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08.07.2022 – 03.10.2022

Designing for the Olympics

An exhibition on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich
Exhibition view, Designing for the Olympics, 2022.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (K. Mewes)

About the Exhibition

Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum is highlighting design trends at the Olympics and Paralympics. As the largest sporting events in the world, the Games have always attracted and been a driving force behind innovations. It is not only international athletes who compete with one another. The manufacturers of sports equipment also try to outdo one another when it comes to fitting out the athletes, just as do the host countries when it comes to the visual and architectural design of the Games. Despite the original idea that the Olympics should be ambassadors of peaceful, non-political international understanding, they do in fact often become vehicles for political and social statements.

The exhibition “Designing for the Olympics” seeks to illustrate the many ways in which design and the Olympics are intertwined. The 1972 Munich Olympic Games form the starting point for both reflections on the Games that preceded and followed them and giving an outlook for the future. The presentation shows what values and goals are reflected in the design for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Progress plays just as large a role here as do the political agenda, sustainability, and inclusion.

Sports equipment covering a hundred years, from boxing gloves worn in Paris 1924 or the javelin Klaus Wolfermann used in training in 1970 through to a mountain bike from Tokyo 2020/21, testify to changes in the sports disciplines and the equipment utilized. Technical innovations in the field of sports footwear and unique sports equipment such as the racing wheelchair used in Rio de Janeiro 2016 or Anna Schaffelhuber’s monoskibob show which developments and innovations are inspired by professional sports.

One special highlight of the exhibition is the complete series of historical pictograms from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the only ones in Europe to have been preserved in the original. Posters ranging from the first official Olympic Games motif, created for the 1912 Stockholm Games, to protest posters for this year’s Winter Games in Beijing exemplify the history of graphic design in the 20th and 21st centuries. They demonstrate how, on the one hand, the hosts present themselves to the world, and, on the other hand, include in the discourse socio-critical topics that are absent from official Games communications.
In addition to graphic design and sports equipment, the exhibition also presents examples of room furnishings. These include the Nizza shower unit, designed by Günther Eckert and Werner Wirsing for the Olympic Village at the 1972 Munich Games, or the shell created for the seats in the Munich stadium by the Equipment Working Group headed by Nick Roericht. Finally, photographs by Sigrid Neubert and Karsten de Riese provide a sober look at the architecture as well as an impression of the special design and atmosphere of the 1972 Games.

Highlights

Luge helmet, 1975, Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm, Munich, used by Elisabeth Demleitner, Innsbruck 1976, Loan Elisabeth Demleitner-Seitz.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (K. Mewes)
Olle Hjortzberg, Official Poster of the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, 1911, Loan Deutsches Plakatmuseum Essen.
© VG Bildkunst, Bonn 2022. Foto: Museum Folkwang Essen – ARTOTHEK
BMW Designworks, Prototype, Racing wheelchair for Team USA, 2015-2016, used during Paralympic Games, Rio 2016.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (K. Mewes)
Badiucao, Protest poster for the Olympic Games in Beijing 2022, 2021.
© Badiucao. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (K. Mewes)
View of an Olympic track racing bike with disk wheels
Track bike B20-6, 2019, Institut für Forschung und Entwicklung von Sportgeräten (FES), Berlin, ridden by Women’s track cycling four from Germany, Gold, Tokyo 2020/21, Loan FES.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (K. Mewes)
Side view of monoski with ski S 9 and crutch ski
Martin Braxenthaler, Monoski with Ski S 9 and crutch ski, 2010/2015, Praschberger, Niederndorf; Enabling technologies, Denver; Atomic, Altenmarkt im Pongau, driven by Anna Schaffelhuber, Bronze, Vancouver 2010, Gold, Sotschi 2014, Gold, Pyeongchang 2018, Loan Anna Schaffelhuber.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (K. Mewes)
View of the second floor of the rotunda with various sports equipment for the sports disciplines of the Winter Games
Exhibition view, Designing for the Olympics, 2nd floor of rotunda, 2022.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (K. Mewes)
View of the second floor of the rotunda with various sports equipment for the sports disciplines of the Summer Games
Exhibition view, Designing for the Olympics, 2nd floor of rotunda, 2022.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (K. Mewes)
In the foreground BMW racing wheelchair, behind it sports posters from Team Otl Aicher. In the background, Specialized mountain bike in front of a black wall of shelves with mascots, timing devices and sports equipment from different eras
Exhibition view, Designing for the Olympics, ground floor, 2022.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (K. Mewes)
View of blue large wall with art and sports posters from various Olympic Games
Exhibition view, Designing for the Olympics, ground floor, 2022.
Photo: Die Neue Sammlung (K. Mewes)

Short videos on Designing for the Olympics

Introduction on “Designing for the Olympics” by the curators Caroline Fuchs and Xenia Riemann-Tyroller, 2022.
Katalog film, München © Die Neue Sammlung
About the concept on “Designing for the Olympics” by exhibition architect Carina Deuschl, 2022.
Katalog film, München © Die Neue Sammlung
Elena Schwaiger about designing the mascot Waldi, 2022.
Katalog film, München © Die Neue Sammlung
Anna Schaffelhuber on the Paralympic Games and her monoski.
Katalog film, München © Die Neue Sammlung, 2022

Exhibition catalogue

Design für Olympia / Designing for the Olympics

Contributions by Scarlett Cornelissen, Tom Dauer, Caroline Fuchs, Sven Güldenpfennig, Angelika Nollert, Markus Osterwalder, Gertrud Pfister, Linus Rapp, Xenia Riemann-Tyroller, Kathrin Steinbichler, Daniela Stöppel

With over 350 colored illustrations

Cover of the exhibition catalog Design für Olympia / Designing for the Olympics
Cover of the exhibition catalogue, Design für Olympia / Designing for the Olympics, 2022.
Kurz Gestaltung, Berlin © Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum

Curated by:

Caroline Fuchs, Xenia Riemann-Tyroller, Linus Rapp

Supported by:

PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne e.V.