The term “showtime” defines a phenomenon with many sides: Showtime is the time of showing, of orchestrating, that is the moment when something appears on the stage or is elevated out of the darkness of its creative process into the spotlight. However, showtime is also the moment when an idea takes on form, when something starts to solidify which only a short time before was still concealed in the fog of the unattainable. Today, more than ever, trade fairs, showrooms, museums and design stores present themselves as glamorously staged fantasy worlds. Events outside the mainstream have long since ceased to be innovation drivers and now reflect financially-strong interested parties. Design shows, prototype series and design editions are all brilliantly marketed. Eye-catching orchestrations and sensational ‘personal edition shows’ present people hardly any differently to objects. Without these orchestrations, high-end design seems to have a difficult time of it today. Products are staged with show effects and glamorous events, but so are the minds behind them. While showing and presenting things is certainly nothing new, what has changed in recent years are the forms of orchestration and the factors involved. The opportunities have generally become more complex, the media have become more technically versatile and easier to use and manage. As such, the emotional shows given by major companies and spectacular presentations of products and designers are mostly a result of marketing-effective tools which, whether deliberately or not, permanently question the relationship between content and show and between meaning and image.“The Design Annual – inside: showtime” aims to stimulate a discussion of the notions of staging and orchestrating, showcasing and presenting, the generation of emotions and how thoughts are manifested, show effects and profound changes in the field of presentation.