Design Library

Donation to the Design Library

Tassilo von Grolman

With great pleasure, we are adding around 2,000 books to our design library – a generous gift from the product designer Tassilo von Grolman. Throughout his impressive career, he collected design books from around the world, including rare editions and numerous publications from Japan.

Born in Iserlohn, von Grolman began his professional journey with an apprenticeship as a machine fitter at AEG Oldenburg. While studying mechanical engineering and industrial design, he discovered his passion for product design and eventually, design consulting. In 1975, at the age of 33, he founded his design office in Frankfurt am Main, which he relocated to Berlin in 2011.

Tassilo von Grolman's designs include, among others, the iconic teapot for Mono and the "Achat" insulated jug by Alfi – which have since become design classics.

> Tassilo von Grolman and Lutz Dietzold (CEO German Design Council) in the designlibrary

ndion Podcast with Helge Aszmoneit


with Helge Aszmoneit

If you would like to learn more about the German Design Council's library in advance, we recommend the DDC's podcast "Die Design Bibliothekarin" with Helge Aszmoneit:

>> Go to the podcast here (in German)

German Design Council - Design Library

The place

Since July 2019, the library has been located on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds in Hall 9.3 in the rooms of the Messe Frankfurt Historical Archive. This connection is also associated with many synergies for the library of the German Design Council and the Messe Frankfurt archive in terms of content, from which visitors can benefit.

Design Library - selected issues

Selected issues

The Design Library currently has 30 international magazines of the design context, makes them accessible and archives them. Only those publications that have lasting relevance find their way into the library.

Design Library Rarities: Techničeskaja ėstetika - 1965 to 1988


of the library

The library also contains numerous very special publications that are not only interesting for researching design history. These are, for example, the Olivetti Corporate Design Manual, the "Deutsche Warenkunde" from the 1930s.

Another special feature is the collection of the design magazine "Techničeskaja ėstetika" from the former Soviet Union, which is available from 1965 to 1988.

There is an interesting article on this magazine and the library of the German Design Council by Yves Vincent Grossmann from 2017:

>> Click here for the article

Design classics: Cutlery WMF "Futura"

Design classics

Cutlery WMF "Futura"

The historical photo archive also houses countless product photos of well-known design classics as well as rare connoisseur pieces.

Author: Mayer, Kurt. Design. Manufacture: Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik (WMF).

>> Photo: Historical Photo Archive of the German Design Council

Knowledge value since 1960

The foundation’s library offers a valuable, wide-ranging knowledge platform for all aspects of design and related areas. Established in the 1960s, the holding library is a member of the Association of Frankfurt Museum Libraries and makes extensive design knowledge available to the general public – with nearly 20,000 printed volumes, videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs, as well as 50 international periodicals currently in circulation. Thanks to regular additions to its collections, deep-level subject indexing and many genuine rarities in its holdings, e.g. from the 1950s and 1960s, it has developed into a valuable and highly esteemed source of information for specialist audiences and design enthusiasts.

>> The library has been located in Hall 9.3 of the Messe Frankfurt (Frankfurt Trade Fair) since July 2019.

Visitors can obtain assistance with their research at the library; workspaces as well as photocopiers and scanners are available on-site. The public online catalogue already contains 70 percent of the library’s holdings, which for the most part have now been retrospectively indexed. The online cataloguecan be searched free of charge and is publicly accessible on the pages of the German Design Council provided by the Association of Frankfurt Museum Libraries.

New in the library


Anke Haarmann / Alice Lagaay / Tom Bieling a.o.
Specology. Zu einer ästhetischen Forschung
Hamburg, adocs Verlag, 2023, 420 pages, illustrations and graphics
> A collection of essays on the concept of speculation as a basis for a new perspective and approach in aesthetic research and practice.

Karine Van Doorsselaer / Rudolf J. Koopmans
Ecodesign. A life cycle approach for a sustainable future
Munich, Hanser, 2021, 245 pages, numerous illustrations
> The book presents a comprehensive approach to sustainable design that considers the entire product life cycle and identifies strategies for reducing environmental impact through design innovation.

Es Devlin / Andrea Lipps a.o.
An Atlas of Es Devlin
London, Thames & Hudson, 2023, 866 pages, 765 illustrations
> A lavishly designed volume highlighting the career of renowned artist Es Devlin and presenting her influential work in the fields of art, architecture and stage design.

