Gifts Today magazine

Rosenthal and retailer KaDeWe unveil exhibition

Rosenthal exhibition has opened in Berlin luxury department store KaDeWe to mark the 100th birthday of Philip Rosenthal

The lifestyle exhibition "Gropius goes Rosenthal" to commemorate the 100th birthday of visionary entrepreneur Philip Rosenthal was officially opened on Tuesday last week in the foyer of KaDeWe, one of the world's most eminent and luxurious department stores located in the heart of Berlin.

The concept, which runs through April 27, encompasses a true-to-scale sty built based on the design drawn by Walter Gropius in 1968 for the Rosenthal pet pig RORO on account of a lost bet as well as the new porcelain design TAC Palazzo RORO and the figurine collection RORO by designer Sebastian Herkner, which were inspired by the original sketch. The background story, historical photos and a video of its creation are also displayed in an area covering over 300 square metres.

The Frankfurt-based architectural firm unique assemblage implemented the pigsty design using materials from Nya Nordiska. The shop window concept developed especially for KaDeWe, which comprises a total of ten display windows featuring different designs, was conceived by the design studio Pixelgarten. The studio is known for its humorous and graphically powerful work in the areas of illustration, photography, corporate identity and book and editorial design – and was inspired by Bauhaus architecture in terms of form.

This gave rise to windows that playfully reflect the creative design process and convey the light-heartedness of the bet between Gropius and Rosenthal.
Philip Rosenthal (1916–2001) would have celebrated his 100th birthday on 23 October 2016. He shaped the porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal like no other: with flair and farsightedness, new forms of collaboration with designers, artists and architects and innovative approaches to the working environment and interaction.

In 1967, Philip Rosenthal and Professor Gropius had a bet over what colour the design on a plate would turn after the piece was fired. When Gropius saw a black edge on the rim of a plate, Philip Rosenthal insisted that the black edge would turn gold after the piece was fired. 

Rosenthal was right and revelled in his attractive prize: a pigsty specially designed by Gropius for the pet pig RORO (which stands for Rosenthal am Rothbühl). The highlight: Walter Gropius' sketches of the Bauhaus pigsty are also the inspiration for a new design on the TAC range designed by Gropius.

Using 3D techniques, designer Ewelina Wisniowska has created the extremely vivid "Palazzo RORO" gold pattern based on these drawings. With its polygonal elements and linear structures, it takes all of the original elements drawn by Walter Gropius – from the pig to the hay and the fence – and converts them into a modern anniversary pattern. 

The sharp linear structure of the hay, which merges with the mesh of the fence and the outline of the palazzo, is the defining element of the design. The innovative gold tone, which changes to black or rose gold depending on the light level, and the delicate reflections of shiny and matte gold create the illusion of movement on the architectural TAC range.

The pet pig RORO also features in a minimalist object collection, designed by Sebastian Herkner – one of Germany's most innovative product designers.
The unusual architecture and design exhibition is still available to visit until 27 April 2016.

Gift ideas available exclusively at KaDeWe make the exhibition a must-see for lovers of special pieces and unusual ideas.

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