Seats in the House of Cards

16.03.2022Seats in the House of Cards

Designer Stefan Diez has created sustainable exhibition architecture for the Erich Dieckmann show in the Kunstgewerbemuseum

The interview was conducted by Ingolf Kern

A man speaks at a lectern
Designer Stefan Diez at the press conference for the exhibition in Halle © Matthias Ritzmann

The exhibition "Chairs: Dieckmann! – The Forgotten Bauhaus Master Erich Dieckmann" opens on May 7 in the Kunstgewerbemuseum at the Kulturforum. It boasts sustainable exhibition architecture designed by you. Can you tell us what makes it special?

Stefan Diez: The interior design elements of exhibitions and trade fairs are usually made with large amounts of material, yet they are only in use for a short time and are thrown away soon afterwards. We wanted to do better than that with the Erich Dieckmann exhibition, so we had the superstructure made of black cardboard and paper, which is held together with a specially developed connector so as to form a very stable stage for Dieckmann's work. It was manufactured by the WAGNER company from Langenneufnach in Bavaria. In Berlin we will be re-using some of the material from the previous showing of the exhibition in Halle. When the show's run comes to end in autumn, the architectural parts will be sent for recycling as paper.

And what about the lighting?

Stefan Diez: Lighting is the second important component of exhibition architecture. We didn't buy the lights, but borrowed them from Vibia , the company that makes them. These lights will go to Cologne in the autumn and will be used in a completely different context there.

How are the panels produced and are they used in other places?

Stefan Diez: The cardboard honeycomb panels come from Sweden, where there is a large paper industry. Panels of the kind that we are using in the exhibition are normally used as packaging.

Black cardboard piece
For the exhibition, superstructures were built from black cardboard and paper © SPK / Jonas Dehn

Exhibition: Chairs. Dieckmann! The Forgotten Bauhaus Master Erich Dieckmann

Kunstgewerbemuseum and Kunstbibliothek as well as Kunststiftung des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt and the Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle have taken a new look at Erich Dieckmann's life and work. Starting May 7 2022 in Berlin.

Exhibition of chairs
Exhibition view in Halle © Matthias Ritzmann

Green culture is a big thing right now. For the Staatliche Museen (National Museums) too. How do you see things developing in the cultural sector, including exhibitions?

Stefan Diez: The strong focus on sustainability and the circular economy is still very new; it's only been around for one or two years. Perhaps pandemic has helped to lend this issue the urgency and attention that it needs at last. People have reflected on things more during the past two years and are now more strongly aware of – and worried about – global crises. In any case, practically everything has revolved around these topics recently: how to avoid waste, how to give raw materials a longer service life, and how to protect the climate. A new concept of luxury is being negotiated, one that is dematerialized. Where exactly this will lead remains to be seen, but even massive upheavals can be steered. The years to come will certainly be very exciting.

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