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Josef Frank
Against Design

10 April - 27 August 2017

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.

More information

 

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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Guided tour

Family

Event


Tuesday

25 June


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

17:00  


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Sunday

30 June


Family Sunday: The Super Powers of the Future

12:00  


What gadgets and super powers will we need to get by in the future? We find inspiration in the exhibition The Future Starts Here. Decide your own power and design a power object in the ArkDes studio.

Tickets are available at the information desk the same day. Limited availability. No pre-booking. Children have free admission and can bring one adult for free to the Family Sunday.  Be sure to come in time so you don’t miss the presentation! From age of 4.


Sunday

30 June


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

14:00  


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Tuesday

2 July


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

17:00  


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Sunday

7 July


Family Sunday: The Super Powers of the Future

12:00  


What gadgets and super powers will we need to get by in the future? We find inspiration in the exhibition The Future Starts Here. Decide your own power and design a power object in the ArkDes studio.

Tickets are available at the information desk the same day. Limited availability. No pre-booking. Children have free admission and can bring one adult for free to the Family Sunday.  Be sure to come in time so you don’t miss the presentation! From age of 4.


Sunday

7 July


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

14:00  In English


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Tuesday

9 July


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

17:00  


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Sunday

14 July


Family Sunday: The Super Powers of the Future

12:00  


What gadgets and super powers will we need to get by in the future? We find inspiration in the exhibition The Future Starts Here. Decide your own power and design a power object in the ArkDes studio.

Tickets are available at the information desk the same day. Limited availability. No pre-booking. Children have free admission and can bring one adult for free to the Family Sunday.  Be sure to come in time so you don’t miss the presentation! From age of 4.


Sunday

14 July


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

14:00  In English


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Tuesday

16 July


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

17:00  


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Sunday

21 July


Family Sunday: The Super Powers of the Future

12:00  


What gadgets and super powers will we need to get by in the future? We find inspiration in the exhibition The Future Starts Here. Decide your own power and design a power object in the ArkDes studio.

Tickets are available at the information desk the same day. Limited availability. No pre-booking. Children have free admission and can bring one adult for free to the Family Sunday.  Be sure to come in time so you don’t miss the presentation! From age of 4.


Sunday

21 July


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

14:00  In English


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Tuesday

23 July


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

17:00  


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Sunday

28 July


Family Sunday: The Super Powers of the Future

12:00  


What gadgets and super powers will we need to get by in the future? We find inspiration in the exhibition The Future Starts Here. Decide your own power and design a power object in the ArkDes studio.

Tickets are available at the information desk the same day. Limited availability. No pre-booking. Children have free admission and can bring one adult for free to the Family Sunday.  Be sure to come in time so you don’t miss the presentation! From age of 4.


Sunday

28 July


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

14:00  In English


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Tuesday

30 July


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

17:00  


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Sunday

4 August


Family Sunday: The Super Powers of the Future

12:00  


What gadgets and super powers will we need to get by in the future? We find inspiration in the exhibition The Future Starts Here. Decide your own power and design a power object in the ArkDes studio.

Tickets are available at the information desk the same day. Limited availability. No pre-booking. Children have free admission and can bring one adult for free to the Family Sunday.  Be sure to come in time so you don’t miss the presentation! From age of 4.


Sunday

4 August


Guided tour: The Future Starts Here

14:00  In English


The world of tomorrow is shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

This exhibition brings together 80 objects that point towards where society might be headed.

Guided by ethical and speculative questions, The Future Starts Here invites the visitor to consider what impact these objects might have on your bodies, your home, your work and your planet – ultimately your life and death. How could they affect the way you live, learn and even love?

Included in the exhibition ticket.


Sunday

11 August


Family Sunday: Build high!

12:00  


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.

 


Sunday

18 August


Family Sunday: Build high!

12:00  


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.

 


Tuesday

20 August


Finissage: Yarny, Medusa och en elefant – The Craft of Swedish Game Design

18:00  


Videogames are everywhere. We play them on desktop screens and on devices that we hold in our hands. At home, on the bus, alone and together. But what do you actually know about the creative visual worlds behind the screens? Yarny, Medusa och en elefant reveals the visual craft behind videogame design in Sweden. Join the finissage and learn more about the fascinating design and artistry of a design field behind the worlds, puzzles and characters that many know and love.

Programme: Behind the Screens

18.00-18.30
Lecture: Effie Karabuda, Game Editor, Aftonbladet on the Craft of Swedish Game Design. Introduction by Kieran Long (Director, ArkDes) and Caroline Agné (verksamhetschef, Illustratörcentrum) In Swedish.

18.30-19.15
Panel discussion with:
Linnéa Östedt Harrison, Neat Corporation,
Emma Richey, Might and Delight
Martin Sahlin, Coldwood Interactive
Zeke Virant, Avalanche Studios
Moderated by James Taylor-Foster (Curator, Contemporary Architecture and Design, ArkDes) and Sofia Östlund (Co-Curator of the exhibition). In English.

In Aula ArkDes.

The exhibition is open until 20.00 with free entry. Bar and DJ Julia Wallin in Café Blom from 19.00 until 22.00!

Yarny, Medusa och en elefant: The Craft of Swedish Game Design is a collaboration between Illustratörcentrum and ArkDes with support from Stockholm stad and Region Stockholm.


Sunday

25 August


Family Sunday: Build high!

12:00  


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.

 


Sunday

1 September


Open House: Ralph Erskine’s Lådan

11:00  Lådan, Rörbyvägen 33, Drottningholm


Join us at an open house event at Ralph Erskine’s house Lådan, on Lovön. During the hours 11–16. 

Lådan 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.

Free admission.

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


Sunday

1 September


Family Sunday: Build high!

12:00  


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.

 


Sunday

8 September


Family Sunday: Build high!

12:00  


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.

 


Sunday

15 September


Family Sunday: Build high!

12:00  


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.

 

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