IMM Köln: Richard Lampert Living Outdoor

Following on from last years “Kids Only” collection, Richard Lampert was/were back at Cologne 2012 with a collection of new outdoor furniture

And just as “Kids Only” clearly wasn’t. So too can “Living Outdoor” clearly also be used for “Living Indoor”

Which is important if you live north of Alicante and can’t guarantee your summer will be in any way summary.

Featuring four new products from three of the company’s roster of young design talents, the new collection can be seen as an extension of Lampert’s existing garden and balcony furniture range that includes, for example, the table & bench set Ludwig, the side table Flip or the outdoor version of Herbert Hirche’s monumental Lounge Chair.

Following on from last years Pit Stop beanbag for the “Kids Only” collection, Eindhoven Design Academy graduate Bertjan Pot has developed the chair Tie-Break, a chair made from tennis netting.

An admittedly unconventional material but one chosen specifically because it is weather resistant and so allows the chair to be left outside in all weathers.

Now you know us, we don’t dig furniture made from “everyday items” Tie-break however uses tennis netting material as its base rather than simply re-interpreting how one can use a tennis net.

It’s an important difference. And a wonderful example of how designers have to think when choosing materials for projects. Its not all “Form follows function”.

Cologne native and long-time member of the Richard Lampert team, Eric Degenhardt has created a new folding table, Hook. A delightful balcony table that folds to a sort of flat frying pan form that can be hung up on simple screw.

A further long-term Lampert collaborator Alexander Seifried has created two products for the “Living Outdoor” collection. A sun lounger/day bed by the name Dish’s Island and – and for us the highlight of the collection –  the folding chair MASH. When we first saw MASH we initially thought of a tennis line judge’s chair from back in the day. So way back in the day when tennis racquets were still strung with pig gut.

But the real story behind the chair was revealed in our conversation with Richard Lampert…..

(smow)blog: Garden Furniture. We’re assuming that means things are going so well you are planning kicking back and spending the coming summer lounging in your garden…..

Richard Lampert: Exactly! And as every year I expect that we will very soon be enjoying spring sunshine!

(smow)blog: Optimistic. But we’ll give you that! For the”Living Outdoor” collection you’ve recruited some familiar faces…

Richard Lampert: Yes. We have Alexander Seifried who has developed two pieces, a sun lounger and then a folding chair that is a re-make of an old army folding chair that we found amongst some junk and have re-worked and updated. And we’ve called it MASH after the film and TV series.

(smow) blog: So you were cleaning out the cellar, found it and thought….?

Richard Lampert: …fantastic piece, wonderful chair we’ve got to do something with that!

In addition from Bertjam Pot we have a chair crafted out of tennis netting combined with safety belt material from the automotive industry. And we’re still working with a young Swiss architect on a new table with matching chairs. It wasn’t possible to get that ready in time for Cologne so we’ll introduce that in Milan.

(smow)blog: And how strict was the brief this year. Did you say, for example, to Bertjan Pot that you wanted a chair….

Richard Lampert: No this time it was all very free, we said we wanted “garden furniture” and obviously that doesn’t offer so many possibilities as “kids furniture”. I can make a table, a bench, a sunshade, chair, lounger…. then there is not that much more.

(smow)blog: For the second year in succession your launching your new collection here in Cologne rather than in Milan as most other producers choose to. Why?

Richard Lampert:  Here I have 100 sqm in Milan I only get 50. In Milan I can’t show so much and don’t have the space to create such a presentation as we have here. And then there is the simple fact that Germany is my most important market, and where we make the majority of our turnover and so for me it makes sense to launch our new collection here in Cologne.

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