On the search for meaning
von Claudia Beckmann | May 5, 2007

Following the successful debut in May 2006, the Frankfurt Messe and Stylepark will once again this year be bringing the very best of international design to the Festhalle in Frankfurt. Taking as the theme "private identity" we intend addressing one of the most exciting societal, but also creative themes of our times. We plan to demonstrate that the current perception of design is largely explained by the claim to provide identity. It is no longer sufficient for design to concentrate purely on its function or meaning. Requirements have become far more complex: Nowadays design has to serve a highly complex system of references. When buying an object, we expect it to fulfill not only user demands but also an ideal value. But just what constitutes this added value, which makes an object not just functional for an individual, but also meaningful?

This quality does not exist per se, rather it is constructed from various influences. This year The Design Annual will be concerned with the conceptual background of products and will focus on how the design of meaningful references functions today in the high-end design segment, and how objects gain identity in interacting with their context. In addition to an extensive social program, seven special exhibitions designed by renowned designers, architects and companies will also present different stances. Designers include Stefan Diez, Giulio Ridolfo, Materialworks and SZ-Magazin. With "Appropriate Design!" as their theme Ilka and Andreas Ruby (Textbild, Berlin) will curate three special exhibitions that deal with the question of how today's designers and architects develop identity in their own work today by adopting techniques, material and cultural codes from other areas. Their guests will be Dominique Perrault, François Azambourg and 2x4.

The theme 'private identity' will also be reflected in the spatial concept of The Design Annual. Extraordinary, innovative architecture developed by the two designers Patricia Urquiola and Martino Berghinz will open up before you, transforming the theme into something tangible for visitors.

Be there as well when protagonists of the international design scene convene again in Frankfurt this year. Get an overview of the current trends in design, meet interesting personalities from the world of design, architecture and art, and join in the discussion as to the tasks tomorrow's design will be facing.