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The Deutscher Werkbund: Good Design Before We Knew It

The Deutscher Werkbund, founded in 1907, had a truly innovative vision for the “arts and crafts” and architecture (the term “design” was not yet common).

In a 1987 text published in Design, Form and Chaos, the famous designer Paul Rand reminds us of the motivations of the organization:

In 1907 the German Werkbund was formed, an organization whose purpose it was to forge the links between designer and manufacturer. It was intended to make the public aware of the folly of snobbery and to underscore the significance of the “old ideals of simplicity, purity, and quality.” Its aims were also to make producers aware of “a new sense of cultural responsibility, based on the recognition that men are molded by the objects that surround them.”

(Rand, Good Design Is Goodwill, 1987)

Over a century later, I could not find better words for today’s industry.