new olds
Design between tradition and innovation
Werner Aisslinger: Books
AKDB, München: Der dritte Raum
Volker Albus: Pixel-Perser
Maarten Baas: Plastic Chair in Wood
Pieke Bergmans: Light Blub
Laura Bernhardt: Afroditi
Marcel Besau: Stuhlserie RH 34
BIG-GAME: Moose, Deer, Reihe: Animaux
BLESS: BLESS No. 28 Fatknithammock
Constantin Boym: Buildings of Disaster
COMPANY: Jeesus Furniture
FRONT: Blow Away Vase
Matali Crasset: decompression chair
Martino Gamper: Mono Thone
Ineke Hans: beer table set
David Hanauer: superflux
Sebastian Herkner: Perserfell
Joa Herrenknecht und Astrid Ochsenreither: Loop
Richard Hutten: Playing with Tradition
Daniel Juric: Sampling Sehnsucht
Chris Kabel: Flames
Nina Kappenstein: dTales
Cordula Kehrer: Bow Bins
Silvia Knüppel: Drückeberger
Silvia Knüppel: pl(a)ywood
Stefan Legner: Monochaise
Studio Makkink & Bey: Werkstadt-Kabinett
Studio Makkink & Bey: Minutes Set
Eva Marguerre: NIDO
Khashayar Naimanan: Incognito
Studio Niels & Sven: Tafelkled
Studio Niels & Sven: 1.000 Chairs
Osko + Deichmann: Straw Chair
Soner Ozenc: EL Sajjadah
Wendy Plomp: Message in a Box
Bertjan Pot & Marcel Wanders: Carbon Chair
Bo Reudler Studio: Slow White Table
Berta Riera Pomés: Iglu
Karen Ryan: "Custom Made" Chair
Kilian Schindler: kkaarrllssttool
Sandra Schollmeyer: Parmops 02
Katrin Sonnleitner: Immöbel
Katrin Sonnleitner: PuzzlePerser
Stolen Wood: Hit it
Stolen Wood: Mary Jo
Silke Wawro: Der Volksware Meterware Tisch
Frank Willems: Plus de Madam Rubens, Petit pouf
Émilie Voirin / Jérôme Nelet: Made in China

Together with curator Volker Albus, the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e. V. (ifa) presents new olds. Design between Tradition and Innovation, with sixty exhibits that explore the relationship between tradition and innovation in contemporary design. The variety and topicality of the many approaches are bundled around the themes material, construction, configuration, production, and traditional use. Forty-five designers and design teams from Germany, other European countries and the USA enter here into an intensive dialogue, and the international nature of the show is further emphasised by its world tour with its connections to the local cultures on site.
Design has a short and highly successful history in the West. It quickly became a key feature of a collective understanding of culture, and is correspondingly appreciated and communicated. Outside the western hemisphere too design is gaining significance, and not just as a profession. What are seen as successful idioms are copied and varied, but many of the motifs that are sold as "new" actually derive from a historical context and formal idiom, and are self-contained products of one country or culture, representing a new interpretation of traditional forms. This exhibition looks at aspects of the "new" and the "old" in a range of objects and groups of objects, discusses differences and new combinations, presents trends in recycling and redesign, and looks at the transformation of design classics and traditional ways of using new materials.
This exhibition aims to show the international and complex nature of this discourse in contemporary design in three ways. Firstly, we invite the general public to enjoy the visual and sensual presentation of the exhibits. Secondly, the accompanying events and education programme will focus on dialogue in workshops that are tailored to each location of the exhibition tour, and the design experts working there. The third element is documentation of the exhibition in a blog, showing the work of local designers exploring issues related to new olds that is presented in the exhibition space or in a special additional show. Documenting all the works that are produced in accompanying events during the entire tour will further facilitate dialogue and the exchange of ideas on contemporary theory and design practice in a variety of nations and cultures.

Exhibition catalogue

new olds. Design im Spannungsverhältnis zwischen Tradition und Innovation / Design between Tradition and Innovation. – Stuttgart: Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, 2011. – 404 S. – dt./engl. – Design und Layout: Heine/Lenz/Zizka, Frankfurt/Berli

new olds

Design im Spannungsverhältnis zwischen Tradition und Innovation / Design between Tradition and Innovation. – Stuttgart: ifa, 2011. – 404 S. – order

Graphic design
Heine/Lenz/Zizka Frankfurt/Berlin


Lotus Root and Sauerkraut

Photo: Lao XU (Hongwei XU), © ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)
Photo: Lao XU (Hongwei XU), © ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

Workshop with Laura Bernhardt and Daniel Juric in Nanjing.

new olds – Design Between Tradition and Innovation

RMIT University | Melbourne
© 2015 RMIT University; created by the RMIT Gallery

new olds at Galeri Petronas

Galeri Petronas | Interview with curator Volker Albus in Kuala Lumpur; © 2015 RMIT University; created by the RMIT Gallery

Coming up:

01.03.2019 – 01.10.2021
NN, China