X-D-E-P-O-T. A New Space for Die Neue Sammlung - The Design Museum

Exhibition  /  10 Sep 2021  -  10 Sep 2022
Published: 18.08.2021
Room view X-D-E-P-O-T. Photo by Gerhardt Kellermann..
Room view X-D-E-P-O-T. Photo by Gerhardt Kellermann.

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With X-D-E-P-O-T, Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum at the Pinakothek der Moderne is opening the doors onto a new and extremely versatile space. The total of 600 square meters is already set up in the second basement level of the west wing of the Pinakothek der Moderne and boasts direct access to the exhibition rooms of Die Neue Sammlung. Originally earmarked as a display depot, the space could not be opened with the Pinakothek der Moderne as planned and has instead to date been used as a museum warehouse.
The X-D-E-P-O-T will be open to the public and offers an array of new possibilities. Die Neue Sammlung is now able to exhibit its inventory on a larger and more comprehensive scale – and will do so in a very specific and original way. Like sequences of images, objects are brought together in constellations that visualize various different themes. These incorporate correlations of materials, shapes, and colors, as well as design categories, styles from specific periods in time, and current discourse. Visitors gain many an insight into both the history of the collection at the world’s oldest design museum and the questions of substance arising in modern and contemporary design.
Furthermore, the X-D-E-P-O-T also enables Die Neue Sammlung to intervene in current debates concerning the format of (design) museums. After all, museums – and design museums in particular – are no longer perceived as institutions that merely present their inventories in static form as a final result. Rather, they are now more focused on exploring the creation of architectures that permit varied semantics in relation to space, time, and narration. In the X-D-E-P-O-T, the items exhibited and presented tell a different story, of their diversity, of the simultaneity of the non-simultaneous, of the process of an idea and its realization.
The X-D-E-P-O-T, combined with Die Neue Sammlung’s collection space and its temporary exhibitions, forms a new, visionary triad that redefines the understanding of the museum as an institution and its collections and exhibitions, as well as visitors’ observation, learning, and involvement in them.
Architecture by KUEhn Malvezzi
Arriving from the collection rooms, visitors access the newly installed X-D-E-P-O-T via a short connecting corridor. On arrival they see 15 black, industrial shelves reaching to the ceiling are fitted along three walls. The shelving is supplemented by five vertical lattice walls for the upright attachment of exhibition items. In front of the fourth, free wall there are two further shelf units of the same height positioned apart from each other but connected by four-floor platforms. Visitors access the room level, which is three meters down, via the entry stairs, or they can take a newly developed, steel-clad ramp route that leads to a lift for barrier-free access to the space. It is also here that the circuitous route along the upper rows of shelves begins. With these two different levels, it is possible to observe many items from a convenient angle and a shorter distance, and countless new perspectives open up on the different shelf levels. Also accessible from the ramp is a steel staircase taking visitors down to the lower level. Hence, visitors can decide for themselves which route they take through the X-D-E-P-O-T.

With options for sequencing and grouping a huge range of different objects and with the lighting and route guidance, the architecture facilitates an exhibition format that clearly differs from the standard collection presentation. Thus, visitors are given a notably different and new point of entry into the collection.
Curatorial concept
In a kind of spatial matrix, the exhibition items are arranged according to content and aesthetics/shape and assigned to the shelves accordingly. Thus, various relationships can be established between the objects both vertically and horizontally. The uppermost shelves are assigned exclusively to chairs and seating or lamps. These omnipresent design themes form continuous horizontal bands, yet the specific selection of the objects dictates the respective vertically arranged shelf themes. Correlations in the substance and form of objects appear again and again spanning different shelves. Thus develops, so to speak, a fabric of motifs, the connections within which can also be perceived associatively.
The X-D-E-P-O-T incorporates a total of around 30 design themes and 600 objects. Many of the objects and content presented in the X-D-E-P-O-T have never before been exhibited. These include objects from the collection segments of tools, packaging design, gaming or secondary architecture, material studies on carbon, wickerwork, metal or industrial ceramics, sample items on the colors red and green, and current topics such as medical design, sustainability, or protection.
The X-D-E-P-O-T does not structure things by chronology, geographical boundaries, or hierarchy. Objects from different periods in time and of different origins and with no traditional canon are presented together for the sake of opening up new angles on them. The focus is on phenomena, high-quality design, and good ideas.

The X-D-E-P-O-T is also intended to be used as a multifunctional space as soon as anti-corona measures are loosened or lifted once again.

Chairs and seating created by designers invite visitors to relax and try things out. In cooperation with designers, start-ups, as well as primary, secondary, and special-needs schools and higher education institutions, will regularly develop projects and workshops. New digital and barrier-free tools are designed to provide further experiences by means of text, images, films, and sound. As a space of experiences and exchange, the X-D-E-P-O-T is also addressing the contemporary challenges of discourse, interaction, and inclusion. It defines itself as a place to spend time that stimulates the senses.
The X-factor
The name of the space, X-D-E-P-O-T, references the original intention for the room as a “display depot”. While a display depot in the original sense refers to a storage room in a museum that is made accessible to the public, the X-D-E-P-O-T is intended as a more multipurpose space.
The “X” can be paired as an “X-factor” with various different words to form a compound expression with the word “depot”. Here though, the “X” can also act as an abbreviation for terms beginning with the prefix “ex”, thus connecting the space to various functions: X-plore, X-change, X-perience, X-pose, X-plain, X-tend, X-hibit, X-periment, X-amine, X-press, X-ercise, X-pand and many more. As a new expression, X-D-E-P-O-T has the potential to encompass all these meanings.
The Digital X-D-E-P-O-T
From September 10, the X-D-E-P-O-T can also be experienced digitally with an app that includes all exhibited objects, a 360° video, short films by the curators, an interview with architect Wilfried Kuehn, online tours, an Instagram filter, and a digital soundboard. Hence, the X-D-E-P-O-T will be available for people to experience regardless of place and time.
Architects: Kuehn Malvezzi
Idea and concept: Angelika Nollert, Josef Straßer
Curators: Caroline Fuchs, Petra Hölscher, Angelika Nollert, Rosa Carole Rodeck, Josef Straßer
Dimensions: approx. 600 sqm (H 7.30 m / W 19.70 m / L 30.50 m)
Length of shelves: approx. 260 continuous meters
Exhibits: approx. 600 objects by approx. 350 designers

Strict health and safety rules apply when visiting the museum. The basic measures are: Masks must be worn by all media representatives, a minimum distance of at least 1.5 metres must be maintained and groups must be avoided. Despite the limitation on the number of visitors to the exhibition rooms at this time, we would like to offer you a press preview. Please observe the health and safety regulations.
Room view X-D-E-P-O-T. Photo by Gerhardt Kellermann..
Room view X-D-E-P-O-T. Photo by Gerhardt Kellermann.

© By the author. Read Copyright.