Design in the GDR

Taschen’s East German Handbook provides a fascinating overview of life in the former East Germany via the design of everyday objects, brands, artworks and artefacts

Ostalgie – a German term referring to nostalgia for aspects of life in the former East Germany.

One of the more peculiar phenomena resulting from the fall of the Iron Curtain has been a rise in affection for life in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. This nostalgia – aspects of which can be found in most Eastern European countries – is most often expressed via aspects of visual culture. Packaging, magazines, posters and record sleeves encapsulate a complex set of emotions that mix some sense of regret at failed experiments in utopia with the more superficial appeal of kitsch.