30.11.16

Foreword to Braun+Design Collection

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Very flattered to have been asked to write a foreword to the electronic re-issue of the seminal book of Braun collection, Braun+Design Collection. This tome was first published by its editors Jo Klatt and Gunther Staeffler in 1990 and has been out of print for the past 20 years. It's now available again, for the first time in both the original German and English translation, at the modest price of £9.99 (£490 cheaper than the price of the original currently listed on Amazon). 

Braun+Design Collection captures the spirit of Braun Design in a way that seems to have alluded recent attempts to represent it exhibition, print and film. You can read more about this in our writings section. 

The e-book is available for purchase from Versions

30.09.17

Reinhold Weiss Design Archive

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Systems Studio (where Das Programm's Director, Peter Kapos, is a founding partner) is pleased to announce its appointment to curate and produce the Reinhold Weiss Design Archive.

Weiss served a three-year apprenticeship as a joiner, and two years as an intern at an architectural office before receiving a training in industrial design at the HfG Ulm, 1955 – 1959. In the summer before his graduation, he practiced in the architectural department at Braun, and was subsequently invited by Artur Braun to join the company. From his graduation in 1959, Weiss worked as the firm’s first formally trained industrial designer. In 1962 the Braun Design Department was established, and from that date until his resignation in 1967 Weiss served as its Deputy Head with particular responsibility for household appliances and personal care products. Later, in 1964, the New Products division was formed, for which Weiss supplied the first concepts and preliminary designs. 

Weiss' contribution to Braun Design has been immense. According to his distinctive approach, shaped in large part by his training at Ulm, each solution was rigorously worked out entirely on its own terms, without reliance on generic or pre-established forms. This resulted in a number of ground-breaking and now iconic designs, amongst them: desk fans HL 1/11 (1959); toasters HT 1 (1960) and HT 2 (1961); kettle HE 1 (1960); hair dryers HLD 2/21 and HLD 5 (both 1963); coffee grinders KMM 1 and KSM 1/11 (both 1964); table lighter TFG 1 (1965); head phones KH 1000 (1965); hand mixer M140 (1966). Weiss also undertook a number of development studies that continued to shape the Braun Programme years after his departure.

Following his tenure at Braun, Weiss served for four years as Executive Designer and Vice President of Unimark International, working from the corporation’s Chicago headquarters. In 1971 Weiss formed his own design consultancy, Reinhold Weiss Design Incorporated, also based in Chicago, which he directed as President until 2006. The greater part of his work was undertaken in the area of consumer electronics, particularly audio and video products, for companies such as Proton, NAD, Panasonic, Blaupunkt, AMC and AR (Acoustic Research).

Systems will curate, design, build and maintain the online archive in consultation with Reinhold Weiss.  This unique resource will provide a comprehensive survey of Weiss' work. In addition to documenting his crucial contribution to Braun Design, the archive will make available a wealth of important and hitherto unpublished materials, amongst them Weiss' HfG student work, Braun studies and prototypes, and designs undertaken for over 30 clients in the USA, Germany, France, England, Japan and Taiwan. 



17.09.17

Layer and Braun at the V&A

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When Benjamin Hubert's studio, Layer, and Braun collaborated to produce an installation at the V&A as part of the London Design Festival, we were more than happy to help with the loan of two pairs of 1963 Braun L 46 flat speakers. Assisted by concealed sub-woofers, the four speakers did sterling work serving the installation with sound, and adding a subtle historical dimension to Layer's Tapestry Hall intervention.

15.06.17

Braun Design Seminar trials

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In preparation for the introduction of our seminars, we’re enjoying testing  material on design professional guinea pigs. Seminar bookings will be live from July 2017.

15.02.17

Vitsoe kitchen

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We recently had some luck picking up a quantity of Rams’ very scarce Vitsoe 570 shelving system. Perhaps because there was so much of it, it occurred to us that it would make a beautiful kitchen. Realising the conversion from living room storage to kitchen turned out to be less than straightforward. Despite its simple outward appearance, the 570 system is structurally complex and super-fiddly. Fortunately for us, Selce Studio accepted a commission to adapt and fit the system. Thanks to the sensitivity and rigour of their design, the perfect balance was struck between preserving the system's character and bending it to accommodate the requirements of an unintended use. 

Three Vitsoe systems are used in the finished kitchen: 570 provides shelving and cabinetry; three panels of the 610 Hallstand System are used to hang  pots and utensils; drilled and powder coated 606 shelving is employed as dish drainage. 

The aluminium extrusion that serves as sliding door runners within the 570 System was re-used by Rams three years later as E-track for the 606 Shelving System. The extrusion hasn’t changed since it was first used in 1957. So, when we ran out of original 570 runners for a small cabinet above the fridge, Selce Studio were able to cut down current production 606 E-track for ersatz use. The final gallery image shows the 570 in its previous life, installed in a Berlin living room.

10.10.16

Designer/ Maker/ User - Braun Design exhibit, London Design Museum

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The London Design Museum invited us to assist in the production of the Braun Design element of their permanent exhibit, Designer/ Maker/ User. We supplied and arranged the materials of this part of the display. We also worked closely with Systems Studio to produce an interactive element allowing visitors to explore 1960s Braun Design's use of grids to organise visual information both in printed material and the setting out of product controls.  

05.10.16

The Ulm Model at Raven Row, London

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Presented at Raven Row Gallery, a major exhibition of objects drawn from the archives of the HfG Ulm and the Braun Company, curated by Das Programm's Director, Dr Peter Kapos. The exhibition drew particular attention to the formative influence of the school upon Braun Design, and included two cells of the D 55 exhibition stand, designed by Otl Aicher and Hans Conrad for the first presentation of revised devices at the 1955 Dusseldorf Radio fair. Other Braun items exhibited with a connection to the HfG included Hans Gugelot's G 11 radio and G 12 record player, Dieter Rams' TP 2 battery operated portable record player (using the HfG's T 3 radio module) , and Reinhold Weiss’ HL 1 desk fan and KMM 1 coffee grinder.

05.06.16

New showroom on Wilton Way

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We’re excited to be moving into a new showroom on Wilton Way E8, a beautiful room to house our core collection of Braun Design. The space will be used to hold seminars and events, and as a viewing room. Visiting strictly by appointment only.

31.10.15

Halloween

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This happened

01.10.15

Systems at Moda, Paris

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Second outing of the Systems exhibition curated by Das Programm and first shown in London in 2013. The exhibition consisted of posters designed by 34 leading graphic studios responding to the systematic character of Braun Design. The posters were exhibited in a grid on a single wall opposite a table display of original 1960s Braun products and printed materials. 

Exhibition design by Systems Studio.

02.10.14

Braun Archive, Kronberg

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Honoured to have been invited to visit the Braun campus at Kronberg. The hand in the third picture belongs to longstanding keeper of the Braun archive, Horst Kaupp. Horst also appears in the final image as a 3D printed figure inside a scale model of the D 55 exhibition stand. The interior view with yellow doors shows the employee health centre, designed by Dieter Rams for the company in 1970.

25.11.13

Systems at Walter Knoll, London

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Systems was an exhibition of poster designs curated by Das Programm and first exhibited at Walter Knoll, London. 34 leading graphic design studios were invited to respond to the systematic aspect of Braun Design with a poster design. Presented in a grid on single wall, the collection presented a survey of the contemporary reception of Braun Design. Exhibition design was undertaken by Michal Polak and Giorgio del Buono, later to become founding partners together with Peter Kapos of Systems Studio.

Berlin based studio Neubau produced three series of posters, amounting to 38 individual designs, and the extraordinary animation shown above. You’ll find Neubau’s poster collection for Systems in the Printed materials/ artwork department of Shop. As it happens, Neubau also designed the type, NB International Pro, that you're reading now. 

05.06.13

Reinhold Weiss visit

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We were truly honoured to have received a visit from luminary of Braun Design, Reinhold Weiss. Weiss served as Deputy Director of the Braun Design Department, with responsibility for the household division, from 1962 until his departure from the company in ’67. He came to Braun directly from his studies at the HfG Ulm, and brought with him an Ulmer’s approach to industrial design. Unlike the more heroic audio systems being developed at the time, Weiss’ systems tended to be more singular and self-enclosed. His HL 1 desk fan and KMM 1 coffee grinder, in particular, are gems of systematic rigour and clarity.

29.09.13

Jack Gerston DW 30 modification

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Jack has the been collecting Braun digital watches since the 1990s and was intrigued to see the recent Braun re-issue of the DW 30. He suggested that we test the faithfulness of the reproduction by fitting a module from the new watch into an original housing he had as a spare. The fit was not perfect. There followed an intense afternoon of soldering and filing, after which the old/new watch works a charm.

22.09.13

White at Paul Smith, Albemarle Street

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We were flattered to be invited to prepare an exhibition of classic Braun Design to mark the opening of Paul Smith’s expanded shop on Albemarle Street, London.

09.02.12

Design Junction, London

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We took a pitch at Design Junction with Modern Shows. Our booth showed a selection of Braun household and audio designs, mostly of the 1960s, and was fitted out with original production Vitsoe RZ 60 shelving and 620 seating. Two days of great conversation with designers fleeing the industry carnage on the floors above.