Home & Design

Apr 1, 2015

AEG and the begining of industrial design

Born in 1887 in Germany, AEG is a worldwide recognized brand, known mostly for its electriocal appliances that are present in thousands of homes. But the best kept secret of its history is still Peter Behrens, who is considered the father of industrial design.

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It may seem incredible today, but there was a time when industrial production was purely functional. Artistic merit and aesthetic sense were largely irrelevant in mass-produced goods; there was little harmony between form and function. At least, that was how it was until 1907, when a certain architect was appointed Artistic Consultant to AEG.

When Peter Behrens came to AEG, he brought with him a simple but powerful design philosophy that was to be the enduring hallmark of the AEG company and its products.

The paradigm shift that Behrens effected in AEG and in the self-conception of German industrial design as a whole was based on the notion of developing electrical household appliances with an eye both to aesthetics and the specific function of the object. To quote Behrens himself: "Design is not about decorating functional forms - it is about creating forms that accord with the character of the object and that show new technologies to advantage."

In today's world, we are surrounded by strong, easily-recognisable brands. It was not always like this.

It was Behrens' creativity that first established the "corporate identity" concept as the basic element of the philosophy of an industrial company and its brands.

So it is no surprise that Behrens changed the form of functional objects in a way that is still visible today - in the outstanding concepts developed by top designers at AEG.

The AEG design team combines a range of creative talents. Each person brings his or her own unique influences to the table, but all work together towards Peter Behrens' goal of designing every electrical product to be "perfect in form and function". 100 years after Peter Behrens first joined the company, this powerful source of inspiration is still alive and vibrant - and still bringing forth a whole range of impressive innovations.

Water treatment is one recent example. This new and exciting range of products, launched in January 2009, introduces not only innovative items such as water filtration and purification but also a new level of design on both the products and the packaging.

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