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Josef Frank
Against Design

10 April - 27 August

Josef Frank – Against Design is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to this world-renowned architect and designer. It shows the diversity of Frank’s body of work – from ground-breaking architecture to brilliantly-coloured patterns and furniture. The exhibition presents unique material from the ArkDes collections never previously displayed.

Visit the exhibition

 

Guided tours

 

Last week of the exhibition:
Tuesday 12.00 and 17.00
Wednedsday 12.00
Thursday 12.00
Friday 12.00
Saturday 12.00
Sunday 12.00

 

The tours are in Swedish.

 

Admission

Josef Frank – Against Design
Ordinary price 120 kr.
Concessions (students and senior citizens): SEK 100.
Visitors under the age of 20 and Friends of ArkDes: Free.

As a pioneer of Modernism, Josef Frank continues to inspire designers with the diversity of his output. Amongst the important works on display in the Josef Frank – Against Design exhibition are pieces of furniture from the first interior he created in 1910 – Karl and Hedwig Tedesko’s apartment in Vienna – and items from Haus & Garten, the furnishing house that Frank ran in Vienna with his colleague Oskar Wlach.
Josef Frank was born in Baden in 1885 and came to be one of the key figures in Austrian architecture and design in the 1910s and 1920s. In 1933, because of increasing anti-Semitism, he left Austria for his wife’s home country of Sweden. From 1939 to 1947 he worked in the United States, but subsequently returned to Stockholm, where he was employed as a designer for Svenskt Tenn until his death in 1967.

Josef Frank as architect

Most of Frank’s architectural work in Austria focussed on social housing projects for the working classes. In 1932, Frank was in charge of the Werkbundsiedlung housing exhibition, which was part of Vienna’s public housing programme “Rotes Wien”. The exhibition was an important contribution to the debate on freer lifestyles in a modern age.

Alongside this, Frank also undertook commissions for more affluent families, including the well-known Villa Beer in Vienna, built between 1929 and 1931. In Sweden, Josef Frank is known as the originator of some of the first functionalist architecture in the country – five holiday homes in Falsterbo, designed between 1924 and 1936.

Most of his time in Sweden was taken up with interior design and furniture projects. As early as 1934 he was taken on as a designer for Svenskt Tenn by Estrid Erikson. The exhibition shows several unique, original sketches for some of his best-known patterns.

Against Design

Over time, Josef Frank became increasingly critical of the severity of the Modernist movement and the attitude of the designer to the notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or ‘total work of art’, involving the super-designed environment, standardised furniture and the invention of new forms for their own sake. Neither a personalised, artistically-inspired design nor a standardised, machine-made product were meaningful in his eyes; his own creations were inspired more by the classical tradition. It is his criticism that prompts the title of our exhibition: Josef Frank – Against Design.

Instead, he developed a softer, less restrictive approach, articulated in a philosophy of architecture and interior design he called “Accidentism”.

“All the places where we are comfortable – rooms, streets and cities – have arisen through coincidences”, wrote Frank in 1958 in the magazine Form, where the concept was first launched. Frank welcomed a less restrictive philosophy of architecture and interior design that accommodated both the high-brow and the low-brow – good and poor taste. This approach was put into practice in the “fantasy houses:” thirteen sketches for houses that Frank designed for his friend Dagmar Grill.

The exhibition features several of the original watercolours from the ArkDes collections. The houses are far removed from the austere design idiom of Modernism in terms of both style and expression. Frank summarised his new, inclusive philosophy in an unpublished manuscript: “Every great work of art must border on kitsch”.

Images from the exhibition


Kungsträdgården in Stockholm. Aquarelle sketch by Josef Frank. ArkDes collections.

Kungsträdgården in Stockholm. Aquarelle sketch by Josef Frank. ArkDes collections.

Stuyvesant Town. Sketch, cityplanning. ArkDes collections.

Stuyvesant Town. Sketch, cityplanning. ArkDes collections.

Aquarelle of houses, series of six. 1950s.

Aquarelle of houses, series of six. 1950s.

