mateo kries: phenomenon design


Right now I am in Basel. During the day I work with my co-founders and friends on a project called Depot Basel, a place for contemporary design. But right before I enter the land of sleep, I read Mateo Kries Total Design. I came across the book last time I was in Basel, where I found it in Laura Preggers shelf. The book is separated in 3 chapters and once you passed chapter one it switches from design history to Mateo’s personal stories around design and its carried baggage. Can’t really give a final statement about the book, because I haven’t finished reading it. But there is one thing: I can’t wait until it is published in English. Haven’t read a book in German since ages and I would love to use some paragraphs for my future students at the School of Form.

Mateo Kries is Art historian and chief curator at the Vitra Design Museum. SInce January 2011 Mateo Kries took over the programme of the Vitra Design Museum together with Marc Zehntner, who is responsible for the management. In his book he describes the permanent expansion of design in our society, based on personal observations during his career. It made me laugh when I read that his sister can’t understand why he spends almost 100 Euros for a game of memory from Charles and Ray Eames for his little daughter. Sometimes everyone can be a victim of the beautiful things around us.

2 thoughts on “mateo kries: phenomenon design

  1. :???:Certainly we do appreciate Mateos accomplishments – but the book is way too much on the personal side. It holds so many personal rants and cannot resist the vanity of the genre, that you can put it into the “entertainment” section of your bookshelf.
    We had big expectations on a man who is playing a big role in major design institutions, but, hm, how do we put it…the book is simply not as important as it wants to be.

    Try something else with your students and make them happy.
    (unfortunately not in english either)


  2. Hello Birgit,

    thanks for your words. I am not familiar with the level of seriousness this book was written, but personally I enjoyed the book so far, especially because Mateo shares his personal views and experiences instead of taking himself too important or too serious. While reading I not even sensed the aim of importance, which yo mention above. Great expectations always led to great disappointment. I will continue reading the ‘design entertainment’, because that’s what I need before I go to bed. Lalala, M

    ps. Thank you for the list of literature! It was actually the first thing I looked when I started to put a list of books together. :-)