I’ve just come back from BlogTourCGN, an amazing week of design delights in Cologne and Amsterdam timed to coincide with IMM Cologne, the first international trade fair on the design calendar. Perhaps inevitably, given how much I love new designers, the highlight for me was definitely [D3] Design Talents. 671 students and recent graduates applied for the [D3] contest and just 21 products from 27 designers were selected. Here are the ones that caught my eye…
Berlin-based designer Camilla Richter describes her ”And A And Be And Not” folding screen simply by saying: “light is colour is space is time.” The shapes and colours created by the piece itself and by the shadows and reflections are mesmerising, and constantly changing depending on the light and your viewpoint. It is bold and striking, at the same time as being fragile and etherial.
Dutch designer Rachel Griffin‘s Swell is beautiful, but also really clever. The foam expands to fill the fabric and at the same time acts as a binder between material and frame. And because the foam expands differently every time, each piece is unique.
Julian Sterz‘s diploma thesis examined the relationship between objects and the meaning we attach to them – what is it about a chair that makes it a chair? 3/4-Platzhalter-Stuhl is one chair divided into four, with the missing parts in each of the resulting chairs replaced with a delicate metal frame. Each chair loses its functionality but retains its identity.
One of my favourite designs was the CMYK Lamp, by Dennis Parren. Dennis discovered by accident that he could use LED technology to cast shadows in cyan, magenta and yellow. He calls it “the lamp that colours the world” and it’s quite incredible.
I loved the geometric patterns in Berlin by German designer Daniel Becker, an updated version of the tiles that cover traditional ceramic heating ovens. The three-dimensional form increases the surface area, allowing the oven to give off more heat.
Without doubt the most moving piece at [D3], and in fact at IMM, was Engineering Temporality by Tuomas Markunpoika Tolvanen. Touched by his grandmother’s Alzeimer’s disease, Tuomas covered items of furniture with a network of welded steel rings before setting them on fire so that only the steel rings remained; “memories of things that were once objects of emotional attachment.”
Another favourite was Dear Disaster by Swedish designer Jenny Ekdahl. She was created it in response to recent global disasters and was inspired by infographics. Representing the sea and the sand, the 2,000 wooden scales can be moved back and forth to help people process what they’ve been through; the tiles are incredibly tactile and strangely calming.
I loved these see-saw lamps; Pilu by Leoni Werle. The oak base enables the lamps to switch between two positions. The toadstool shaped lampshade is jointed so that it points downwards in either position. Every detail of the aesthetic right down to the cabling has been carefully considered.
And finally, Per by Tim Mackerodt is a freestanding object; part glass room divider, and part lamp. The bulb is held in a double volume of hand blown glass by a light fixture concealed in a cork – and Tim was even kind enough to pose on the far side of it for me!
Further reading for the especially geeky:
- out and about :: blogtour cologne
- out and about :: coadg bursary at home london
- out and about :: my pop up design shop
- out and about :: columbia road