31. March 2022, Press release of the International Design Center Berlin e.V. (IDZ)

otl aicher 100: Online platform and event series

The International Design Center Berlin (IDZ) is taking Otl Aicher’s centenary as an opportunity to pay tribute to this great designer and to make his work visible. An online platform and a series of events will address Otl Aicher’s multifaceted cosmos of topics and illuminate them from different perspectives.

Berlin, 31 March 2022 – Otl Aicher (1922 – 1991) is one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. He became internationally known above all as the design commissioner for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. However, the job title “designer” would be too short-sighted for Aicher: He thought and acted universalistically in his various roles. If one looks at his activities as a university founder, graphic designer, typographer, management consultant, sculptor, philosopher and author as a whole, he was an intellectual who intervened in design. For him, design was “civilization work”. The HfG Ulm, which he founded in 1953 together with his wife Inge Aicher-Scholl and Max Bill, stood for a new beginning, a “different Germany”.

“Otl Aicher’s work was trend-setting, his life’s work extraordinary,” explains IDZ member Kai Gehrmann, the artistic director of “otl aicher 100”. “As a designer and intellectual, as a humanist and fighter and as a critical thinker, he is more relevant today than ever. His ‘life in the making’ – his optimism, his unconditional belief in being able to intervene in the world in a formative way have retained their validity to this day – and are worth a deeper examination.”

13 May 2022 marks the centenary of Otl Aicher’s birth. On the initiative of Kai Gehrmann and Florian Aicher, the International Design Center Berlin is taking this date as an opportunity to explore the life and work of this multi-layered and often ambivalent personality. An internet presence will be created under the title “otl aicher 100” – a curated space that encourages discourse and serves as a platform. In addition, a series of events will address themes from Aicher’s work and link them to current issues. The opening event will take place on 13 May at the Akademie der Künste at Pariser Platz in Berlin. Following on from his essay “kulturen des denkens” (cultures of thinking), the focus will be on ethics and the cultural dimensions of artificial intelligence. Further information and registration at: idz.de

At the same time, the online platform will be launched at otlaicher100.de. Further events in cooperation with Akademie der Künste, Deutscher Werkbund Berlin and the HfG Archive Ulm are planned.

Editorial team:
Florian Aicher, Thomas Edelmann, Prof. Dr. Chup Friemert, Kai Gehrmann (Artistic Director), Jasmin Jouhar, Katharina Kurz, Prof. Dr. Dagmar Rinker, Gerrit Terstiege and Fabian Wurm (Chief Editor).

Funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation. Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media.

Corporate partners:
Bulthaup GmbH & Co KG; ERCO GmbH; FSB Franz Schneider Brakel GmbH + Co KG

Further sponsors and cooperation partners:
Bauhaus Dessau e.V.; Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Deutscher Werkbund Berlin e.V.; HfG-Archiv Ulm

Media partners:
ARCH+; brand eins; ndion

Contact for media enquiries:

Wilhelm Nöldeke
Medien & Kommunikation

IDZ | Internationales Design Zentrum Berlin e.V.
Hagelberger Straße 52 | 10965 Berlin

T +49 (0)30 6162321-0