DMY launches Berlin’s Brand New Design Week

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On Wednesday, DMY will launch Berlin’s Design Week for the first time ever.DMY International Design Festival will present over 500 designers from 30 nations in the spacious aircraft hangers at the former Tempelhof Airport. A selection of high quality design, materials and research from some of the leading universities and studios from all over the world will meet with the prosperous Berlin scene. The festival coincides with the Nachtshift – Long Night of the Design Studios (presented by Create Berlin) on June 6, where more than 40 designers /design studios will be opening their doors to the public. DMY will also be hosting the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany and will present all the works submitted during the 11th DMY Festival.

This years country focus will be on Poland and in cooperation with the Polish Institute Berlin: presentations, installations and shapely design of more than 40 design studios, companies and design schools will provide a comprehensive overview of the current design production of one of Germany’s largest neighbours. There will be strong presence from both universities and professional designers, showcasing areas such as interior and product design as well as research and thematic exhibitions.

So if you can hop over to Berlin for a few days, or if you’re already there – be sure to enjoy all the exciting events and exhibitions it has to offer.

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Smooth, Reused and Recycled: Marc Sparfel’s Delicate Animal Sculptures

Warrior 1

At first glance Marc Sparfel’s elegant sculptures may not initially look like they fit our recycled theme, however these beautifully crafted animals have been shaped by discarded materials.

Victory of Samothrace

French born Sparfel spent his childhood in the countryside in Brittany, surrounded by nature and animals. He was particularly fascinated by horses and cows, a theme that is evident in his work.

Petite Antilope

After moving to Barcelona in 1999 he was immediately intrigued by the amount of furniture abandoned in the street and decided to do something with it.

Petit Lion

Gradually he began to incorporate these materials in his sculptures, first in a long series of masks, inspired by tribal African artwork, and later he also used these in animals of all types and sizes applying his own unique style.

Homme Femme

He describes how he began accumulating more and more discarded objects “Initially, I found the furnishings by chance during my walks, but later realized that in every neighborhood there is a set day to leave large items in the street. So I started walking around the old town according to the “furniture days” of each neighborhood to recover the material bit by bit. Over time, the neighbors began to leave me chairs in front of my workshop …”

Grand Cheval

He uses the deconstruction of the found furniture to trigger an idea and to gain inspiration “The first step is the design of the piece, the second is its construction. I draw my inspiration directly from the forms I find when dismantling the furniture.”

Girafe

Admittedly this process does not always have the desired outcome and being a perfectionist he is sometimes unable to finish a piece “Sometimes I have the beginning of an idea, and can envision the head, horns, and legs, but some piece that should complete the sculpture is missing, which makes the design process longer. I have used some pieces of furniture many years after recovering them in the street.”

Elephant Mask

However when he does finish a sculpture, the result is an exquisite work of art.

Elephant couple

These delicate, smooth and complex sculptures prove that reused materials can take on many forms, whether it is obvious or not.

Bird

Sparfel currently resides in Spain and his work is exhibited in galleries in Spain, France and Germany, and will soon be shown in the United States.

Anubis couple

Around the World in 80 Chairs: Colourful Hemp Chairs, London

Hemp Chairs by © Studio Aisslinger in Soho, London. Courtesy of 19 Greek Street.

Studio Aisslinger is based in Berlin and was founded by the German designer Werner Aisslinger. His works cover the spectrum of experimental, artistic approaches, including industrial design and architecture.

He seeks to use the latest technology in creating his designs and has helped introduce new materials and techniques to the world of product design. The stackable monobloc hemp chairs are made from hemp and kenaf, which are both renewable materials and have been designed for a lightweight eco friendly manufacturing process.

 

Lillys Lightbox Company – Giving Original Beauty a New Lease of Life

Felicia Strehmel

At Design Junction I saw a wide range of brilliant designs and interesting designers,  but found very little recycled furniture on display. Then I came across Felicia Strehmel, who makes lightboxes from restored drawers featuring old photos and archive images.

They struck me immediately because of their warm yellow glow, the light exhumed by these transformed drawers is subtle and atmospheric, creating a cosy setting. The slides also have a depth to them drawing you in as the image appears to swim inside it.

All the images carry a mix of humour and nostalgia, focusing on scenes that are ephemeral and otherwise might be forgotten – such as the displays of the old East German valve radios which used to be stunning centre pieces of people’s homes that are no longer in our conscience.

She also refers to the Grunding 1960s Television ad campaign –  a cheeky reflection on how we all used to watch TV.

Felicia is a passionate photographer and gains a lot of her inspiration from scenes she has captured in her native Germany.

She also uses old archive photos and incorporates these into her different collections.

All the lightboxes are made from lovingly restored cabinet/bureau/chest of drawers from the 1900s through to the 1960s.  Felicia sources the drawers from recycle clearances or from old furniture she finds on the street.

She emphasized that she only uses pieces ready for the reclamation yard and would never dismantle an antique that still had hopes for restoration.

Felicia describes her light-boxes as “truly multi-dimensional – they are a striking artwork, an upcycled eco lamp and they take you on a journey if you let them.”

Around the World in 80 Chairs: Carved Wooden Chairs, Bavaria

Carved Wooden Chairs by a lake in Bad Bayersoien Bavaria.

Around the World in 80 Chairs: Carved Wooden Bench, Bavaria – Germany

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Around the World in 80 Chairs: Stool at its final destination, Berlin

Stool in front of a skip in Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, Germany. Photo courtesy of hypercatalecta.