Having the theme of “contrasts”, this years “Profile Intermedia 5” focussed on the idea of contrasts between a lot of things: the contrast of the way a client sees an aim, the contrasts of the artists producing their work and the contrasts on how this is seen by the audience.
The line-up of this years conference that took place in the northern german town of bremen dec. 6-8, included quite illustrious guests such as the american design agencies WeWorkForThem, BrandNewSchool, the England based industrial design legend Ron Arad, Omar Vulpinari from Fabrica and Nick Bell from Una Design, just to name a few. Another speaker that has been around and suceeded for quite some time was Dieter Rams, an industrial designer from Kronberg, Germany, who is held largely responsible for the Corporate Identity and the Design of the famous products by Braun.
A fact that sets this conference apart from others of itｫs kind is that the whole annual event is mainly organized by students of the “Hochschule fuer Kuenste” in Bremen. This became especially obvious in the choice of the speakers for this year.
Arriving on friday, probably the first half of the day was used just to meet people you had not seen in quite a long time and recognizing familiar faces around the conference area. The concept also included workshops that took place besides the lectures in the main hall, that one could attend during the day. Speakers on the first day included Omar Vulpinari and also Thomas Marecki from Lodown magazine in Berlin. Being accompanied by two of his student, the lecture of Omar provided a good look into the projects done by fabrica or it’s student during the past year.
After the lectures the workshops down in the gallery provided a more close up look and room for discussion, participation and enjoyment for those who were able to sign up for one of the limited seats. Not having seen them speaking before, the workshop held by WeWorkForThem provided an excellent look into the way that both of them, Mike Young and Mike Cina, manage to work over distance with eachother. One is having his office in the midwestern town of Minneapolis while the other one is permanently residing in Baltimore on the east coast of the USA.
Saturday was mainly characterized by the overwhelming lecture of Ron Arad who was one of the few speakers who not only showed his “greatest hits” but also told the fascinated audience about a few of his mistakes that he made during his career. While his way of speaking and holding the presentation was more than brilliant, also his works such as tables, chairs and interiour designs were stunning. After having had a full day of speakers and concentrating on their lectures, there was a party at night. Although many of the speakers, having seen so far at the conference, were really breathtaking and interesting to listen to, the party couldn’t hold up with that. Although the location was in an old circus tent, whoever chose the music or dj for that night, had to be out of his mind. Whereas the conference mainly had to do with digital fast forward media issues and so to say technological future, the dj booked for that night spun old hits from the past such as “ymca”, “respect” etc. which was not that appropriate at least i thought.
Last but not least a highlight were the presentations of Dieter Rams, WeWorkForThem and BrandNewSchool on sunday. Dieter Rams being a man around his late sixties, it was definately an interesting mixture seeing him talk followed by the rather “young blood” of WWFT and BrandNewSchool.
All in all the weekend in Bremen was worth it, although the high ticket prices probably kept some people from coming. The downer that kept the conference from being close to very good is the fact that there is only one presentation going on at the time, so if you got a couple of speakers who you are not that interested in seeing, you have a lot of time to bridgeover and the supporting programme did not make that easier.
The Profile Intermedia 5
Date: 6, 7, 8 December 2002
Place: Messe Centrum Bremen
Address: Messe Bremen GmbH, Buergerweide, D-28209 Bremen, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 421 2778 60
Fax: +49 (0) 421 2778 61
Text and Photos: Daniel Goddemeyer