This project originally started as an extensive theory work about reusing objects. The thesis deals with topics such as sharing and reselling things, product life cycles, reusability, temporary usage and the balancing act between universal applicability and the individual user. To put the mass of abstract theory into practice, as a second part of the project a modular furniture system was developed.
Simple, industrially produced elements can be configured to a wide range of furniture pieces – for example tables in various formats, seating elements and storage units. Five different steel square-type tube modules are connected with specifially developed connection pieces, holding them in place. To complete, suitable boards are added to create seat, table top or shelf surface.
The single elements of the furniture system are available in different colours and materials. Similar to playing with colourful building blocks, the modularisation becomes the visual theme of the objects, and the temporary character is emphasized. This thereby created unique colour and material combination gives each object its individual character going beyond the purpose of pure functionality.
Responsible product designer in a team with Tobias Kollmann (Creative direction), Marco Schneidewind (concept), Phil Himmelmann (Graphic Design)
Photography: Peter Oppenländer
Cleaning specialist Kärcher adresses its customers with clever cleaning soultions at ist newly opened visitor center in Winnenden, Germany. Heart of the approximately 1,200 sqm multifunctional building complex is the "Field of Competence". Here, exhibition modules become true "Show-Cases": thanks to a sophisticated container system, black boxes can be transformed into bright yellow information and experience stations. In mutual dialogue, through digital media applications and active use, visitors learn how the company achieves its brand promise "Kärcher makes a difference" based on tasks that are typical for the work environment of their respective industries. Ten elaborate hands-on examples pinpoint the intelligent ideas concealed within the products.
The space reacts flexibly to the individual orientation of guided tours targeting diverse visitor groups. Clincher is the maximum spatial flexibility: the exhibition modules can be rolled out of the hall, so that the approximately 800 square meters can be used for events with several hundred participants. Concise floor graphics remain as a footprint. They not only serve for guidance but also as part of the striking scenographic outline, giving visitors an intuitive orientation and connecting all exhibition and meeting rooms - from the foyer to the test parcours in the outdoor area.
100 BESTE PLAKATE
Exhibition design / 2011-2012 / teamwork with Laura Hillebrandt and Marita Schwenkedel
Each year, the well-known selection of the „100 best posters“ presents a wide and colourful range of contemporary poster designs. In 2011, a new exhibition system to display the winning posters needed to be created.
Since the exhibition travels around Germany, Switzerland and Austria, we wanted the system to be a simple and lightweight construction: easy and quick to assemble, space saving for transportation and flexible and adaptable to the six different locations. Pipes, tripod bases and connection bows are simply plugged into one another. White and black components can be combined freely for each set up. This small playful moment livens up the pure and strict constructive logic of the structure.
The two communication designers Lena Haase and Marina Gärtner were responsible for the corporate identity of the competition. Working together, exchanging views and ideas in the different phases of the project added some extra input and experience to us. The interdisciplinary project was awarded in several competitions. In 2014, our exhibition system is used for the third consecutive year.
Wearing a bike helmet can increase safety. However, in everyday urban traffic it's not common for most people, and this might have to do with the image of bike helmets. In fact, most available helmets rather look like technical sports gear, and not like something you would wear for example on your way to work. Creating a helmet that fits in an everyday urban context - in terms of design as well as in terms of functionality - was the aim of the project.
In spite of the super-lightweight sports helmets, this one is composed of two layers, which offer new possibilities for the design: A thin, hard outer shell made from reinforced plastic gives stiffness and spreads impact energy to the surface area. Small ventilation slots in the shell provide a comfortable climate around the head. Inside the shell, stripes of viscoelastic foam are stuck along the slots to absorb the impact energy.
Contribution to the exhibition „No place to hide – Ort Kontrolle Produktion“ in the Employment Agency Stuttgart, curated by Prof. Felix Ensslin / 2013
Flexibility, mobility and personal responsibility are crucial social demands on everyone today. The term of the „work nomad“ testifies to this ambivalent blurring of boundaries. The four one-leg stools MOBILE WORK deal with this discourse in a critical, yet slightly humorous way. They refer both to the past and the future: In preindustrial days, stools like these were used for milking – in the post-industrial future, they could be the perfect work chair for the flexible worker: Once belted on, the worker carries his workplace with him – always ready for new tasks, at any place and any time.
Wheel throwing ceramic based on asian traditions is a challenging craft, demanding concentration and a long time of practice. Getting to know this process and experimenting with it was the main ambition of various projects I realised in the ceramic workshop. One part of the final outcome was a tea set containing cups and a tea pot, with every single component being hand thrown and put together. Beside its classical function, the lid of the teapot can also serve as a small bowl.
Technical support: Jong-Hyun Park
BACK TO PROJECTS
Furniture design for a cane weaving and carpenter's workshop / 2009 / teamwork with Marie Bützer and Johanna Kleinert
Cooperating with the workshop of a social institution in Heidelberg was the main focus of the project. The usual work of the employees in this workshop is to repair the the broken cane seats of ancient wooden chairs. It soon got obvious what was their ambition: Not only repairing old furniture, but also creating a new chair – of course with a traditionally woven seat.
The wooden frame of the chair is made of ash wood, and it is designed with consideration for the limited technical facilities of the workshop. For the seat, experiments with different weaving materials were done. For the final design, used recycled packaging straps were used.
Contribution to a performance with Prof. Felix Ensslin and a group of art students in the Heidelberger Kunstverein / 2012
The 13 stools were assembled in the Heidelberger Kunstverein by the 13 participants of the seminar and the performance. The installed chairs form a closed circle, but like the fact that a perfect circle is only a construction of geometry and mind, the stool circle remains just a symbol for the perfect unity of a group. This illusion only works as long as you sit in the circle alone: as soon as all thirteen people try to come in and sit down, the circle collapses in its single parts.
The theoretical background for the project was developed in group seminars dealing with topics like the relationship between individuals and society, communication and intermediation.
Innovation project in cooperation with FESTOOL / 2009-2010 / teamwork with Tobias Hauff
Amongst carpenters, FESTOOL products are appreciated for their high quality and sophisticated functionality. In search of new innovative product concepts for this company, the project started with an extensive fieldwork. During research in a carpenter's workshop we came across a very basic, yet clever home-made tool, which served as inspiration for VAC PAD.
The VAC PAD is an extension to the classical workbench: A small, basic version of a vacuum table, operated by a simple vacuum cleaner, available in every workshop. It helps to fix small or sensitive parts in a fast and gentle way, for example for surface finishings. Instead of clamping it in a vice jaw, a workpiece is simply placed on the small fields of the VAC PAD surface. Elastic push buttons activate the vacuum in the specific areas, fastening the piece on the surface. This specially developed technical solution minimizes the loss of suctioning energy. The VAC PAD follows the corporate design of the FESTOOL products.