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.