Once again, 2021 was a year like no other. The pandemic posed challenges for all of us, not just for museums and cultural institutions. Still, we tried to adapt to the constantly changing circumstances, and to show that design and creative minds have an especially important role in such times of crisis.

As Jawaharlal Nehru once put it “Crises and deadlocks when they occur have at least this advantage, that they force us to think.” – so we acted. This year gave birth to the Design Campus and its programs at Pillnitz Palace and Park. A major undertaking for the Kunstgewerbemuseum of the Dresden State Art Collections.

As the year ends, we would like to thank all of our like-minded partners, supporters, staff and students. Keep on dreaming utopic!

-- Thomas, Aline and Team Design Campus

-- Thomas A. Geisler
Design Campus and Kunstgewerbemuseum Director
-- Aline Lara Rezende, Editor and
Design Campus Chief Knowledge and Impact Officer

(c) SKD, Photograph by Oliver Killig


This year’s highlight was certainly the opening of the first ever “School of Utopias” at the Design Campus! Following the theme “Design & Democracy” thoughtfully curated by Amelie Klein and Vera Sacchetti, the Summer School offered 12 workshops over the course of six weeks and hosted 50 students from all over the world. We are currently working on updated course descriptions, so you will be able to see some workshop results on our website soon. And stay tuned for next year’s program – already in the making!

Should you need any material for your work or presentations from the workshops, do not hesitate to contact us at

(c) Iona Dutz


Despite the current pandemic, we had two fantastic shows on display in Dresden! In April, we opened the exhibition “Nouveautés” on the history of the art school and lace industry in Plauen, Saxony. In October, we opened “German Design 1949-1989. Two Countries, One History”, a project developed together with the Vitra Design Museum and the Wüstenrot Foundation. The catalogue and the accompanying catalogue are the result of a long research, and give insights into the design culture of both German states.

Find out more about our forthcoming exhibitions “Design around 1800” and “Plant Fever – Towards a Phyto-centered Design” on our website!


Spoon Archaeology (c) Heiko Prigge


In 2021, we also started some exciting LAB-projects! In an exchange program with the China Design Museum and the Goethe-Institute China, we will take a closer look at the relations between China and Germany in the field of furniture and interior design in the early 20th century.

Furthermore, the installation “Spoon Archaeology” by Kai Linke and Peter Eckart – curated by the Design Campus as the German contribution to the past London Design Biennale – will open at Pillnitz Park and Palace in the coming spring. Last but certainly not least, we are planning a conference on the German Schools of Decorative Arts (in English!), held online in May 2022!



In 2021, we welcomed new cooperation partners and stakeholders in our network! The goal of the network is to establish and maintain lasting connections between all of you to foster exciting exchange and synergies. More info will be on our very soon!


Right now, museums in Saxony are closed. Nonetheless, the coming days and our coming projects give us a bit of relief and hope. A big thank you for staying with us during this challenging year. We can't wait for you to visit us again next year and wish all of you happy holidays!

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