It may seem incredible today, but there was a time when artistic merit and aesthetic sense were largely considered irrelevant in industrial production. There was little harmony between form and function when it came to mass-produced goods. At least, that’s how it was until 1907, when AEG appointed a visionary architect from Germany as Artistic Consultant. Professor Peter Behrens was a Renaissance man in the true sense of the word. He moved with ease between several disciplines; painting, graphic design, architecture, and furniture design. When he came to AEG, he brought a simple but powerful design philosophy that became the enduring hallmark of our company and its products.Each of our new product design generations are carried out against the background and experience of a long history.In 1907, Peter Behrens published "Art in Technology", which is the basis for "perfekt in form und funktion". He was called to AEG to become the world’s first industrial designer, and famous fashioners such as Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier were all employed in his office.Behrens worked with, and was an inspiration to some of the biggest names in Modernism, including Bauhaus school founder Walter Gropius. In the years after 1914, the designers Wilhelm Kreis and Hans Krebs were also in house consultants at AEG, under Behrens.In 1953, Peter Sieber established the first AEG internal design office in Frankfurt. His successors were Eberhard Fuchs and Hans Werner Friedlaender, who successfully continued maintaining the AEG design quality.Today, we’re surrounded by strong, easily recognisable brands. That wasn’t always the case.It was Behrens’ creativity that first established the “corporate identity” concept. Product design was just the beginning. Behrens would embed himself and his design approach in our entire corporate culture. Working for AEG, he was the first person to create logos, advertising material, and company publications with a consistent, unified design. He designed factories that were tailored to the individual requirements of AEG and its workers; he created not only the company logo but also the whole corporate identity, including numerous advertising campaigns. Thus corporate design went on to become a basic element of the philosophy of an industrial company and its brands.The paradigm shift that Behrens affected in AEG and with the conception of German industrial design as a whole was based on the notion of developing household appliances with an eye both on the aesthetics and the specific function of the object. He changed the form of functional objects in a way that is still visible today – in the innovative concepts developed by top designers at AEG.We design products for the 21st century, inspired by an outstanding figure in the history of Germany and of AEG: Peter Behrens, the founder of industrial design and the spiritual father of today’s AEG design team.
Professor Peter Behrens1868-1940
Behrens was not only the father of German industrial design – he was also the founder of corporate identity.
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