The Road Back to Basel [Der Weg zurück nach Basel] is an exhibition to be presented by the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography [HMCT] at ArtCenter College of Design. The exhibition honors the legacy of Leah Hoffmitz Milken and the continuing impact of the Kunstgewerbeschule Basel design pedagogy on the foundations of typographic education at ArtCenter, as well as the greater global impact of Swiss design on visual communication.
The exhibition will feature comprehensive examples of the foundation of Swiss graphic design education and include excerpts from The Road to Basel, an influential and rare book on Kunstgewerbeschule Basel by Helmut Schmid, posters and ephemera by notable notable designers Kurt Hauert, Armin Hofmann, and Wolfgang Weingart from the collections of Leah Hoffmitz Milken and ArtCenter faculty member Simon Johnston, who along with Leah Hoffmitz Milken, also studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule Basel. Additionally the exhibition will feature photos and typographic-related work from the ArtCenter Europe campus in La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland.
ArtCenter’s campus in La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland (c.1986-1996) bridged the gap for designers and students in Europe with an already-established reputation for excellence in Pasadena, California, and as a leader in the field of design education. Switzerland was a natural choice for a European campus. Switzerland had a long and noted history for excellence in the International Style that emphasized cleanliness, readability, and objectivity. ArtCenter Europe was able to attract notable designers and students from all over the globe to come teach and to learn. This created an international melting pot pushing the boundaries of design. Many alumni from ArtCenter Europe went on to be leaders in their fields, and continue to influence change.