Ludwig Mies van Der Rohe’s “Expositions” (1928)
Translated from the German by Philip
Johnson. From Mies van der Rohe.
(Museum of Modern Art. New York, NY: 1947).
• • •
Expositions are implements for industry and culture. They should be used as such.
The effectiveness of an exposition depends on its approach to basic problems. The history of great expositions shows us that only expositions which treat living problems are successful.
The era of monumental expositions that make money is past. Today we judge an exposition by what it accomplishes in the cultural field.
Economic, technical and cultural conditions have changed radically.
Both technology and industry face entirely new problems. It is very important for our culture and our society, as well as for technology and industry, to find good solutions.
German industry—and indeed European industry as a whole—must understand and solve these specific tasks. The path must lead from quantity towards quality—from the extensive to the intensive.
Along this path industry and technology will join with the forces of thought and culture.
We are in a period of transition—a transition that will change the world.
To explain and help along this transition will be the responsibly of future expositions, and they will be successful only in so far as they concentrate on this task and treat the central problem of our time—the intensification of our life.
[From Die Form, 1928]