In 1983 iF took stock: one wanted to acknowledge the new openness in the design community which had been triggered not least by postmodern cultural trends. As a result iF was reconceived as a "forum" but initially kept its traditional name "Die gute Industrieform". With director Hansguenther Dietz, and from 1988 with Brun Ringe and the committed chairman of the Hannover Messe, Sepp D. Heckmann, many new avenues were successfully explored. New types of events such as panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions and lecture series were set up, among them the 1986 symposium "3 x Design" under the patronage of Otto Wolff von Amerongen. New competitions reflected new developments: in 1983, the first iF corporate design award took place which honored outstanding achievements in the area of visual corporate identity design. The "Unternehmensgespraeche" (Industry Talks) contributed to a better understanding between industry and designers.
Relations with the state of Lower Saxony were strengthened and resulted in joint projects such as the traveling exhibition "Erfolg mit Design" (Success through Design). In 1986, CeBIT was held for the first time as an independent trade fair. The IT sector kept growing and iF also profited from this development because the penetration by electronics into everyday life generated numerous new product families that needed to be designed.
Committed friends from the design community, among them Herbert H. Schultes, Alexander Neumeister, Herbert Lindinger, Dieter Rams and many others, supported iF in extending its international relations: the juries became more international and so did the participants in the iF competition. Excellent PR work promoted the project of design, and during the 1980s iF was successful in strengthening awareness of design in companies, particularly in the small and medium-sized sector.
Left hand side pictures (top to bottom)
'Kawana' gift series (Ikebana vases, boxes, bowls), manufacturer: Hutschenreuther Zentralvertrieb, design: Hans Theo Baumann
NCR personal computer: microcomputer system for 87 16-bit applications, manufacturer: NCR, design: in-house
The IC-Experimental in 1985 heralded a new epoch in German design, design: Alexander Neumeister
'Eye-Bee-M', poster for IBM created by Paul Rand, 1981