DMY – Berlin International Design Festival 2016

DMY International Design Festival 2016

On Sunday I went to the annual DMY Design Festival at Kraftwerk. If you were me, this would have been be your experience: Take the U8 to Heinrich-Heine Strasse, walk through a gate, pass food trucks and people snacking in the sun, and enter darkness. 

When your eyes adjust, walk to a table and receive gifts: an entry bracelet, two press releases, and a giant newspaperish festival guide with pictures and descriptions of all the exhibitions.

Walk through a student-designed flexible office space. Note: Kraftwerk is a former power station

Enter the space and feel like you’re in a creepy laboratory. Watch students in white coats talk about projects like in-vitro meat and “knitted beats.” Walk through a student-designed flexible office space. Note: Kraftwerk is a former power station, so you should be picturing impossibly high ceilings, giant cement pillars, and dim lighting while all this festivizing is going on.

Touch the dyed fabric of a designer trying to bring awareness to the dandelion

Walk upstairs to the New Talent Competition. Talk to a man standing by a reflective bike frame. Listen to a woman explain how she made a paper umbrella waterproof. Touch the dyed fabric of a designer trying to bring awareness to the dandelion.

Imagine yourself using an at-home wine maker or birthing kit. Ask a man how he made his plaster drip lamp (answer: wax frame). Wonder how many things can fall into the category of “design.”

So if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this festival, it’s that “design” can be almost anything

Because really, the boundaries are very loose. You can design a set of candlesticks from compressed tin foil, or you can design concept of 3 timezones in one city. You can design a leather bag, or you can design a story-sharing apparatus to help communities get closer. So if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this festival, it’s that “design” can be almost anything.

Review by Rosa Tu

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