Arno Votteler Biography and Interview

Arno Votteler
Arno Votteler
Classic Designs » Designers » Arno Votteler Biography and Interview

Arno Votteler – (1929 – 2020)

Arno Votteler was born in 1929 in Freudenstadt in the Black Forest. He studied Interior architecture at the State Academy of Graphic Arts in Stuttgart with Herbert Hirche.

After his seat and chair designs as a graphic designer with Walter Knoll in Herrenberg and after his freelance collaboration with Robert Gutmann in London he founded his own office in Brunswick (Braunschweig) in 1961.

In the same year he was appointed professor for industrial design at the Brunswick Art College. In 1967 he became professor of interior fittings and furniture design at the State Academy of Graphic Arts in Stuttgart, where he has since 1980 run the Institute for Interior architecture and Furniture design that he founded.

With this institute, especially the periodic Weissenhof seminar that he initiated, Arno Votteler succeeded in the following years to invigorate the German and international design scene. In addition he played in this institution a increasingly significant mediating role between research and practice.

Arno Votteler was a member of the Deutsches Werkbund (German Industrial Union) and founding member of the German Industrial Designers’ Association (Verband Deutscher Industriedesigner or VDID).

As a guest professor he taught in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Columbus / Ohio (USA), Ahmedabad (India), Taiwan and Peking.  

Arno Votteler Interview

Which European country has mainly influenced your work?

Germany, Scandinavia and Italy.

In which European country has your design gained the most recognition?

Germany and Switzerland.

In your opinion which European country takes the greatest interest in design?


Which European colleges made the largest contribution to the development of design from 1945 to 1978?

Ulm Graphic Design College (Hochschule für Gestaltung), Folkwangschule Essen (now University of Essen).

Was design established in Germany more by public intervention or by private enterprise?

Public intervention: the German Design Council and Stuttgart Design Center.

Do you think there is such a thing as European design style and, if so, what are its defining features?

It’s based on Bauhaus design.

Written by Simon
I am a published writer, journalist and photo-journalist. I have an MA in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales and my journalism has been published in a number of UK national newspapers including 'the Observer'. I have life long interest in creative design, art and function and this website is an exploration of that in all its forms and guises.