On the evening of Thursday July 10th the annual Bauhaus University Weimar “Summaery” student showcase exhibition opened for its 2014 edition.
In terms of product design, and without meaning to be disingenuous, it wasn’t the strongest Summaery we’ve ever been to. There were however a few projects that allowed us to leave without the feeling of having completely wasted our train fares. And so, and in no particular order…..
WOob by Lisa Kästner (Realised in context of the class: MACHEN? – Anschluss 2014)
With its red MDF and small rubber tyre WOob looks like a product that belongs in the collection of an infamous Aschau im Chiemgau based contemporary furniture producer. But that’s not why we like it. There are currently numerous objects on the market that can be used as make-shift, ad-hoc desks. Generally however they are wall mounted. WOob is a trunk. And that creates numerous advantages. On the one hand you can more easily integrate a greater array of features. Speakers for example. Also it makes it not just an object for compact and bijou domestic spaces. Many companies, especially start ups have colleagues who aren’t in the office on a regular bases, yet who need a desk when they are there. Keeping a desk free for such colleagues is in most instances a luxury; WOob gives you an object you can use as a piece of normal office furniture on those days when no desk is required. And finally, older readers will remember the project Bedcrate by Jack Brandsma from the Gronicles #4 showcase at Passagen Cologne 2014. Jack Brandsma and Lisa Kästner should really, urgently, get in touch. No honestly! Get in touch!
Stance by Zhaowei Jia (about:form – porcelain/function/meaning)
The seminaer “about:form – porcelain/function/meaning” proved to be a very happy hunting ground for us, producing as it did projects such as Stance by Zhaowei Jia. Quite aside from the undeniable aesthetic charm of the piece, there is something deliciously mischievous, if not dadaistic, about a porcelain knife. Just a genuine joy.
Gesten der Esskultur by Irene Nitz (Master of Fine Arts Final Project)
Projects involving less than perfect porcelain objects have been very popular for a few years now. The concept invariably being the same; challenging ideas of standardised perfection in a post industrial society. Irene Nitz approaches the subject from a different perspective. A large part of the resource usage in pottery is concerned with heating and firing the kilns. What if you fired objects stacked within one another? Such is possible, but, according to Irene, is generally rejected because of the irregularities in form that arise. But who cares? Resources are finite, if you can fire more pottery for a set amount of resources is that not good? Do we even need to ask that question? We do hope not. In addition to experimenting with various firing strategies Gesten der Esskultur also looked at reusing the so-called kiln furniture, those objects inside the kiln that support the porcelain, ensure order during the firing process and which are currently disposed of after firing.
Akustik in biomorphen Formen by Felicia Schneeweis (about:form – porcelain/function/meaning)
Over the years we’ve seen various porcelain speaker projects, but never one that really got us rocking. Felicia Schneeweis’ Rabbit Ears didn’t quite have us pogoing round the atelier, but we were feeling it. We suspect what’s holding us back is that it is obviously only a product for very tidy people. After two weeks in the (smow) blog flat the things would be so full of dust we might as well be listening to the neighbour’s stereo. But if you keep an orderly ship……………….
Torus by Nils Brack (Independent Project)
Ask any novelist for a tip on how to write a bestseller and they’ll invariably tell you to write about what you know. Ideas flow more easily from familiar situations. Similarly a lot of student projects involve solutions for problems that affect students and their friends, rather than say, real world problems. Which isn’t to say that students can’t produce excellent work. As Torus eloquently demonstrates. Essentially Torus is a system for transforming a bed into a practical space when it is not being used for sleeping in. Perfect for those who live in confined spaces where room for furniture is at a premium. Like students. If we’re honest, in the matter of hours since we saw Torus we’ve already mentally developed it further. A lot further. And not just in context of student flats. We hope Nils Brack gets the chance, or better put, takes the chance, to do the same.
Handwerk Plus by Evelyn Reuß (Bachelor of Fine Arts Final Project)
As a general rule we don’t like knitted furniture and home accessories. Really don’t. Knitting is for jumpers. Projects such as llot llov’s Lucille macramé flower pot holder and Andrea Brena’s arm knitted objects being obvious exceptions. But what attracts us to Handwerk Plus from Evelyn Reuß is less the oh so homely knitted optic and more the fact that having experimented with forms Evelyn started experimenting with materials. Consequently what looks and feels like nothing more advanced than rope, is in fact rope with a iron wire core. The seats have no internal support, no skeleton structure providing stability: are constructed solely from iron wire filled rope. And that we do like. A lot. And we know that there an awful lot of people who do like a knitted optic……. And that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Handwerk Plus in the coming months. Presumably under a new name.
Summaery 2014 can be viewed at the Bauhaus University Weimar until Sunday July 13th 2014. In addition to product design the showcase presents works from across the university’s departments including architecture and art.
Full details can be found at www.uni-weimar.de/summaery