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Bienal Internacional de Arquitectura

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The most relevant international experts in the Ulm School will reflect in San Sebastián about its influence on current design

  • This discussion will be held within the framework of the core exhibition of MUGAK, ‘System Design: the Ulm School and the Braun Company’, which, for the first time, gathers at a joint exhibition all three archives curating the works of Ulm and Braun.
  • The international conferences, with the participation of speakers from Germany and France, will be held between November 11 and 13 and will reflect on the influence exerted by the school created in the 50’s of the last century upon design as we know it today.
  • Klaus Klemp is the most knowledgeable professional about the work of the Art Director from Braun, an inspiration to Apple designers, such as Jonathan Ive


The design base as we know it today will be one of the core topics of the conversation next week at MUGAK, the Basque Country International Architecture Biennial, where the conferences entitled ‘Learning from the Hfg Ulm’ to be held between November 11 and 13 at the Basque Country Architecture Institute (IAE) will analyse the impact of the Ulm School in design.

These conversations are framed within the core exhibition of the second edition of MUGAK, ‘System Design: the Ulm School and the Braun Company’, an unseen collection gathering some 150 works loaned by all the three archives curating the legacy of the Ulm School of Design and the Braun company. It will remain open at the IAE and at the San Telmo Museum, both in the old town of San Sebastián, until January 12, 2020.

Conferences will kick off on November 11, alongside three exceptional international guests: Dr. Klaus Klemp, Director of the Museum Angewandte Kumst from Frankfurt; Dr. René Spitz, Professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne and noted expert in the Ulm School; as well as Dr. Martin Mäntele, Director of the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm Archive. A panel gathering the best experts in the Ulm School and the works of the Braun Company, brought together for the first time for these conferences and the related exhibition.

Mäntele will offer a general overview on Ulm’s revolutionary model through its education model; while Klemp will analyse the figure of Dieter Rams, Art Director at Braun; Spitz will focus his reflection on the intellectual and rational process Otl Aicher, Graphic Designer and Cofounder of the School, who created a system based on simple and minimal form, which later on he applied at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games.

The exhibition curators, Gillermo Zuaznabar and Neus Moyano will lead the second day of the conference, on November 12, focusing on the education imparted at the Ulm School and its most prominent architectural feature in the form of the School’s building, created by its first Director, Max Bill. Tuesday’s programme will also count on the presence of François Chastanet, French designer, who will analyse an example of Ulm’s influence in the Basque Country through Otl Aicher, creator of the signage systems of Metro Bilbao, one of his last projects, in which he collaborated with the British architect Norman Foster.

On Wednesday, November 13, the discussion will be lead by the Architecture School of Toledo and will deal with Ulm School’s approach on projection, reflections on its free geometry and how their designs started from scratch to guarantee the optimum form so as to be “technically correct, functional and aesthetically flawless”. Ulm’s introductory course shall also be analysed, inherited from the Bauhaus and imparted by its professors.

Fleeing from the concept of disposable items, module-based furniture creation, brandishing the idea of versatile objects serving different purposes and, especially, understanding that the main purpose was not to design but to solve problems through design, so that objects could prove useful for society, will be some of the topics that these three days of conferences will focus on.



Tierbaukasten, 1958

Animal Module Toy System (Single elements), 1958

Independent Work

Student: Hans von Klier

The Programme is being prepared