At DMY Berlin 2014 fifteen students from the Fachhochschule Potsdam are presenting the results of the seminar “formHOLZ”
Run under the supervision of Professor Hermann Weizenegger formHOLZ explored new possibilities with moulded, formed and otherwise shaped wood and the exhibition at DMY Berlin presents a series of prototypes which demonstrate new possibilities with one of the oldest, and most researched, materials/processes in industrial product design.
And ably demonstrates that regardless how exhausted you may have thought the pool of uses for a material was. Further uses can always be found. All it takes is the necessary mindset. And hard work.
The medial highlight will no doubt prove to be Tobias Jänicke’s woven veneer shoes, a genuinely fascinating project; however, further highlights for us were and are Chester, a stitched plywood stool from by Oya-Meryem Yanik and Anastasiya Koshcheeva that plays wonderfully with our perceptions of value and comfort in the context of moulded plywood furniture; Phellem, a cork bicycle saddle by Janis Specks; and Duwen by Lena Ammann, a storage unit that is as much about the door joint as it is about the unit itself.
But for us the real highlight is the exhibition concept, a concept that presents the research and material studies that led to the finished objects.
If we are ever to escape the current situation where everything is design – even the majority of “design” that isn’t – designers need to reclaim the term “design”.
Designers can only do that when (a) they stop associating themselves with projects that are obviously just about generating profit for a global brand and (b) they start explaining what they actually do. Explain what the “design” in “design” is.
Showing the development of a project explains that design isn’t a five minute lark largely concerned with finding a fitting form and appropriate colours, but a process. And hard work.
A few impressions: