Giving form to the invisible is an exciting task — especially when no models exist and the sign-like quality can develop step by step. The discovery of electromagnetic waves at the end of the 19th century and their use for the transmission of information are considered the technological initial spark for broadcasting.
In terms of design history, the objects created in the field of broadcasting, from apparatuses in the broadcasting stations to the television tower, are just as interesting as the various receiving devices. The same applies to visual concepts and forms of mediation, set designs, mascots, the branding and distinctive décor of television shows, or the design of functional sounds or jingles.
On the occasion of the centenary of regular programming by Funk-Stunde AG, the annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Designgeschichte will focus on design developments from the 1920s to the 2000s. Among other things, it examines
- how the invisible magnetic waves were given form
— how the relationship of users to their devices developed,
— which concepts were established by different actors, also internationally,
— how design innovations changed media use,
— how digitalization affected devices, media and content,
— the importance of design in the establishment of new broadcasting formats and offers.
The annual conference of the Society for Design History 2023 will take place on June 2 and 3 at the Technoseum, State Museum of Technology and Labor, in Mannheim/Germany. The museum is a cooperation partner of the conference and owns a comprehensive object inventory through the acquisition of the collections of the Rundfunkmuseum Berlin and the Südwestfunk as well as the WEGA-Werksammlung. From Nov. 17, 2022, to Nov. 12, 2023, it will show the special exhibition “Auf Empfang! The History of Radio and Television.” A guided tour is part of the conference program.
To participate in the Call for Papers for the conference, please send an abstract of up to 3,500 characters, a short biography of no more than 800 characters, and your contact information (including phone number) by February 28, 2023 to: cfp [at] gfdg.org. Participation as a speaker includes a presentation with a maximum length of 20 minutes as well as the publication of the contribution in the anthology “GfDg Schriften 7”.