Passagen Cologne 2014: Young Perspectives at Boffi Köln

During the 2014 Passagen design festival the Cologne flagship store of Italian kitchen and bathroom manufacturer Boffi presented an exhibition of objects by six young(ish) designers.

And no we’re not being deliberately provocative or derogative with our (ish). We know a couple of the designers involved. And know that they would admit they’re not the youngest cats in the park any more.

Presented under the title “Young Perspectives” and curated by the Cologne based “Design Services Agency” Beyer Roth Weis, the exhibition showcased objects that augmented, extended and generally complimented the Boffi collection.

And while we fully accept and understand that Young Perspectives wasn’t a beauty pageant, we were especially taken with Breadpit by Florian Hauswirth and the clothes stand Blanche by Frankfurt based Meike Langer.

Constructed from wood and linen, and looking a little bit like E.T. wrapped up in a blanket, Breadpit is a bread bin conceived with the aim of ensuring an optimal environment for bread storage. The linen hood is held in place by wooden cage and can either be peeled slowly backwards to allow slicing or the complete cover can be removed to allow the bread to be sliced and/or for serving the bread in context of, for example, a buffet. And despite having something of an unmistakable medieval look about – we can well imagine such an object gracing the table of some nobleman’s house – Breadpit is very much a contemporary object.

Although displayed in a Boffi bathroom, Blanche by Meike Langer was conceived for use where required, be that bedroom, hall, spare room or indeed bathroom. Boffi or otherwise. Comprising a wooden and a copper element Blanche not only presents two materials, but two functionalities: whereas the wooden element can used for “conventionally” hanging things on/over/from the thinner, more elegant, copper element can additionally be “dressed” with, for examples, jackets, blouses, shirts etc…

Elsewhere Florian Schmid presented his Shades bath towels, Sarah Böttger her Woodware storage boxes, Stephanie Jasny the bar wagon “Servant” and Mark Braun the Podium collection – a quartet of wood and stone objects who leave the decision as to their functionality up to the end user.

Quite aside from the objects a real highlight of Young Perspectives for us was that it beautifully illustrated that flagship stores don’t have to just put on exhibitions of their own products during a design week. They can invite external projects to share their space and so present their customers with fresh, new, ideas and inspiration.

We hope more manufacturers follow Boffi’s example.

A few impressions:

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