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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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Family

Guided tour

Event


Thursday

12 December


The risk for alienation – the struggle against segregation

17:30  Stadsarkivet Liljeholmskajen, Sjöviksvägen 126


The problem of housing segregation has been discussed in the Stockholm City Council since the 1970s. Those who can "escape the boredom and isolation of the new concrete suburbs," is what one politician wrote in 1973. What happened with the debate on segregation, and what actions were taken in the last decades of the 20th century?Read more about the programme (in Swedish) here.

This autumn, Stadsarkivet (Stockholm City Archives) and Stadsmuseet (The Stockholm City Museum) will be presenting a number of exciting lectures, events and guided tours in collaboration with ArkDes and in connection with the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World (18 October 2019 – 1 March 2020).


Sunday

15 December


Family Sunday: Flying concrete

12:00  


Come cast your own concrete panel and see if you can lift it with our crane. This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

15 December


Award Ceremony Gingerbread House 2019

13:00  



Sunday

15 December


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Tuesday

17 December


Guided tour: Flying Panels

17:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Sunday

22 December


Family Sunday: Flying concrete

12:00  


Come cast your own concrete panel and see if you can lift it with our crane. This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

22 December


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Sunday

29 December


Family Sunday: Flying concrete

12:00  


Come cast your own concrete panel and see if you can lift it with our crane. This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

29 December


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Sunday

5 January


Family Sunday: Flying concrete

12:00  


Come cast your own concrete panel and see if you can lift it with our crane. This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

5 January


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Tuesday

7 January


Guided tour: Flying Panels

17:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Sunday

12 January


Family Sunday: Flying concrete

12:00  


Come cast your own concrete panel and see if you can lift it with our crane. This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

12 January


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Tuesday

14 January


Guided tour: Flying Panels

17:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Sunday

19 January


Family Sunday: Flying concrete

12:00  


Come cast your own concrete panel and see if you can lift it with our crane. This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

19 January


3,2,1 Children’s carnival!

13:30  


We’re celebrating the Conventions on the Rights of the Child, which will enter into force as Swedish law on 20 January 20, 2020.Come and create your own carnival costume from the Convention articles.

The project is a collaboration between ArkDes and CoRS.

Tickets are free but limited. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the day of the event. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

19 January


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Sunday

19 January


3,2,1 Children’s carnival!

14:30  


We’re celebrating the Conventions on the Rights of the Child, which will enter into force as Swedish law on 20 January 20, 2020.Come and create your own carnival costume from the Convention articles.

The project is a collaboration between ArkDes and CoRS.

Tickets are free but limited. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the day of the event. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Tuesday

21 January


Guided tour: Flying Panels

17:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Sunday

26 January


Family Sunday: Flying concrete

12:00  


Come cast your own concrete panel and see if you can lift it with our crane. This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

26 January


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Tuesday

28 January


Guided tour: Flying Panels

17:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Sunday

2 February


Family Sunday: Flying concrete

12:00  


Come cast your own concrete panel and see if you can lift it with our crane. This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

2 February


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Tuesday

4 February


Guided tour: Flying Panels

17:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Sunday

9 February


Family Sunday: Flying concrete

12:00  


Come cast your own concrete panel and see if you can lift it with our crane. This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

9 February


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Tuesday

11 February


Guided tour: Flying Panels

17:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Sunday

16 February


Family Sunday: Flying concrete

12:00  


Come cast your own concrete panel and see if you can lift it with our crane. This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

16 February


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Tuesday

18 February


Guided tour: Flying Panels

17:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Sunday

23 February


Family Sunday: Flying concrete

12:00  


Come cast your own concrete panel and see if you can lift it with our crane. This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 5 years.


Sunday

23 February


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Tuesday

25 February


February half term: Flying cities

13:00  


Create flying cities in Studio ArkDes! This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 4 years.


Tuesday

25 February


Guided tour: Flying Panels

17:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.


Wednesday

26 February


February half term: Flying cities

13:00  


Create flying cities in Studio ArkDes! This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 4 years.


Thursday

27 February


February half term: Flying cities

13:00  


Create flying cities in Studio ArkDes! This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 4 years.


Friday

28 February


February half term: Flying cities

13:00  


Create flying cities in Studio ArkDes! This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 4 years.


Saturday

29 February


February half term: Flying cities

13:00  


Create flying cities in Studio ArkDes! This event includes a guided tour of the exhibition Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World, as well as the possibility to build your own creations.

Tickets to Family Sundays are free but limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Pick up tickets at the information desk on the same day. No pre-registration. First come, first served. From 4 years.


Sunday

1 March


Guided tour: Flying Panels

14:00  In Swedish


Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. The exhibition also tells of the concrete panel systems in contemporary architecture.

Free admission. No pre-registration. In Swedish.

See more

More at ArkDes