The power of Gestaltung
As a designer, my entire existence is designed to give the world a form. The core question we always ask ourselves, whatever we do is: What can designers do to make a difference? For example I can use Gestaltung to draw attention to topics that hurt: Like our insufficient use of renewable energy, as a society.
With the shared idea of creating innovation spaces and sustainable change we have been working for three years now with Green City, one of the largest environmental organizations in Munich. “Energy is available through wind, sun and water enough to supply Germany and the world. We have no energy problem. We just have to learn to transform it.” says Jens Mühlhaus, CEO of Green City.
And still: so far it only happened once in the history of mankind, namely on the 1st of January 2018, that all the energy consumption in Germany was covered a 100 % by eco-power – on New Year’s Day, thanks to the low demand for electricity on public holidays. This is a problem we wanted to draw attention to.
Sacrifice the color! How we make people wonder
When we thought about how we could set a sign for green energy, we asked ourselves: what would be an unusual thing to do for a Gestalter that would make people curious and ask: What’s behind that? Our answer: Sacrifice the color!
For a designer, color is something essential – in the real world as well as a design tool. Since our website is our virtual space where everyone can meet us, it was soon clear to us what we would do: In the future, the Blackspace website will undergo a color asceticism. Only when the electricity demand of Germany is covered 100 % by renewable energies, our website will switch to color and you can see what our own work would actually look like.
How does it work? With a direct connection to Green City and its real consumption data
On 11th November 2018 we will undergo a first test run for the “case of emergency”, i.e. the site will switch from black and white to color every 11 seconds throughout the day. Technically, this will be possible thanks to the real time data provided by Green City – a company that emerged from Munich’s largest environmental organization and today plans renewable energy plants in the fields of wind energy, hydropower and photovoltaics.
A black and white reminder of the truth – when can we hope for color again?
It is expected that the next time Germany supplies itself only by eco-power will be the 01. January 2019 – New Year’s Day again. If this happens, we will show color. But as soon as the share of conventional energy predominates again, our website will wear black and white to remind us that we are not there yet.