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.