Boxed sets


Boxed sets produced for schools by Deutscher Werkbund. At Berlin’s most fascinating museum, Museum der Dinge (Museum of Things).

The text on the object label reads:
The Werkbund Boxes
“For we not only shape things, but things also shape us”
(Deutsche Warenkunde, 1955)
Familiarity with “good” form was meant to be learned from childhood on. Several of the Werkbund’s state chapters developed boxed sets of teaching materials that were loaned to schools in the 1950s and 1960s. Schoolchildren were given the opportunity to “grasp” everyday products of industry and craftsmanship and to discuss various aspects of modern design. They were supposed to develop an eye for the shape of “good” things and at the same time test their utility and get to know their material characteristics. The boxes devoted to dining culture in particular demonstrate yet again the Werkbund’s ambition, persisting well into the 1960s, to influence peoples’ lifestyles through education in “good form”. The “beautifully set table” was supposed to encourage or stabilise an intact family. In the course of the social upheaval around 1968, this agenda was criticised even within the Werkbund.