Wednesday, February 13, 2013

UTEN.SILO II wall organizer | Dorothee Maurer-Becker | Design M | Munich, West Germany | 1970

Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO IIDorothee Maurer-Becker
Design M, Munich, West Germany, 1970

This is the second of three posts about the wall organizers designed by Dorothee Maurer-Becker in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  These are the UTEN.SILO I and the UTEN.SILO II (this post), both by Design M in Munich, West Germany, and the Wall-All III, by Format Sales in the United States.  Click for a brief biography of Dorothee Maurer-Becker.

Design M Ingo Maurer logo

Design M Ingo Maurer logo.

Each of the organizers has its own unique variety of containers, holders, hooks, and clips that can be used to efficiently organize a kitchen, workshop, bathroom, office, or other room. The UTEN.SILO, or “Wall-All” as they were often called in the United States, is essentially a junk drawer you hang on your wall.  It is attached to the wall through holes at each of the four corners of the piece.

The UTEN.SILO II (26-3/4” height by 20-1/2” width by 2-1/2” depth) is a smaller version of the earlier UTEN.SILO I, (34-1/4” height by 26-1/2” width by 2-1/2” depth).  The UTENSILO I was featured on the cover of the seminal l'Utopie du tout Plastique 1960-1973.

UTEN.SILO II patent:  United States “Wall rack for holding household articles” design patent, number 238,950

The first page of the United States “Wall rack for holding household articles” design patent, number 238,950, filed June 1, 1971 and granted February 24, 1976.  Click the link or the image above to read the full patent.

Schematic and size comparison between the UTEN.SILO I and UTEN.SILO II

Schematic and size comparison between the UTEN.SILO I and UTEN.SILO II.

Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, reverse side

Reverse side of the UTEN.SILO II.

The first UTEN.SILO units went on the market in December, 1969 and over the following years were an overwhelming success, particularly in Europe and on the US market.  The oil crisis intervened and placed pressures on the plastics industry. Consumers interested in design began to direct their attention to wood and other natural materials.  Production of UTEN.SILO I was halted in 1974. Production of UTEN.SILO II, a smaller version manufactured as of 1970, was discontinued a few years later.

Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, 5 metal hooks

Five metal hooks were then hand-mounted. There is no clip on the UTEN.SILO II. 

UTEN.SILO II imprintUTEN.SILO II imprint

The UTEN.SILO II is signed on the bottom front.  The imprint, all on one line, reads:


Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, reedition box

UTEN.SILO II Vitra reissue box.  Image source:  rockthathorse.com

Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, white Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, red
Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, black Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, chrome

In 2000, the Vitra Design Museum reissued the UTEN.SILO I and UTEN.SILO II in white, red, and black. A limited edition run of 1,000 UTEN.SILO II pieces was made in chrome.

Transparent from the November 27, 2006 auction presented by Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH, lot number 353.  Image source:  Live Auctioneers.

Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, transparent

Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, transparent

Another transparent UTEN.SILO II.  This one shows age consistent with an original edition object.  Image source.


Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, yellow

Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, yellow imprint


Dorothee Maurer-Becker UTEN.SILO II, brown

Image source:  Auction of Modern Art, January 16, 2009 Hargesheimer & Günther Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf, Lot number 366.

Additional views of the UTEN.SILO II in brown.  Image source:  eBay.de.

If you know of the UTEN.SILO II in any other color, please comment below!

Selected Bibliography

Philippe Decelle, Diane Hennebert, Pierre Loze, L’Utopie Du Tout Plastique 1960 - 1973, 1994, p.68.


Vitra. (2004, September 17). Dorothee Becker. Retrieved from http://www.czechdesign.cz/index.php?lang=2&status=c&clanek=543

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