How does industrial design operate outside of capitalist consumer culture? “Designing for Socialist Need” assembles a detailed picture of industrial design practice in the socialist German Democratic Republic. Drawing on much previously unexplored material from a wide variety of sources, it not only maps out some of the ideological, institutional and economic contexts within which GDR design functioned, it also critically reconstructs the designers’ aims and perspectives in order to argue that they shared a profoundly socially responsible approach to design. By focusing on their ideas and approaches, this volume attends to the previously unacknowledged intellectual and practical richness of GDR design culture and demonstrates that it can provide pertinent insights not only for scholars of GDR history or German design, but also for contemporary design practitioners, theorists and educators with an interest in sustainability in design.
Originally from Dresden, Katharina Pfützner has been living in Ireland since 1991. She is Lecturer in Industrial Design at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, where her teaching interests centre around the idea of socially responsible design. In 2012 she obtained a PhD in Visual Culture with a thesis on industrial design practice in the socialist GDR. Her research on this topic has been variously published and presented at international conferences.
The book will be launed by Prof. Kathleen James-Chakraborty, UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy and Prof. David Crowley, Head of Visual Culture, National College of Art and Design.
If you wish to attend, please RSVP katharinapfützner@gmail.com
Supported by the Goethe-Institut Irland.