An exhibition review
The Ulm Model Raven Row 56 Artillery Lane LONDON E1 7LS Through Nov. 7
The Ulm model is the latest exhibition in the Raven Row gallery, the entry is free and it’ll be open until the 18th of December.
The “The Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG)” was founded by Inge Scholl and Otl Aicher in Ulm, Southern Germany during 1946, it’s one of the world’s most important contemporary design academies.
Upon arrival to the gallery, it’s noticeable how tiny the text on the building is. It’s legible but not the most distinctive feature to look for in the distance when trying to find it. It’s a part of the style as you come to realize stepping into the gallery and taking a look at the minimal leaflets and signs on the doors.
On the first floor, one will see is an amazing stackable table wear by Hans Roerich and work from other students who had attended this academy (during the 50’s and 60’s), mainly works of Hans Von Klier. At first glance, the works showcased can seem abstract, the diploma projects look definitely ahead of its time.
Objects were placed very symmetrically next to the diploma projects, they were visually pleasing to look at. Each had its own function, like an ash tray or a file-card box. They seem very modern, with variety in heights, shapes, and form.
A great Braun product collection which was presented in the Dusseldorf Radio Exhibition was also to be seen, Complete with its exhibition panel. Certainly gets you back in time with the popular 70’s wood finish on electronics.
As you go upstairs you notice you are going into a victorian house setting rather than the open space studio on the ground floor. The objects on the second floor were mostly metal.
The third floor was when I’ve seen colourful exhibits, typography and everyday utilities which blend in the environment.
People looking to learn more about the history of the Ulm might be disappointed, the gallery focuses more on the student work, the design, and materials, and they should because it’s amazing and part of the academy’s reputation. The only political and historic exhibit is shut between two doors, it’s a short film on two CRT televisions about the demonstration during 1967. This is the only political exhibit you can find and it is quite tucked away from the product designs you see. Luckily the leaflets have a lot of information about tutors, events, and the city which the academy was built in.
Raven Row’s lighting was great for photography throughout all three floors that the exhibition was set on, the experience transitioned between open halls and small rooms, and it kept guiding you as one kept appearing from the corridor, probably implying that you should let curiosity guide you . It’s a little short, but the use of different materials in such a modern and simplistic way will make you tour the gallery twice.