One of the bigger design events in Berlin is the annual DMY festival. From the 6th till the 10th of June, the halls of the former airport ‘Tempelhof’ fill up with furniture and products, showcasing the best of contemporary design. Even tough one could question that last part, it was fun walking around there. Tis year the DMY organization has made some distinct and quite interesting choices to amplify their position in the contemporary design scene. Much in the line of the Berlin Biennale of Arts, where political activism was this years theme, DMY had invited Makerlab to hold daily workshops, make a daily newspaper (with an on site risograph!) and develop a logo for the human rights, yes, your read it well, the human rights. These activities where clearly given an important weight in this years festival, as they almost covered half of the third hall. But even besides the workshops of Makerlab, there was particularly much activity going on this year. You could silkscreen on your own clothes, cut ping-pong pallets with a CNC machine, enter in a ping-pong tournament, FHNW was making lamp shades with paper mulch and a social cooking event took place. The attempt to be more politically involved and embed contemporary issues into the event we off course appreciated a lot, but this disappeared completely as you continue and enter trough a velvet rope with a hostess greeting you, into another big hall of the former airport. You stumble upon a series of top notch, nicely parked BMW’s, extremely high-tech office furniture and random gadgets. Trying to combine DIY and experimental furniture with high level consumerism probably wasn’t their best choice, even regarding the fact that BMW was their main parter, they could have given a little more attention to coherency and what it is they are trying to say, DIY or just BUY. Somehow making a logo for the human rights next to a room full of shiny BMW’s and even shinier executives and CEO’s, doesn’t quite add up, or maybe the velvet rope was just a little to much. Not to end up with a negative note, DMY still is a good place to meet young passionate designers and still offers a platform for innovation, as they have shown again this year. They might just to have to look for a different sponsor, or think of new ways to let them coincide.
This post was written by Pieterjan Grandry
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