What goes on here?

The Direktorenhaus

The Direktorenhaus is an exhibition venue for craftsmen, artists and designers in Berlin. The program represents the current debate on new trends of the applied arts and illustrates the potential, which the connection of handicraft, art and design has to offer. The Direktorenhaus is the former administrative building of Alte Münze. The atmospherical exhibition venue, directly located at the river Spree with high ceiling reception areas and French balconies is a site of concentrated production. Each year, 15 fellows from the areas of design, fine arts, craft, social design and composition work at the Direktorenhaus. The Direktorenhaus offers them the possibility to focus on the further development of their work for one year. Besides the exhibit rooms, ateliers, workplaces and studios are to be found on the various floors of the building. Most notably, the exhibitions give access to an aesthetic quality of things, which is rarely presented to the public nowadays. Also, their political relevance becomes clear: more and more design projects of the Direktorenhaus shift focus from „form and function“ to methods for the solution of strategic issues in economy and society, and the development of future scenarios. As a cultural think tank, Direktorenhaus combines the material shaping skill of art and design with sensitivity and interest for political processes. Under this approach to design, the perspective alternates between analytical thinking and creative production. An important concept in this connection is the mutual inspiration. During their stay, the artists and designers support and inspire each other – as it used to be in the traditional guilds. To support the basic idea of the Direktorenhaus to make visible a socially engaged design, which activates voluntary commitment in the realm of civil society, Direktorenhaus brings the fellows into contact with non-profit organisations in a targeted manner, to give birth to initiatives with a high social relevance. The results are presented in the form of exhibitions, lectures, publications and strategic public relations. While there already is a historically established tradition of support in the fine arts, for example through cultural foundations which support fine artists, there is no promotion of excellence for designers and craftspeople in Germany. The Direktorenhaus was founded in 2010 by Pascal Johanssen and Katja Kleiss in order to close these gaps and to contribute to the future organisation of the networked society.