An exhibition commemorates the inventor of aerodynamics Paul Jaray


It was a frenzy. Albeit legal. Although Hans Stuck would have to be called a car poser according to today’s criteria. In any case, on February 15, 1935, a speed record was set on the A11 autostrada, which connects Florence with the sea: Stuck achieved 320 at the wheel of an Auto Union car from Chemnitz, called “Lucca” and slippery looking like a Batmobile km / h. Not long before it was believed that people would go insane at such speeds. The brains would go crazy like in a microwave.

Anyone who delves into the debate about the speed limit 130 on German autobahns in its decades of madness thinks: Well, exactly like that, brains and ideologies in the microwave, it has come too.

The racing department of the automobile company that became Audi was headed by Ferdinand Porsche until 1937. The “Silver Arrows” as a designation for Grand Prix racing cars from Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union drove trophies and world records. With German ingenuity: faster than greyhounds. The Nazis liked that.

So they sank a Jewish name on the bottom of the archives, without which all this would have been unthinkable. Because he was a pioneer in speed. A man of the future. You remember the legendary Silver Arrows, Porsche, Stuck, Auto Union – but Paul Jaray is forgotten. But he is the father of the desire for speed. Born in Vienna in 1889 as the son of the Jewish businessman Adolf Járay (Jeiteles), he was a gifted aerodynamicist and designer. Godlessly he was a Jew.

Wikiemdie Commons Image: Constructor Paul Jaray with J-Rad // Credit is to be named exactly !!!  Credit: ETH Library Zurich, picture archive / Photographer: Unknown / Hs_1144-0128-014 / CC BY-SA 4.0

The designer Paul Jaray on his chair wheel with pedal drive.

(Photo: ETH Library Zurich, image archive)

The illuminating exhibition “Architecture of Speed ​​- Paul Jaray and the Shape of Necessity” has been on view in Venice since this weekend (Arsenale Institute for Politics of Representation). Wolfgang Scheppe, exhibition organizer and philosopher, apart from the form of the necessary, is concerned with “previously overlooked aspects of the invention of the streamlined shape of automobiles”. The exhibition, which is also a cooperation with the trade journal, is historical in design Arch+ owes, exceedingly remarkable. This is not only due to the modern phenomenon of acceleration and deceleration, but also to Paul Jaray’s biography. That becomes a political issue. Racism, fascism and an economic competition between the German automotive industry for the history of ideas are symbolically involved.

Today’s car models also feed on the futurism and fury of Paul Jaray

Paul Jaray dies penniless and anonymously in St. Gallen in 1974. He is one of the most important creators of the streamlined form, which shaped an entire epoch in architecture, art and design. It is the hundredth anniversary of his patent application from 1921. Jaray, who came from building a zeppelin, made aerodynamics the determining construction element for the first time. Even the current concept vehicles, such as the “Grandsphere” from Audi recently presented at the IAA, low and streamlined, and also silvery, feed on the futurism and furor of Paul Jaray.

As you can read in the exhibition, he was “not only the first to propagate the mathematical optimization of the fluid mechanics of the vehicle body because of its energy efficiency and sustainability, but was already thinking about alternative energy concepts at the end of the twenties in his eyes the expected depletion of fossil fuels was essential “. The question arises as to how such a visionary character, who saw our transformative present a century ago, could get lost in automotive history. It’s a German scandal. And one of the auto industry.

Press photos may only be shown in connection with the exhibition: Paul Jaray and the Shape of Necessity

The “Lucca” model from Auto Union: The racing sedan in full aerodynamic fairing before the record attempt in 1935.

(Photo: anon., 2021 Archive Arsenale Institute, Venice)

Today Jaray can be seen as the key witness of the climate change-fueled mobility transition. Because the history of the automobile is not yet finished, even with all legitimate emphasis on alternative vehicles, from cargo bikes to ecologically electrified maglev trains. An exhibition that pays tribute to Paul Jaray for the first time and tears it away from the history of technology has come at exactly the right time. Also, no, especially for the electrified vehicles of the future, formally justified, but above all creatively sensual, energy efficiency that has a lot to do with pleasure and little to do with renunciation is indispensable. It cannot be assumed that the XL SUVs, which ignore the aerodynamics as a dinosaur of the petroleum age, could still play a role in the future. Nobody should cry after the bloated misery of automotive obesity. The BMW monster kidneys, rest in peace. But please: rest.

Wolfgang Scheppe: “Today you can only see in the type of private vehicle the damage it causes to the whole of the world community. Especially in its representative forms, it is viewed today as reactionary recklessness towards the environment.” Of course, for a future that will also (!) Be an automotive future, it will not be about the continuation of that foolish being, the insides of which Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, once summed up in a fascinatingly honest way for the digital age: “Faster! Faster! Faster! Faster!” But, now back on the road and not in the fiber optic cable, it will be a matter of making optimal use of the energy expended at any speed.

The year 2021 is the right time to rediscover Paul Jaray as the creator of the streamline, since steadfast acceleration as the main motive of modernity is also due to the booming weird industry of decelerating. At the time, it failed not because of physics, but above all because of National Socialism, which knew exactly what it had in the Silver Arrows as icons of modernity in terms of propaganda. Scheppe: “Since the totalitarian dictatorship in Germany at the time seemed unbearable to attribute these programmatically futuristic bodies, which were supposed to be associated with the creation of nationalist myths, to a Jew, they were removed in the course of the Aryanization of research his name from the public consciousness. “His patents became common property. Paul Jaray was robbed, denied – and forgotten.

The streamline became a reality as “streamline modernity” of Art Deco, of all places, where it is absolutely pointless and enormously ridiculous. Irons, strollers, lamps, radios: all kinds of consumer goods were selling brilliantly in the “teardrop style” of the dynamic, lusty thirties. But why should a radio be as fast as a shark? Now is the time to rediscover the man of tears. What the auto industry needs more than ever is futurism – and beauty.

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