7th International Marianne Brandt Contest 2019
In 2019, when the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus is being commemorated all over Germany and the world, the 7th International Marianne Brandt Contest will focus on the functional and metaphorical potential of glass as material, which has had an unrivalled formative influence on the visionary beginnings of the German school of design. Taking the theme “I am all of glass” – quoting a poem by Marianne Brandt – prizes will be awarded in the categories of design, photography and art, and there will also be several special prizes.
“I am all of glass,” wrote Marianne Brandt in 1922 in one of her poems – a year before she resolved to give up painting at the Bauhaus in Weimar and become a designer of useful things. At the Bauhaus she wanted to be everything other than appear fragile; neither “dainty”, nor soft, i.e., in no way correspond to the clichés of femininity also dominant among the Bauhaus men. She thus held her ground at the Bauhaus not only as the only woman in the tough metalworking section, but created numerous hollowware pieces in Weimar – like the tea infuser developed out of austere spherical geometry – and other objects, which are revered today as design icons.
It is not certain whether she had read the text written in 1920 by the architect Bruno Taut, whereby he challenged all new architects and designers to “become so (identified with their faith)”, that they “were almost no longer human”. They should become “brittle, reflecting, sparkling and full of radiance like glass,” Taut had demanded in his manifesto “Architekten neuer Gemeinschaft” (Architects of a New Cooperative). Similar to the Bauhaus in 1919 in its founding manifesto, he thus challenged architects to build a “crystalline symbol of new faith”, a “crystallisation of a new feeling of community” realised in buildings.
For the Bauhaus, glass was not just a utopian building material, which promised open, light-flooded spaces for a new, modern feeling of life. Particularly for László Moholy-Nagy – Marianne Brandt’s most important teacher – it was also the medium of a categorically new way of designing spaces, objects and images with light.
Today we touch hardly any other material more frequently than we do hard, smooth, fragile glass. This is due to omnipresent touchscreens and the vessels we drink from. Every day, we see the world through glass: many façades are of glass, all windows and most electronic screens, eye spectacles and vehicle windscreens. The lenses of microscopes and cameras are among our most important allies in technically supported perceptions of our environment. The 7th International Marianne Brandt Contest also asks whether glass today can be linked to auspicious visions charged with utopian resonances, and what functional and metaphorical significances today’s designers, photographers and artists associate with this material.
Submissions can be uploaded in PDF format (max. 5 MB/max. 5 pages) to this platform:
The contest is divided into two phases:
The first phase contains the digital submission of the exhibits. Participants register at this website. After successful registration (on receipt of the participation fee and the issuing of credentials by the Marianne Brandt Design Contest host) participants may upload a digital version of their exhibit as a single PDF document (max. 5 MB). The jury will then nominate the exhibits for the second phase.
The second phase includes the submission of the exhibits by mail. In case participants are nominated for this phase they will receive further details for their submission by mail. The postage fee for submission and return by mail is covered by the participant.
Fee: € 30, payable upon the upload of the contribution.
A prize of €5,000, as well as three awards will be bestowed in all three categories. Special prizes will be awarded by well-known companies, among others: vitra GmbH Weil am Rhein, smow GmbH Leipzig, Neue Schule für Fotografie Berlin. Other special award donators will be published soon.
Each participant will receive a free copy of the catalogue.