This – the latest addition to the prestigious London Design Museum Fifty series – is (in our opinion) the most authoritative guide to the designs that have shaped the city in which &beyond was born and is published by Conron Octupus for print and for Kindle.
From the entry about the traffic light that sites once more at the heart of Potsdamer Platz:
“Potsdamer Platz looks like a suppurating wound,” wrote journalist and novelist Joseph Roth in 1924 of the major traffic intersection the sits just below Tiergarten. Back then, the square was one of the busiest in Europe and that same year it became the site of the continents’ first set of traffic lights, developed by Siemens and designed by Peter Behrens’ studio Atelierchef, Jean Krämer. But Roth’s words gained new resonance when Potsdamer Platz, once the physical manifestation of the frenetic pace of the city as “Electropolis”, was left decimated by the war, a void through which ran the widest extent of the Berlin Wall’s death strip. The square as trafflic-less grassland was captured by Wim Wender’s in “Wings of Desire” as an old man mournfully walks through the grassland, muttering in despair that he “cannot find the Potsdamer Platz”.