Museum of Things
Thursday July 3, 2014·
With a slightly ambiguous name, one may not be completely sure of what to expect from the Museum of Things; unless maybe you have an understanding of the Werkbund's activity. Maybe renaming it The Contemporary German Culture Collection (even if a little long winded) would at least hint as to what's going on inside.
The small museum, hidden in a Hinterhof off Oranienstrasse, is a calm space off the hectic street. Visiting on a Saturday is not met with 100 other people thinking the same. Easy to navigate around, the Museum of Things is split into two sections: the Deutscher Werkbund archive, and The Object Collection. In short, the Werkbund was an association promoting modern functional design that was aesthetically pleasing. They were committed to the idea of 'good form' and eradicating 'bad taste'. Don't worry though; there is plenty of 'tasteless' design to see.
Some cabinets are purely organised by colour, others by material or product use. Look out for the Werkbund Kiste, a box of products lent to schools to provide early familiarity of good form. In contrast, the Do-It-Yourself section might have the Werkbund in uproar. The cabinet proudly features homemade glasses with Play-Doh eyes. Great.
Dieter Rams' Braun products, looking beautiful and following functional good form design rules, stand near an oversized spaceship-esque television module with controls out of reach for most.
With cabinets upon cabinets of objects related to modern everyday life and material-orientated culture, this museum may require more than one visit to avoid saturation. Looking for a bit of inspiration or need to satisfy your intrigue surrounding the goods available to the German people over the 20th and 21st centuries? Then step this way.