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

otl aicher 100: “there is nothing here that gives shade” – slide show and panel talk at Architektur Galerie Berlin

The International Design Center Berlin (IDZ) invites you to a slide show and panel talk at Architektur Galerie Berlin on 20 October. Karsten de Riese and Prof. Michael Klar will report on a photo reportage commissioned by BMW that took them to Tunisia in 1975 together with Otl Aicher and his son Florian. The event is part of the “otl aicher 100” initiative, which illuminates the multifaceted thematic cosmos of this great designer, whose centenary of birth we are celebrating this year, with the online platform otlaicher.de.

Berlin, 28 September, 2022 – One project, two motorcycles, four men and a confrontation with themselves, each other and the desert. As part of the “otl aicher 100” project, Karsten de Riese and Michael Klar will report on their two-week tour through the North African desert.

“With Karsten de Riese and Michael Klar, we have invited two long-time companions of Otl Aicher for this evening’s talk,” says a delighted Kai Gehrmann, artistic director of the Otl Aicher 100 project, who will moderate the conversation. “I am sure that we will discover entirely new facets of Aicher through their stories.”

The desert had a special meaning for Otl Aicher: “the desert is a landscape of thought. you don’t just walk around between dunes, you go on walks of thought. your horizons of thought change.” The fewer external distractions, the more significant the immediate environment becomes. The focus changes. In the absence of civilization, people focus on what’s important. Not knowing in the morning whether you will reach your destination in the evening can evoke conflicting feelings. For one person, the focus is on freedom and the ambition to reach the set goal. For another, a resistance spreads within. The desert holds its own challenge for every human being, and in this case, too, it has become the scene of tests of human endurance. Sometimes even its vastness is not enough to keep travel companions out of each other’s way. The crucial thing is that the four of them have always found their way back to each other – also after this tour.

Karsten de Riese’s slide show with the Kodak Carousel projector is a retrospective of an intensive and unique journey that left its mark on all participants. Together with Michael Klar, he places the adventure in the common prehistory of the protagonists and the later private and professional points of contact. Conflicts as well as cheerful anecdotes are illuminated, which in the end grew into friendships based on mutual respect and appreciation.


Karsten de Riese

Born in 1942 in Eisenach. Trained as a photographer in Munich, then studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) in Ulm. Freelance work for newsweeklies and magazines, institutions and commercial enterprises, as well as on his own projects. 1969 to 1972 officially commissioned photographer for the OC of the Olympic Games in Munich. Collaboration with Otl Aicher until his death in 1991. In the broadest sense, the human being is always at the center of all his work, especially his long-term projects. Karsten de Riese lives in the Isar valley south of Munich.

Prof. Michael Klar
Born 1943 in Berlin. Designer, studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm, also with Otl Aicher. Collaborated with the Kapitzki/Ohl group for the Pavilion of the Federal Republic of Germany at EXPO 67 Montreal. As a student representative, he was involved in the disputes leading up to the liquidation of the HfG in 1968 by a resurgent political right in the Baden-Württemberg state parliament. 1972 Professorship for Visual Communication at the FH für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd, whose teaching concepts he significantly influenced. 1992 Professorship for Information Design at the Berlin University of the Arts and founding dean of the Faculty of Design at the University of Applied Sciences, Dresden. Today, many of his students teach at universities in Germany and abroad. Michael Klar lives and works in Berlin.

Kai Gehrmann
Born in 1972 in Osnabrück. Initiator and artistic director of the project “otl aicher 100”. Designer and managing director of Stiehl/Over/Gehrmann with offices in Berlin and Osnabrück. Has been working in the fields of corporate identity / corporate design, user experience / user interface design and design strategy since 1994. With his team, Kai Gehrmann advises companies on the design of their analog and digital brand communication. He is also responsible for the worldwide licensing and further development of the otl aicher pictograms.


“there is nothing here that gives shade”
An event of the IDZ Berlin in the context of “otl aicher 100”.

Location: Architektur Galerie Berlin, Karl-Marx-Allee 96, 10243 Berlin
Thursday, 20 Oktober 2022, beginning 7:00 pm (admission from 6:30 pm) Get-together following the event.

We ask for timely registration on the IDZ website.
We have compiled image material for your press coverage on our press page.


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

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

Other 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

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