Wallpaper* Germany Survey 2011

Going Deutsch - How Germany became a design superpower: an 84-page supplement

Every now and then Wallpaper* magazine produces a Germany Special Survey, a magazine within the magazine dedicated to Deutschland. This year it was conceived and edited by Sophie Lovell

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“Everyone has their own stereotypes about Germany: the wealthy European industrial giant; the old fashioned state with dirndls, Oktoberfests, black forests, autobahns, and sausages; the country populated by a hard working Volk with a strange sense of humour that just happen to make rather nice cars and be not too bad at football.

German industry is legendary, but for all its apparent sensible stability it is an industry that is full of variety and driven by change. The automotive moguls devote around one third of their corporate spending annually to research and development – and coming up with ideas that make hybrid look old hat. At the other end of the scale, tiny, mobile start-ups, like the Berlin graphic design companies we surveyed, are changing the shape of the creative industry. Centuries-old firms such as those in the porcelain industry are commissioning new works from conceptual artists and fashion designers, and bespoke furniture manufacturers are tiptoeing along the bleeding edge of the avant-garde.

So with this special supplement we would like to show you the Germany that is risk-taking, adventurous, quirky and forward-thinking. Of course the tradition is still there, along with the quality and precision that we have come to depend upon, but with their future strategies the new generation is using these standards as a springboard for great leaps into the unknown.”