Design is made for societies. Therefore, it is essential for designers to know how societies, but also the individuals who create society, function. The series “The Bigger Picture” is dedicated to social developments and contexts that are relevant for design thinking and acting. So far, this has been done with film material on the question of poverty as an economic resource in Africa and on the workings of the cartels in Mexico and the USA.

With the half-hour short film “Das offenbare Geheimnis” (The Open Secret) by Eva Könnemann, we go to the inner foreign country of Germany, to the nothingness of the German province, to Emmelsum, to a place where everything seems familiar and yet at the same time quite foreign. The Lower Rhine village of Emmelsum with its 300 inhabitants is, according to its own website, a place with no special features. There are neither sights nor a bus stop, no church, not even public wastebaskets, although there are three street lamps. This motivated the director to make a film about the “nothingness”. But Gustave Flaubert already failed with his project of a “livre sur rien” (a book about nothing). And so Eva Könnemann’s film is not about “nothing”, but about familiar and foreign German mentalities and a lot of creative projects. For the people of Emmelsum certainly set design against their “nothing”.


Das offenbare Geheimnis, Directed by Eva Könnemann
Germany 2015, Short, 29 Min.
Awarded the German Short Film Award 2015 and the Prize of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2015.