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German Design 1949–1989: Two Countries, One History

An exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum, the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the Wüstenrot Stiftung.

Driven by the Bauhaus and Werkbund movements, German Design gained wide recognition in the early twentieth century. After 1949, its development followed a unique path as designers in the divided nation continued working under opposed political systems in East and West Germany. More than thirty years after the German reunification, the Vitra Design Museum presents the exhibition »German Design 1949–1989: Two Countries, One History« from 20 March until 5 September 2021. It is the first overview that explores German design on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
While giving insights into the different design philosophies in the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, it also reveals the many parallels and interrelations linking design in East and West during the nation’s divide.

The exhibition is supported by the Federal Foreign Office.
Key visual of the exhibtion: calculator »ET 33«, Dieter Rams and Dietrich Lubs, 1977, small jug from the hotel tableware »Rationell«, Margarete Jahny and Erich Müller, 1970, © Vitra Design Museum, illustration: Daniel Streat, Visual Fields
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