May 13 marks the hundredth anniversary of Otl Aicher's birth. On the initiative of Kai Gehrmann and Florian Aicher, we are taking this date as an opportunity to pay tribute to this great designer and to explore his life and work.

Otl Aicher (1922 - 1991) is one of the most important communication designers of the 20th century. He became known above all as the design commissioner for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and as a pioneer of consistent corporate design. For him, design was “civilization work”. The HfG Ulm, which he founded in 1953 together with his wife Inge Aicher-Scholl and Max Bill, stood for a new beginning, a “different Germany”.

A central Internet presence will be created under the title "otl aicher 100” - a curated space that invites discourse and serves as a platform. It was launched on May 13 at In addition, a series of events take up themes from Otl Aicher's work and link them to current issues.

Editorial team:
Florian Aicher, Thomas Edelmann, Prof. Dr. Chup Friemert, Kai Gehrmann, Jasmin Jouhar, Katharina Kurz, Prof. Dr. Dagmar Rinker, Gerrit Terstiege and Fabian Wurm (editor-in-chief).

Corporate partners:

Franz Schneider Brakel GmbH + Co KG

Bulthaup GmbH & Co KG


Impressions from the launch event

Photos: © IDZ | Kühnapfel Fotografie


Ingrid Krauß
Head of Research
T +49 (0)30 61 62 321-20

Coming Events

Thursday, 10/20/2022
7.00 pm–11.00 pm
IDZ Event

otl aicher 100: “there is nothing here that gives shade”
Four men and two motorcycles in the desert

Prof. Michael Klar and Karsten de Riese report in pictures and words on a desert trip with Otl Aicher and his son Florian, commissioned by BMW.

Kai Gehrmann, artistic director of “otl aicher 100”.

In German language | Admission free

Architecture Gallery Berlin, Karl-Marx-Allee 96, 10243 Berlin

Thursday, October 20, 2022, 7 to 9 p.m. (Admission from 6:30 p.m.).
Afterwards: Get-together

sold out


Past Events

Friday, 8/26/2022
7.00 pm–11.00 pm
IDZ Event

otl aicher 100: “we have bread, we have games”
Olympia as Politics, Olympia as Utopia, Olympia as Big Business - on the 50th Anniversary of the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics

This day marks the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Summer Olympics in Munich. The Olympic Stadium was designed by Günter Behnisch and Frei Otto and became an architectural icon. The friendly colors in Otl Aicher's design, however, have shaped these games as a whole and since then, also our collective memory of the sporting event. The first Summer Games since 1936 in Germany were also a political issue - in this context, the event participants will discuss with each other.

Prof. Fritz Frenkler, Director of the Baukunst Section of the Academy of Arts and Prof. Karsten Henze, Chairman of the Board of the IDZ.

Karsten de Riese, officially commissioned photographer of the organizing committee of the 1972 Olympic Games, shows photos from the preparation period and talks about the utopia and vision as a counter-design to the 1936 Games, which were appropriated by the National Socialists. As an official photographer, he was an attentive observer behind the scenes and accompanied the Games and their protagonists, including Otl Aicher, Willi Daume as well as the officials of the IOC and its president Avery Brundage.

Panel discussion with:
Dr. Benjamin Bendrich, sports scientist and teacher,
Dajana Eitberger, luge athlete, winner of the Olympic silver medal in Pyeongchang 2018.
Dr. Tobias Hoffmann, director of the Bröhan Museum, curator of the special exhibition “Otl Aicher. Olympia 72”, August 26 to October 30, 2022.
Uwe Ritzer, reporter at the Süddeutsche Zeitung, co-author of “The Games of the Century: Olympia 1972, Terror and the New Germany”, dtv, Munich 2021.

Okka Gundel, journalist, television presenter and author / WDR, ARD

In German language | Admission free

Akademie der Künste, Plenary Hall at Pariser Platz
Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

Transportation: S+U Brandenburger Tor, Bus 100, 300

Friday, August 26, 2022, 7 to 9 p.m. (admission from 6:30 p.m.)
Afterwards: Get-together

We are following the current hygiene rules of the Akademie der Künste.

sold out


Saturday, 6/25/2022
7.00 pm–10.30 pm
IDZ Event

otl aicher 100: “of course a car is also a sign”
Retrospective of Otl Aicher: Kritik am Auto, Munich 1984

The IDZ continues its series of events with a retrospective of Aicher's exhibition and book "kritik am auto - schwierige verteidigung des autos gegen seine anbeter" [criticism of the car - difficult defence of the car against its worshippers].

