An East German mordernism existed in parallel to West German modernism in the fields of architecture and design. Walter Scheiffele shows the interplay between the two by looking at furniture making, for which the Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau had been a centre since the time of the Werkbund, the German craft association. Mart Stam, Selman Selmanagic, Franz Ehrlich, and others provided dynamic input in areas reaching from furniture design to twon planning. The range of furniture developed by Selmanagic and Ehrlich was realized by the Deutsche Werkstätten, which soon became the leading furniture manufacturer in the GDR. In West Germany they found parallels in Hans Gugelot's M 125-type range and Herbert Hirche's INwand system. At the same time, the MDW modular system Rudolf Horn developed in Hellerau brought furniture designt o a new pinnacle of achievement. Thirty years after reunification, it is time now to give thought to a synthesis—albeit a contradictory one—unifying the modernism of East and West.
Walter Scheiffele (b. 1946) is a design theorist.