Design Museums in Germany
and their Communicational Goals

Prof. Dr. Peter Zec

The question of good design is in principle an insoluble question because there is a wide variety of possible answers to it. This is an unsatisfactory situation for all who work in the fields of design or use it for business purposes. This brings us to another question. How is it possible to change an insoluble question into a soluble one? This is possible by setting a framework of rules within all questions about design have been decided already. One example for this is the definition of design with the formula “form follows function”.

Everything that is said about design comes from an observer. Therefore there cannot be any objective determination of what good design is. The only way of dealing with this situation is to start talking about good design and discussing it. Good design starts to exist when we make a first statement about it and when it becomes an object of discussion. It does not matter if there are differing opinions about it. All that is important is the communication surrounding it. From this point of view, good design is a matter of communication! Communication about good design itself is based on education.

This leads us to the function of museums in general and to design museums in particular. Museums are made for communication and education. Design museums create a particular field of knowledge about design. This happens by collecting and retaining design objects. More than this, museums open and investigate several new aspects of design and as a minimum they mediate and show different views of the objects. In the collection of design museums, products of daily use are eliminated from the secular world. They are transformed into design objects of special interest.

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Design Management
VIZO Workshop

“Design makes the Difference”
Brussels, Belgium - 29/30 November 2002

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