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Home About Designers Wilhelm Wagenfeld
Wilhelm Wagenfeld PDF Print E-mail
* 15 th of April 1900 in Bremen
† 28th of May 1990 in Stuttgart
Wilhelm Wagenfeld is a German product designer and as Bauhaus disciple he is considered amongst the pioneers of the industry design. At age of 14 years, Wilhelm Wagenfeld enters an apprenticeship as a silversmith in the design office of the silverware factory Koch & Bergfeld in his hometown Bremen. A place which he remains attached to throughout his life. At the same time, Wilhelm Wagenfeld attends the Bremen Kunstgewerbeschule between 1916 and 1919.
In the years 1919 to 1922, Wilhelm Wagenfeld is a scholarship student at the Fachschule für Edelmetalle at Hanau Drawing Academy. In 1922-1923, Wilhelm Wagenfeld stays in Bremen and meets Heinrich Vogeler and Bernhard Hoetger becoming very much interested in Expressionism.
From 1923 until 1925, Wilhelm Wagenfeld is enrolled at the Bauhaus in Weimar where his teachers at the metalworking workshop are László Moholy-Nagy and Christian Dell.
In 1926, Wagenfeld doesn’t accompany the Bauhaus to Dessau, but rather becoming an assistant at the metals workshop at the National Bauhochschule Weimar. There, he is the managing director until it closes in 1930.
From 1931 until 1935, Wilhelm Wagenfeld works for the Jena Glassworks Schott & Gen. designing heat-resistant household glass including a glass tea service created in 1931. After that, Wilhelm Wagenfeld works also for the Vereinigte Lausitzer Glaswerke Weißwasser.
Wilhelm Wagenfeld aims his designs at increasing mass production. Wagenfeld also accepts freelance commissions from Hutschenreuther, Fürstenberg, and Rosenthal.

From 1947 until 1949, Wilhelm Wagenfeld is a professor at the University of Fine Arts, the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin; subsequently, teaching at numerous academies and institutes.

In 1949, Wilhelm Wagenfeld moves to Stuttgart where he becomes the artistic director for metal and glass at the Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik (WMF). On the side, Wilhelm Wagenfeld also has consulting contracts with Pott/Solingen, Rosenthal/Selb (porcelain and glass), and Peill & Putzler/Düren (lighting).
In 1954, Wilhelm Wagenfeld founds a practice of his own in Stuttgart, the "Werkstatt Wagenfeld, Versuchs- und Entwicklungswerkstatt für Industriemodelle" (workshop for field testing and development) where he works until 1978.
Wilhelm Wagenfeld is one of the most important and influential of all German industrial designers. Among his most famous designs is the world famous Bauhaus Lamp WG24.