A stool like a fibrous primeval mushroom, magnetically grown; a lamp made of folded concrete; furniture made of recycled plastic used like solid wood: materials that have undergone unusual processing and been put together or moulded in innovative ways. Visitors to the [D³] Contest exhibition will look for conventional furniture in vain.
What they will see instead are new interpretations of familiar object typologies and experiments with new furniture concepts: industrial warehouse shelves in the most delicate of veneer thicknesses and drawers that only reveal their precious interior by means of a chain-operated opening mechanism. There is nothing incidental about any of the furniture, accessories, lamps or furnishing elements – everything has been thought through down to the last detail and deliberately discourages superficial contemplation.
The designers who will be presenting their work at the [D³] Contest are not yet established and are seeking new perspectives and solutions unfettered by the dictates of the market. The imm cologne provides them with a unique presentation forum and gives visitors the opportunity to take some surprising ideas home with them – along with a concise picture of the creative potential inherent in the next generation of designers. The following examples offer a foretaste of what the contest has in store.
Concrete FALT.lamp: rolled, not cast
Home accessories made of concrete aren’t just unusual, they’re unusually heavy too. Not so in the case of the FALT.lamp by Tim Mackerodt: in a process developed in collaboration with Kassel-based company G.tecz, fibre-reinforced concrete is rolled out and manually folded onto flexible moulds. This made it possible to produce a lampshade that is just 2.7 millimetres thick and weighs less than 1,400 grams. Together with a stool with four wooden legs held together by a 5-millimetre-thick concrete seat, the lamp is part of the FALT.series – a collection with a building-site design featuring shapes and surfaces that could not have been achieved in conventional cast concrete. Tim Mackerodt, born in 1984, is currently studying Product Design at Kassel School of Art and Design.
Recycling Plastic Range: furniture made of solid plastic
The furniture looks as if it’s made of rustic solid wood but is actually produced from recycled plastic: Julien Renault, born in 1985, studied Product Design in Lausanne and Reims. At a Belgian company, he discovered the merits of boards and blocks made by melting plastic granules and spraying them into moulds. The weatherproof planks with a standard length of 3.6 metres are normally used for terraces, urban furniture and outdoor furniture and can be processed just like solid wood boards. Julien Renault wanted to expand the range with furniture that can be used both indoors and out. His robust outdoor collection consists of a table, bench and chairs, all of them very low. The archaic-looking design is meant to bring the user closer to the ground and thus also closer to nature: the solid plastic furniture can be melted down and reprocessed ad infinitum.
Kelkheim: sophisticated techniques for a banal shelf
At first glance it looks like an industrial shelf for a repair shop or basement workshop. But on closer inspection, you notice the fine workmanship and quality materials that Patrick König and Philipp Kliem, both of them graduates in product design from Offenbach University of Art and Design, have transferred to this “unsophisticated” furniture type to create a system of modern domestic furniture. The veneers of the individual shelves and side bars are bent in small radii. Besides giving the Kelkheim shelf its modern look, the veneers thus also reduce the amount of materials used and ensure greater stability and weight-bearing capacity. The perforated sides permit a wide variety of configurations. The shelving unit is named after Kelkheim in the Taunus region just outside Frankfurt – a town also known as “Furniture City”.
Gousset: a chest of drawers like a wooden waistcoat pocket
According to Raphaëlle Bonamy, her chest of drawers is a cross between a consumer good and a sculpture: a ready-made piece consisting of six drawers that are mounted one on top of the other and can only be opened and closed using a chain block mechanism. A daily routine is thus turned into a conscious act by transforming the pine drawers into a precious safe and the fittings – in this case chrome-plated bicycle chains – into gleaming jewellery. With her work, Raphaëlle Bonamy, a graduate of the University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL), wants to bring out the uniqueness of a piece of furniture and question traditional perceptions of everyday objects by altering their aesthetics. And when you come to think of it: why else would you want to touch a – normally dirty – bicycle chain?
Gravity Stool: shaped by nature
It’s not the designer but gravity that determines the final shape of the stool developed by Dutchman Jolan van der Weil. He merely sets the parameters for the magnetic field in which plastic particles with metal cores arrange themselves into an object that you can actually sit on. Van der Weil, who has just graduated from Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietveld Academy, constructed the machine consisting of wooden frames and magnets and chose a soft, very malleable plastic for the manufacturing process he developed. The final shape assumed by the special plastic is random, organic and bizarre. The design makes the invisible visible by materialising the magnetic fields into a product.
05. December 2011
Categories: [d3] design talents
Tags: design, FALT.lamp, Gousset, Gravity Stool, imm cologne 2012, Julien Renault, new concepts, Patrick König, Philipp Kliem, Raphaëlle Bonamy, Tim Mackerodt, young designers, [d3] design talents, [d³] contest