen. Entitled "Products for Generations," the current design understanding of the Dutch manufacturer is made clear. Against this backdrop, he emphasised the successful cooperation of the Discovery Center Continium, the Red Dot Institute and the Red Dot Design Museum Essen, which provided numerous exhibits such as the "Bugaboo Donkey" by Max Barenbrug, the chair "Moiré" by Ton Haas or the racing cycle "Koga Kimera Road Premium" for the exhibition.

The issue of identity is more relevant than ever and is reflected not only in the relationship between the individual and society itself", explains Burkhard Jacob, Director of the Red Dot Institute, during a tour at the opening. "Many of the exhibits here underscore the importance of the issue with a view to the design of companies and brands, and are also an expression of the cultural identity of a country," continued Jacob.

Many companies have recognised this and participated in the exhibition. These include German companies and brands such as Braun, Canyon, Grohe, Nomos Glashütte, Leica, Mutabor Design, Rimowa, Robert Bosch Hausgeräte, Walter Knoll, WMF and Wilkhahn, which have a long tradition in design and are continuously setting standards with high quality and technical perfection in the Red Dot Design Award. The same applies to the Dutch companies, including Bugaboo, Koga, Harechair, Philips, Royal VKB and Senz, which set a contrast point in the exhibition by using creative designs and a playful approach to ideas.

The presentation illustrates the differences between Dutch and German design and at the same time, the carefree interaction with clichés and stereotypes. In this way, the fundamental significance of differences for the formation of one's identity is clarified. "Our own self-understanding can only be developed if you also learn to understand the other and the alien. Identity is based on differences. Corporate Identity is always Corporate Difference. Design is both an ‘Identity Engine’ and ‘Difference Engine’", says Burkhard Jacob.

Design Identities
Award-winning products from the Netherlands and Germany selected by Red Dot

Exhibition duration
Until 4 September 2016

Exhibition location
Cube Design Museum
Museumplein 2
6461 MA Kerkrade

Opening hours
Tuesday - Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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