Otl Aicher would have been 100 years old this year. The town of Isny, for which he created 136 symbols, reflects his work in the Allgäu on almost every street corner.
The town of Isny commemorates Otl Aicher in its own way. Born in Ulm, who would have turned 100 this year, is considered the German designer of the century. He moved to Rotis in 1972 Allgaeu uh, a village in between Leutkirch and Legau, and created a unified design for the town of Isny in the 1970s. These designs are considered to be unique in their texture. The 136 black and white panels symbolically show what the city and its surroundings are all about.
On the occasion of Aicher’s birthday anniversary, the plaques can be found everywhere in the city: on the city wall, on the glass facade of the Kurhaus, in shops. Even local public transport buses are consistently designed with emblems in black and white. The pictograms, reduced to the essentials, continue what Otl Aicher did for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich the design. The representations merged into clear surfaces, and few lines still work their magic on the viewer. They show how little human perception is needed to feel space, depth, movement and body.
The centerpiece of Isny’s commemoration of Otl Aicher is the “aichermagazin” in Kurpark, a temporary pavilion made of black wood, designed by architects Lenz Schnell and Malte Sunder-Plassmann. On the outer walls are picture boards designed for Isny, which you can call up spoken text via QR code on your mobile phone (WLAN connection is available). 52 audio texts take the motifs of the pictograms as an opportunity to tell a lot about Isny and Allgäu. Weather expert Roland Roth talks about climate change, Friedrich Moch (Olympic participant in cross-country skiing in Beijing) talks about the start of his career at WSV Isny. Cultural history is included as well as literature and linguistics.
Until October, the city offers creative workshops, literary projects, performances, practical activities and city tours that deal with what Otl Aicher connected with the city of Isny: the appreciation of good food and fresh herbs – preferably from their own garden – that Sensual, good beer , music, sports and much more.
Inside the pavilion, which is freely accessible 24/7, text panels and photos outline Otl Aicher’s teaching, research and philosophy of life. Unfortunately, there is no processing with imported texts. Only one link opens excerpts from the only documentary for which Aicher was interviewed. Anyone looking to delve deeper into the life and work of the turn-of-the-century designer who consistently refused to accept National Socialism will be disappointed.
Otls Aicher’s work and his controversial personality cannot be displayed on four walls
Visitors only see the tip of the iceberg here. Aicher’s extensive work, his culturally critical and political thinking, his essayistic work and his controversial, not always easy-going personality cannot of course be presented on four walls. The media effort is largely aimed at the region – and not enough at the celebrant.
Nevertheless, Isny’s open-air exhibition, which runs until October, is meritorious and necessary. Because it reminds us that it is worth considering Otl Aicher’s important impulses for an ethical design of our living environment. The powerful and critical spirit died in 1991 at the age of 69 as a result of a road accident.
Information and events online at isny.de/otlaicher