Patterns created by Josef Frank when living in New York, 1940s. Photo: Matti Östling / ArkDes

Patterns created by Josef Frank when living in New York, 1940s. Photo: Matti Östling / ArkDes

Josef Frank. Photo: Lennart Nilsson, Svenskt Tenn Archive and collections

Josef Frank. Photo: Lennart Nilsson, Svenskt Tenn Archive and collections

Villa Beer in Austria, by Josef Frank.

Villa Beer in Austria, by Josef Frank.

More images

Read more about the exhibition

As a pioneer of Modernism, Josef Frank continues to inspire designers with the diversity of his output. Amongst the important works on display in the Josef Frank – Against Design exhibition are pieces of furniture from the first interior he created in 1910 – Karl and Hedwig Tedesko’s apartment in Vienna – and items from Haus & Garten, the furnishing house that Frank ran in Vienna with his colleague Oskar Wlach.
Josef Frank was born in Baden in 1885 and came to be one of the key figures in Austrian architecture and design in the 1910s and 1920s. In 1933, because of increasing anti-Semitism, he left Austria for his wife’s home country of Sweden. From 1939 to 1947 he worked in the United States, but subsequently returned to Stockholm, where he was employed as a designer for Svenskt Tenn until his death in 1967.

Josef Frank as architect

Most of Frank’s architectural work in Austria focussed on social housing projects for the working classes. In 1932, Frank was in charge of the Werkbundsiedlung housing exhibition, which was part of Vienna’s public housing programme “Rotes Wien”. The exhibition was an important contribution to the debate on freer lifestyles in a modern age.

Alongside this, Frank also undertook commissions for more affluent families, including the well-known Villa Beer in Vienna, built between 1929 and 1931. In Sweden, Josef Frank is known as the originator of some of the first functionalist architecture in the country – five holiday homes in Falsterbo, designed between 1924 and 1936.

Most of his time in Sweden was taken up with interior design and furniture projects. As early as 1934 he was taken on as a designer for Svenskt Tenn by Estrid Erikson. The exhibition shows several unique, original sketches for some of his best-known patterns.

Against Design

Over time, Josef Frank became increasingly critical of the severity of the Modernist movement and the attitude of the designer to the notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or ‘total work of art’, involving the super-designed environment, standardised furniture and the invention of new forms for their own sake. Neither a personalised, artistically-inspired design nor a standardised, machine-made product were meaningful in his eyes; his own creations were inspired more by the classical tradition. It is his criticism that prompts the title of our exhibition: Josef Frank – Against Design.

Instead, he developed a softer, less restrictive approach, articulated in a philosophy of architecture and interior design he called “Accidentism”.

“All the places where we are comfortable – rooms, streets and cities – have arisen through coincidences”, wrote Frank in 1958 in the magazine Form, where the concept was first launched. Frank welcomed a less restrictive philosophy of architecture and interior design that accommodated both the high-brow and the low-brow – good and poor taste. This approach was put into practice in the “fantasy houses:” thirteen sketches for houses that Frank designed for his friend Dagmar Grill.

The exhibition features several of the original watercolours from the ArkDes collections. The houses are far removed from the austere design idiom of Modernism in terms of both style and expression. Frank summarised his new, inclusive philosophy in an unpublished manuscript: “Every great work of art must border on kitsch”.

Calendar


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Show all

Event

Guided tour

Family


Tuesday

26 September


The HI Group and the return to craft

18:00


About the forgotten story of some designers and craftsmen who chose to go against the stream. Book presentation and panel discussion between author and architecture historian Johan Örn and Annica Kvint, editor of the magazine Arkitektur. 

The HI Group was an association of craftspeople and interior designers who sought to bring back the art of Swedish furniture design and put craftsmanship back in focus during the first half of the 1960s. In an exhibition and a book, ArkDes is now telling the forgotten story of a number of designers and craftspeople who chose to go against the prevailing norm of series-manufactured furniture.

The HI Group aimed to bring together interior designers and craftsmen at an early stage in the creative process. This was intended to provide opportunities to experiment without needing to take into account the requirements of industrial processes. But it was also a space for developing prototypes for industrialised manufacture.

The group included interior designers John Kandell, Stig Lönngren, Thea Leonhard and Åke Axelsson, master carpenter David Sjölinder and master upholsterer Gösta Engström.

Johan Örn, author and curator of the collections at ArkDes and Annica Kvint, editor of the magazine Arkitektur talk about a unique venture in the history of Swedish furniture.

