In addition to works by individual designers and artists Grassimesse 2012 also presented the results of the research project “Ü60 Design: Design for Tomorrow”
No-one denies that our society is getting older and that in the coming decades an ever greater percentage of the population will be Ü60, so 60+
What is often forgotten is that the future 60+ generations will be different from the current 60+ generations and so the needs in the future are not the same as those at the present. Similar. But not identical.
The project “Ü60 Design: Design for Tomorrow” involving students from Burg Giebichenstein Halle, the FH Schneeberg and the Freie Universität Bozen therefore looked less at creating objects for today’s over 60s, but much more examined the question of what those lucky enough to currently still be in their 20s will want and need when they reach a pensionable age.
Letting the future generation create their own old-age aids, as it were.
In addition to a delightful and thoroughly enjoyable exhibition in the Grassi Museum Pfeilerhalle the project also produced a couple of excellently conceived and executed projects.
Anyone who has been at a European design festival in the past 12 months will have seen Mobile Gastfreundschaft by chmara.rosinke. Mobile Pflanzstation by Schneeberg student Caroline Schulze is similar, if for us a tick more practical. Looking like the sort of object Moormann will get round to producing once Nils starts thinking about slowing down a little, Mobile Pflanzstation is in effect nothing more than a high-wheelbarrow that allows the user to pot and care for plants at a sensible working height. A simplicity that makes it all the more elegant. It’s also a project that we can well imagine seeing today.
Another project that we could well imagine seeing today is TransBoard by Tino Kalettka and Hannes Trommer from Burg Giebichenstein. Essentially an over-sized scooter, the space between the front wheels has been extended and reconfigured to allow it to be used to transport objects. For example a crate of beer or other daily essentials. Or indeed your dog. If it is also advancing in years.
But the real highlight of “Ü60 Design: Design for Tomorrow” was Walk the Line by Burg Giebichenstein’s Kirstin Overbeck.
Similar in form to Mark Braun’s “Floor 95″ hallway furniture system Walk the Line, in effect – and we’ve no evidence Kirsten Overbeck has even seen Floor 95 – extends the concept through additional features, but more importantly an additional functionality.
Taking a banister – so a supporting handrail for the infirm – as the basis for a modular furniture system, “Walk the Line” is not just a brilliant response to the question posed but a truly genial system and one of the best and most inspiring projects we’ve seen this year. The handrail around the table was a particularly nice touch. We hope Kirstin is able to take the project further because we can see a real use for such as a modular system in, for example, sheltered housing complexes.