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#55 - Art_ndDesign XIII - Peter Behrens

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Article written by
Rosa Cortázar Meléndez

Writing of the week

Peter Behrens is one of the great masters of design, who has left a fine legacy, the corporate image.

He settled in Munich to work as a painter, architect, advertising artist, photographer, designer of jewelry, furniture and glass or porcelain objects. 

In 1892 he founded the Munich Secession and, five years later, the United Workshops for Art in Crafts. In 1907 he joined the Deutscher Werkbund (which I mentioned in the previous article).

His work for the electricity company AEG stands out, whose turbine hall is fundamental in the history of architecture and 20th century design, being the first modern protoracionalist factory, which served as inspiration for architects such as Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. But not only did he design the building, he also designed the entire corporate identity (logo, packaging, advertising, typographic study), including even its furniture and other objects.

He also designed a series of teapots made of different materials, such as copper, nickel, steel and brass, which, in addition to lowering the cost, made it possible to work in a mechanized way and manufacture them on a massive scale; together with another series of household appliances, in which he combined the aesthetic with the functional, with a geometric and simple style.

In fact, the famous phrase "less is more", which is attributed to Mies van der Rohe, is said to be actually from Behrens; and his great merit was to unite the new industrial technologies with the popular, betting on integrating the rational in everyday life.

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