With a team of currently 20 designers, interdisciplinary design research projects are carried out. Right from the start, the objective was to build bridges between technological innovations and the real requirements of manufactorial production. This involves very different needs: Companies that want to change or expand their portfolio, companies that want to implement new technologies in their operations or companies that want to address younger target groups, for example.
Designers are now more often looking for proximity to manufactories — many of them, who still call themselves “industrial designers” after their apprenticeship, no longer work for the industry at all. They feel too much like a cog in the wheel there. Many young designers discover their penchant for artisanship, indeed for art. They discover that there is no fundamental separation between designers and craftsmen. The Design Lab brings designers and craftsmen together.
The Design Lab originated in the student regional design initiative of the Deutsche Manufakturenstraße, which was created in cooperation with the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences: the “Haus Brandenburg”. It was a temporary design initiative of both. The initiative was launched at the beginning of 2017 to bring together Brandenburg craft businesses and manufactories with designers. The aim was to jointly develop special handicraft and manufactory products: they should be of high quality, correspond to contemporary design aesthetics and above all be marketable. What the newly developed products should also have in common is that they have a regional connection to Brandenburg.
Not only an important and central idea — such as “craft and design under one roof” — but also the philosophy and the most important project procedures of the initiative were conveyed in a presentation. The participating manufactories and craft enterprises included Baruther Glashütte and Holzwerkstatt Postdam.
The pipe weaving mill Pritzerbe, Golem, the Ueckermärkische Werkstätten, Keramik Rustika, I+E Papenbrock and about twenty other companies. The Fraunhofer Institut Golm and 17 students on the design page were also present.
Direktorenhaus Design Lab