Camping in East Germany: Fishing and camping stool, 1970s. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (K. Mewes)


Sports Outdoors: Michael Müller, Kajak NATSEQ, 2018/2019, Kayak Innovations. Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (K. Mewes)


Urban Mobility: Christoph Fraundorfer / Heinz Mayrhofer, Bike Tour, 2017, My Esel GmbH (Austria). Photo: Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (K. Mewes)






The exhibition “Heading Outdoors” focuses on one of humankind’s fundamental longings – the desire to go outside. Irrespective of whether this means heading out into the great wide open, going out to a park, into our own backyards, or even to the city, alone or with other people – our need to spend some of our free time outside is greater than ever.

In design, this centuries-old longing is reflected in all manner of ways, be it in designs for outdoors, in sports equipment or in folding, hinged and portable objects. Even nature itself serves as a source of inspiration for design objects. The exhibits range from camping equipment from what was once East Germany to 3D printed garden chairs made of recycled plastic or even the kind of park benches that support social distancing. The exhibition is structured into a total of seven thematic complexes that also cover the different fields of the museum’s collection: “Outdoors = Indoors”, “Sitting Outdoors”, “Camping in East Germany”, “Urban Mobility”, “Parks and the Pandemic”, “Sports Outdoors” and “Foehn Skies”.

A footbridge made, as is the entire exhibition architecture, of recycled and reusable material, guides viewers through the room, allowing forperspectives on the different subjects and eras.
As the exhibits make it clear, design is always specific to particular societies and times. One example is the material that is plastic. In the 1960s, it was hailed as trendsetting but nowadays it poses an environmental problem that it is almost impossible to solve. Issues relating to sustainability currently present designers with major challenges.

The exhibition invites viewers to consider the relationships between humans and nature, between public and private space, inside and outside, and even our responsibility towards “Heading Outdoors”, since all these relationships are always subject to change.

The exhibition design was developed in cooperation with the designer Hannes Gumpp.
The show is accompanied by an exhibits booklet in a German, English, and easy-to-read version.
An extensive accompanying program, also outdoors, is planned. In addition, a digital tour of the exhibition will be available beginning
October 29, 2021.

Barrier free

Exhibition tour

Pinakothek der Moderne
October 29, 2021 – January 28, 2024