New in the library


Johanna Mehl / Carolin Höfer (ed.)
Attending [to] futures. Matters of Politics in Design Education, Research, Practice
Hamburg, adocs Verlag, 2023, 292 pages, illustrations
> A collection of texts on the role of politics in design in the context of design education, research and practice for the design of future scenarios of common life and action.

Matthijs van Dijk / Lowie Vermeersch
Mobility / Society. Society seen through the lens of mobilities
Zurich, Lars Müller Publishers, 2024, 311 pages, numerous illustrations and diagrams
> With this volume, mobility is understood as a complex web of relationships between movement, space and social structures and examines the complex interactions of these for a different approach to understanding mobility and its challenges.

Nancy C. Roberts
Design Strategy. Challenges in Wicked Problem Territory
Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, 2023, 499 pages
> Roberts addresses the challenges of developing strategies to deal with "wicked problems" and provides a comprehensive theoretical and practical overview of how design can help navigate this challenging terrain.

New in the library


Eames & Vitra
Birsfelden, Vitra International AG, 2023, 179 pages, numerous illustrations
> "Eames & Vitra" focuses on the collaboration and special relationship between the Eames and the Vitra company, which has produced numerous designs since the 1950s.

Gavin Brett Melles / Christian Wölfel [ed.]
Design for a Sustainable Circular Economy. Research and Practice Consequences
Singapore, Springer Nature, 2024, 232 pages, tables and graphics
> With numerous contributions from research and practice, this volume shows how design and innovation can be drivers of a sustainable circular economy and also recognises that the current debate on the circular economy is not being conducted sufficiently.

Katharina Sussek / Jens Müller [ed.]
PUMA- The Graphic Hertiage
Düsseldorf, Optik Books, 2023, 287 pages, numerous illustrations
> This volume shows how PUMA became an internationally successful brand by analysing the company's visual culture. It is based on the PUMA company archive, from which almost 1,000 examples of visual design since 1948 have been selected.

New in the library


Matthias Gretzschel
Hadi Teherani. Architekt und Designer
Hamburg, Koehler, 2024, 237 pages, numerous illustrations
> Biography of the Persian-born architect living in Hamburg, personally narrated and illustrated with important works on architecture, interior and product design.

Formafantasma: Oltre Terra (Why Wool Matters)
Cologne, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, 2023, 176 pages, numerous illustrations
> Accompanying publication to the exhibition of the same name by the designer duo Formafantasma, which thematises the global extraction and production of wool and critically places it in an ecological, economic and social context.

Klaus Klemp [ed.]
Braun. Design, das bleibt
London, Phaidon, 2023, 424 pages, 500 illustrations
> A journey through timeless design. Find out more about the 100-year history of Braun - the pioneering German brand for electrical appliances that changed the face of modern design in the 1950s.

New in the library


Jens Müller
ZDF TV+Design.
Düsseldorf, Optik Books, 2023, 151 pages, illustrations
> Jens Müller presents a detailed design analysis of the ZDF television channel and sheds light on the development of the visual identity and the design decisions that characterise the channel's appearance.

Alison Mears / Ruth Jonsara
Materials Health Design Frontiers. Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design.
London, Lund Humphries, 2022, 256 pages, numerours illustrations
> Alison Mears and Ruth Jonsara document the work of the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design, which focuses on the development of health-friendly materials for the design process and explores the boundaries between materials science and design.

Database Design and Applied Arts Index

With the Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI) database, the library offers an excellent research tool for researchers, practitioners and students on design-relevant content from international journals. The DAAI evaluates journals from the fields of design and applied arts, records the bibliographical information and indexes the content via keywords and abstracts.

Thematically, articles on the disciplines of product and industrial design, visual communication, textile and fashion design with all related areas can be found there. The DAAI currently evaluates about 600 journals, currently contains more than 212,000 records and offers numerous search functions.

As access to this database is subject to a fee, research in the DAAI is only possible in the local library of the German Design Council.

Historical photo archive

The library also has a photo archive comprising 42,000 photos, which was operated from 1950 to the end of the 1980s. Access to the photo archive is reserved for academic and non-commercial projects and by prior appointment only.

More about the historical photo archive