7:00 p.m.
Welcome by Dr. Martin Mäntele, Head of the HfG Archive, Ulm

7:15 p.m.
Florian Aicher will begin by reporting on his collaboration on the exhibition and the book "kritik am auto". At the same time, he tries to relate criticism, as formulated by Otl Aicher in 1984, to the current scene.

Panel discussion:
Under changed conditions, what Otl Aicher formulated in 1984 applies today: "the concept alone obviously doesn't do it to get a good car." Today, we are concerned with how the car must be designed to be less dominant in the interaction with other means of transport and appear more compatible with the city. But also how senseless traffic can be avoided and desired mobility made possible. Questions that the panel will address.

Peter Wouda heads the Volkswagen Group Future Center Europe in Potsdam and, with his team, designs visionary studies for the VW Group. He tries to design answers for the future challenges from an industry perspective.

Prof. Lutz Fügener is head of the Design and Mobility course at the Faculty of Engineering at Hof University of Applied Sciences in Selb. For many years, he has been one of the best-known lecturers in Germany, training automotive designers. At the same time, he has repeatedly appeared in public with critical positions on the development of the car and the industry's priorities.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gebhard Wulfhorst, the holder of the Chair of Settlement Structure and Transport Planning at the Technical University of Munich, takes up the criticism of undesirable developments in mobility at the level of urban and transport planning. Traffic that does not arise in the first place through cleverly planned cities and regions also does not cause undesirable aspects.

Florian Aicher and the journalist and author Stephan Ott will jointly moderate the event.

Visitors can gain first-hand impressions of the architecture of the HfG and study some of the exhibition panels from 1984, which the HfG archive will set up in Ulm, the host of the event. In addition, "delta 1," the prototype of a sports car from 1967, will be on display in its original form. Created as a "study object for lightweight construction principles" by Henner Werner, Michael Conrad and Detlef Unger, graduates of the HfG Ulm, the car was presented in Aicher's book.

In German language. Admission free

Ulm HfG, Am Hochsträß 8, 89081 Ulm, Germany

Saturday, June 25, 2022, 7 to 9 p.m. (Admission from 6:30 p.m.).
Afterwards: Get-together

Friday, 5/13/2022
7.00 pm–11.00 pm
IDZ Event

otl aicher 100:“there is no computer that calls for freedom”
Artificial intelligence and ethics - following on from Otl Aicher's essay “kulturen des denkens” (cultures of thinking)

Welcome: Prof. Jeanine Meerapfel, filmmaker and president of the Academy of Arts and Prof. Karsten Henze, Chairman of the Board of the IDZ.

Excerpts from the films "Designlegende HfG" (1988) and "Otl Aicher, der Denker am Objekt" (1991) of the edition disegno of Peter Schubert Filmproduktion, publisher FSB

Discussion between Peter Schubert, film director and producer and
Wolfgang Reul, door handle philosopher at FSB

Lecture: Prof. Dr. Byung-Chul Han, philosopher, cultural scientist and author

Panel discussion with:
Lukas Brand, theologian, author of the book "Artificial Virtue. Robots as Moral Actors"
Lorena Jaume-Palasí, philosopher and founder of "The Ethical Tech Society"
Yasemin Keskintepe, art scholar and curator of the exhibition "Artificial Intelligence. Machines - Learning - Human Dreams" at the German Hygiene Museum, Dresden

Moderation: Prof. Dr. Christoph Neuberger, communication scientist, Executive Director of the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society

In German language | Admission free

Please observe the current instructions and hygiene rules of the Akademie der Künste. You are required to wear an FFP2 mask in the entire Academy building.

Akademie der Künste, Plenary Hall at Pariser Platz
Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

Transportation: S+U Brandenburger Tor, Bus 100, 300

May 13, 2022, 7 to 9 p.m. (admission from 6:30 p.m.)
Afterwards: Get-together

sold out


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