Object Lab:
Series of talks
Materials of the 1920s

Talk series with experts and practitioners

Thursday, 20 July 2017
5– 6.30 pm
Bauhaus Dessau
Makerspace in the exhibition, 1st floor

speaker: Franziska Müller-Reissmann

The history of modern design is also a history of the use of new materials. In the 1920s, new meant that the materials had yet to be awarded any specific meanings or connotations and their technical properties had not yet been put to the test. They therefore offered the utmost scope for development. Newly invented materials as well as recently discovered, imported materials were initially utilised as substitutes for rare and valuable natural materials; however, an own material vocabulary soon evolved.

Viscose (artificial silk), celluloid and rubber (caoutchouc) used plant-based raw materials which were synthetically modified and thus became suitable for mass use. These materials that represent the history of modernity will be introduced in the talk and explored by reference to their applications.

In the annual theme ‘Substance’, materials and the ways of dealing with them play a pivotal role. This is reflected in the two exhibitions shown at the Bauhaus Dessau: Craft Becomes Modern. The Bauhaus in the Making and smart materials satellites. Material as experiment. In her talk, Franziska Müller-Reissmann builds a bridge between the two exhibition themes and enables connections to be made between the material cultures of the past and present.

Franziska Müller-Reissmann is a materials expert. She is responsible for Collection 4 of the Material Archive of the Zurich University of the Arts as well as for the conservation of the collection of the Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich.

next edition of the talk series:
Thursday, 21 September 2017