This panel conversation is part of the programme for the HI Group exhibition running at ArkDes from 13 September – 19 November 2017.

In Swedish.


Thursday

28 September


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Sunday

1 October


Architecture in Sweden: guided tour

12:00


Explore a thousand years of Swedish architecture! A guided tour of the exhibition Architecture in Sweden, a display of how Swedish architecture and cities have developed over the last millennium. In Swedish.


Sunday

1 October


Bygg högt! (Build high!)

13:00


Build high towers in our studio! In a family presentation in Architecture in Sweden, you pick up building tips and an insight into how people have tried to build high, stable buildings down the ages.

People have long been striving to be able to build as high as possible. Children and adults are welcome to work together to build high using thin paper tubes and hot-melt adhesive in our studio. Feel free to put whatever you build to the ultimate strength test: by taking it home with you.

Free tickets are available from the information desk when the museum opens. Be in time so you don’t miss the presentation! Limited availability. From age of 4.

 


Thursday

5 October


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Sunday

8 October


Open House Stockholm: Ralph Erskine’s Lådan (The Box)

11:00

Rörby gård, Ekerö


Join us at an open house event at Ralph Erskine’s house Lådan, on Lovön, ArkDes’ contribution to the Open House festival.

Lådan (The Box) was the first home of Ralph and Ruth Erskine in Sweden; a 20 squaremeter house full of smart solutions. Since 1989, the house Lådan has been situated on Lovön and is open for visitors.

Three Sundays in the autumn we hold an open house during the hours 11–16.

Finding Lådan: Bus 323 from Brommaplan to Rörby gård. Follow signs to Lådan from there.


Sunday

8 October


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

10 October


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Thursday

12 October


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Sunday

15 October


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

17 October


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Thursday

19 October


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Sunday

22 October


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

24 October


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Thursday

26 October


PLAN – nu formas framtiden

09:00


On 26 October, in collaboration with the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning and Föreningen för samhällsplanering (the Swedish association for spatial planning), ArkDes is inviting the public to a conference on how the future can be planned and implemented to be more sustainable. PLAN – Shaping the future now offers informed contributions to the debate, inspiring approaches, and new insights.

Sweden’s population is growing. Investments in the built environment are in an expansive phase right now. How we build and invest has important implications for how well we will be able to meet our sustainability goals and what kind of society we will be making for people to live and work in.

Sweden’s population is growing. Investments in the built environment in cities and towns are in an expansive phase right now. How we build and invest has important implications for being able to meet our sustainability goals and for what kind of society we are creating for people to live and work in.

Speakers: Fran Tonkiss, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, Karolina Skog, Minister for the Environment. Lars Marcus, Professor of Urban Design and Planning at Chalmers University of Technology, Josephine Nellerup, urban planning strategist at the City Planning Administration, City of Malmö. More to come.

More information about the programme and how to register will be published shortly.


Thursday

26 October


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Sunday

29 October


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

31 October


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Thursday

2 November


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Sunday

5 November


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

7 November


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Thursday

9 November


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Sunday

12 November


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

14 November


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Thursday

16 November


HI-group: presentation

12:00


Discover the HI-group: the masters of craft, furniture and interior design from the 1960s.

A presentation of the exhibition The HI-group – Craftmanship in the plastic age. Every thursday 12.00. The presentation lasts about 20 minutes.

In Swedish.


Sunday

19 November


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

21 November


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Sunday

26 November


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

28 November


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Sunday

3 December


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

5 December


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Sunday

10 December


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

12 December


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Sunday

17 December


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

19 December


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

26 December


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

2 January


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Sunday

7 January


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

9 January


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Sunday

14 January


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

16 January


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Sunday

21 January


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

23 January


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Sunday

28 January


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

30 January


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Sunday

4 February


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Tuesday

6 February


Norm Form: Guided tour

17:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.


Sunday

11 February


Norm Form: Guided tour

12:00


Discover architecture and design that breaks the norm! Norm Form is an exhibition about design that is provocative and challenges what is considered normal.

A special (free) ticket is required and it can be collected at the information desk. Limited number of participants. No pre-booking.

See more

More at ArkDes