Design Studio WS 04/05



The design program focuses on the prototypical development of furniture. On the one hand, the essential starting point of the considerations should be the use of the wide range of raw materials and semi-finished products in the domestic building material markets, but on the other hand, objects and items can also be “recycled”. The “low-budget claim” thus inevitably places itself at the center of the specific field of vision. Nevertheless, methodical approaches, such as alienation and misappropriation, are also to be included in the design. The materials used are in any case not to be understood as placeholders, but to be integrated into a design-oriented approach. In any case, this should not end in the tinkering stage, but lead to a constructive development. Furniture design can basically be regarded as an intrinsic architectural task, whereby the reference to reality has a special significance: By means of real materials, real object designs are constructed to be subsequently tested by functional human bodies. Such work on the true-size model leads to a control of the inherent possibilities and limitations of the material. In the practical handling of the material, relevant decisions are made and in this way an examination of questions concerning the development of form is encouraged. The substantial interaction of form, material and color is, after all, a core task of interior design. In any case, mobility should not be lost sight of in the course of design development.


A research of raw materials and semi-finished products and/or suitable (recycled) artifacts represents the starting point of the exercise, which serves as the basis for the concepts to be developed. The design proposals are to be developed in the form of one or more true-size prototypes.


The presented furniture designs show in what diverse ways basic materials that have remained “unnoticed” until now can be used to ultimately develop visually as well as functionally interesting furniture from them. Whether it is a clothes horse, a beer mat, a coat hanger, assembly lines or car tires, time and again furniture objects are created before our eyes that are capable of surprising us and from one moment to the next push the originally assigned function into the background. The coat hanger is thus no longer an instrument of suspension and storage, but becomes a repetitively used component of an object that invites us to sit down. In this way, sponge and rebar become a comfortable and no less elegant piece of seating furniture, and drain cleaners and a beverage crate become an original-looking sitting stool. The basic material used is examined with regard to its static and functional characteristics, and then assigned to its new task or field of application. Materials that are capable of absorbing pressure take on a load-bearing function, while elements that can be subjected to tensile loads are used in precisely this sense. The original meaning, as well as the original function are thereby completely put aside, even more, in some cases even reversed. The material is freed from its meaning in such a way and is henceforth able to be re-evaluated, as well as to be regarded. In the course of this work step, it undergoes a kind of neutralization, as it were. Only on the basis of this can it subsequently assume its new function and role. If this process succeeds, it is no longer a question of structural steel from which a piece of furniture has been made. Rather, the viewer is surprised to discover in a piece of furniture a material known elsewhere…