125th anniversary and a PrintStool

28.06.2017 | by Wilkhahn Germany

The publisher and editorial team had invited around 160 guests to come and celebrate AIT’s remarkable anniversary on 22 June. The magazine for architecture, interiors and technical solutions has been published in German and English since 1980. Big names from the construction-related industry, the worlds of design, interior design and architecture came together at Leonhard’s Restaurant, Stuttgart’s highest café at the foot of the television tower, to delve into the past and present of one of the most successful trade press magazines. Over the past few years, AIT has been chosen several times by the German trade press as the best specialist magazine of the year. Wilkhahn chief press officer Burkhard Remmers brought editor-in-chief Petra Stephan a 3D-printed PrintStool by designer Thorsten Frank with him, which went perfectly with the Script Changes, the Roadmap Stays the Same motto.

AIT editor-in-chief Petra Stephan with Burkhard Remmers (photo: AIT)

Founded by Alexander Koch as a specialist interior design magazine in 1890, the trade press magazine quickly became a style guide on the interior design of homes and played a key role in the reform movement on the part of Germany’s craftsmen and craftswomen. Names such as Peter Behrens, Fritz Schumacher, Henry van de Velde, Josef Hoffmann, Otto Wagner, Charles R. Macintosh and later the Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius were introduced to the readership. The magazine reported on various contemporary trends covering Biedermeier, classicism and modernism, but increasingly on international developments and projects too. Given the difficult environment in the period shortly before the second world war, Koch merged with Deutsche Verlagsanstalt and managed to maintain the quality of the magazine despite censorship and enforced ideological conformity. After the second world war, the magazine was refounded and called Architektur and Wohnform and already had English captions back in the 1950s. In terms of the graphics and typeset, the magazine repeatedly complied with the changing zeitgeist. With the takeover by the Weinbrenner Group, the title changed to Architektur und Wohnwelt, with the subheading of Architektur, Innenarchitektur and Technischer Ausbau becoming AIT in 1980, which has remained the magazine’s title until today. Nowadays, the magazine is considered the leading publication in German-speaking countries with the focus on interior design. It was chosen as the publication in which the Association of German Interior Architects/Designers publishes its news for good reason. Whereas many other trade press magazines are struggling to survive because of digitalisation, AIT has repeatedly managed to reinvent itself successfully and created benchmarks when it comes to photography, graphics and editorial concepts. It was entirely apposite that the exceptionally poetic speech at the anniversary party was held by Berlin-based twin brothers Dominik and Benjamin Reding: the two German filmmakers’ special regard for interior design has had a firm place in AIT for years. And Wilkhahn’s gift was a perfect choice: the PrintStool One, which is produced as a limited edition, symbolises a pioneering synthesis of the analogue and digital world like virtually no other item of furniture.

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Cover of the first edition entitled AIT (picture: AIT)

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