The Past and Future are meeting at Zollverein School

ZSchool_insideout_june06.jpgIt’s only 10 days ago that the new building of the Zollverein School has been handed over to the school’s new president. Beside some rumors I’ve heard about that the building will be fully usable at the end of August Zollverein School already hosted its first big event yesterday titled: “99 years Werkbund. The future of Industrial Culture”.

While the list of speakers might not sound too interesting for foreign readers from a German perspective the roster of 15 minutes presenters looked quite high caliber. Needless to mention that the new Zollverein School president Andrej Kupetz as the host of the location also contributed content-wise by connecting the architecture of the building with the cultural heritage of the Zollverein School area.

Anyway, if you are like me you might have heard the term Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation) in some or the context. However to be honest I did not know too much about its origins so far. Thanks to Wikipedia I’ve gained some interesting insights about it. After reading the article I’ve somehow concluded that Werkbund (beside being an important precursor to the Bauhaus) has been one of the earliest attempts to connect architecture, design and industrialists which for me is one iteration towards what we today tag as the Creative Industries.

Similarly to the motivation of the City of Essen, the Government of North Rhine-Westphalia and the European Union to build a landmark both in form and content Werkbund as well has been “a state-sponsored effort to integrate traditional crafts and industrial mass-production techniques, to put Germany on a competitive footing with England and the United States.”

However by the same token the Zollverein area is a project in constant transformation the Zollverein School of management and design is on its way to transform itself as well by integrating design skills with management thinking and by leaving the publicly sponsored status and becoming a commercially independent business in 2008.

If you’d want to be part of this process contact us for further information on our programmes!

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