Arnold Schürer – Born 1929 (Berlin)
From 1950 to 1955 Arnold Schürer read architecture at the technical college of Darmstadt and Hanover. During his studies he established his first contacts with the industrial design world through architect Hans Krebs, who was responsible for design at AEG from 1935 to 1955.
After his studies he began to work as a designer at AEG design division founded in 1954 under the guidance of architect Peter Sieber. In 1966 he worked under Professor Matthias Janssen as scientific assistant at the Institute for Industrial Design at Hanover technical college, where he was promoted in 1968 to engineering doctor with a thesis on “The Influence of product-specific factors on Design”.
In 1969 he commenced his career as freelance industrial designer in Bielefeld and founded “Schürer Design”. At the same time he taught at the technical college of Hanover. His fields of activity encompassed a wide range of tasks for companies such as AEG of Berlin, Schüco of Bielefeld, Staff of Lemgo, Nixdorf of Paderborn, Poggenpohl of Herford, COR Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Krupp of Essen, Krups of Solingen etc.
Since 1980 his prime interest has turned to the construction of capital goods, especially the design of all kinds of machines. Via ergonomics his work and research extended to human-machine interaction systems with an emphasis user friendliness and interface design.
Numerous successful and widely acclaimed products could be created for renowned companies such as Gildemeister AG, IXION Hamburg, Schütte of Cologne, Hurth of Munich, Klingelnberg of Hückeswagen, Körber-Paperlink of Hamburg, IMA of Lübbecke, Jagenberg of Neuss, SIG of Linnich, Rieter AG-Winterthur etc.
In 1977 he was appointed professor at the Brunswick (Braunschweig) College of Graphic Arts for the design and ergonomics faculty with a specialisation in industrial design, where he continued to work till 1994.
Since 1998 he has been increasingly involved in the analysis of video ergonomics for the systematic improvement of human-machine interactions and has frequently given lectures and seminars in Germany and abroad.
Arnold Schürer Interview
Which European country has had the biggest influence on your work?
In which European country has your design gained the most recognition?
In your opinion which European country takes the greatest interest in design?
That’s hard to answer. Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
Which European colleges made the largest contribution to the development of design from 1945 to 1978?
In Germany: Folkwangschule of Essen, College of Industrial Art of Hanover, Kassel Art Academy, Ulm Graphic Design College (Hochschule für Gestaltung), Akademie Stuttgart, later other colleges such as the Offenbach Graphic Design College or Berlin Art College (Hochschule der Kunst) In other countries: Eindhoven Holland, Royal College of Art England
Was design established in Germany more by public intervention or by private enterprise?
Primarily private enterprise: AEG since 1907 with its own Design division since 1954, Siemens since the 1930s, Braun and many renowned designers for well-known companies. Public intervention: the German Design Council since 1953.
Do you think there is such a thing as European design style and, if so, what are its defining features?
Yes there is, while there may be strong regional variations. We share a search for clear and basic design. Formal styling came from the USA and also spread very successful widely Europe during the post-modern period.