Tag: Fritz Kahn


ReAppreciating Fritz Kahn

fritzKahnCoverCongratulations to our friends and colleagues Thilo von Debschitz and Uta von Debschitz for the successful redesign and republishing of the new expanded 390 page volume on Fritz Kahn. Bigger and better than the previous 2011 version this large format 2013 monograph will become an inspiring historical volume for many interested in the early days of what might be called metaphorical or analogous information design.

Inside are wonderful early versions of several forms of information design (now often being redepicted as “info-graphics”) including data visualizations and idea or concept visualizations. You don’t have to agree with every idea to appreciate the richness of this amazing work.Continue Reading..


SenseMaker Dialogs 3: YES WE KAHN!

The larger than expected turnout for Thilo von Debschitz’s presentation on Fritz Kahn at SenseMaker Dialogs last night had us scrambling to find more chairs! Thilo gave an amazing presentation describing how a series of coincidences and accidental discoveries sent him on a journey around the world in search of Fritz Kahn’s nearly lost legacy. Thilo’s presentation was enlightening, humorous and heartfelt.

Fritz Kahn (1888-1968) was a doctor and popular science writer who illustrated the form and function of the human body with spectacular, modern industrial analogies. As Thilo said, Fritz Kahn was not interested in picturing reality; instead, he sought to show the principles that guided it, the story behind the operations. Fritz Kahn’s influence has rippled through history to the present in animation, art, film and design. Thilo’s book, Fritz Kahn: Man Machine, is the first book about Fritz Kahn published worldwide.

Fritz Kahn’s flourishing career as a doctor, popular science writer, and artist came to an abrupt halt when the Nazis rose to power. Because of the oppressive censorship during the Third Reich, most of the works created by Fritz Kahn, a Jewish intellectual, were banned, publicly burned, and destroyed. He later had studios in New York and Copenhagen. Thilo and his sister scoured the globe in search of what little remains of Kahn’s original drawings and publications, some of which we are honored to house in the Humantific Collection.

Professor Jonathon Rosen from School of Visual Arts brought his entire class of Anatomy students and was awarded a Fritz Kahn poster! Others attending were lucky enough to win the book and posters in the SenseMaker Dialogs Trivia game!

Special thanks to Fritz Kahn’s grandson Dror Kahn and granddaughter Saskia Kahn for coming to last night’s event.

We hope everyone enjoys the YES WE KAHN buttons courtesy of Thilo!

To see more photos from the event, visit SenseMaker Dialogs on Facebook and Flickr.
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