The 1980’s was a reactionary period in which designers sought to liberate themselves from the constraints of functionality and turn more towards the visual arts. German designers, influenced by the freed expression established by Italy’s Alchimia and Memphis movements, developed their own design vocabulary directly related to the contradictions and uncertainties definitive of the divided German post-modern experience. Using common materials that were low cost and readily available, the result was a raw, severe aesthetic with an unmistakable energy.
With the neo expressionists Common threads include the sense of self and the conflicts of social isolation evidenced in both mediums.. In all cases, the common experience of a divided, post-modern Germany are evident in both mediums of expression, establishing the need for critical re-examination of German design. With its brutal honesty, new German 80’s design remains uncontrived, refreshing, and truly reflective of the social conditions in which it originated.