smow blog compact: Staged Design Award @ Room + Style, Dresden

Since 2014 the Room + Style “lifestyle” fair in Dresden has been extended, if not enhanced, through the presentation of the Staged Design Award exhibition. Organised by the Dresden based creative agency Paulsberg, Staged is open to young designers from Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic and seeks to not only reward outstanding creativity but also explain contemporary design and creativity to a wider public and thus attempt to increase an understanding and acceptance of what contemporary design is and contemporary designers aim to achieve. Whereas admission to the competition is decided by an international jury, the winners are selected by the exhibition public. Staged 2015 was won by Margaret Zollinger for her BI-Delta climatic regulation system, 2nd and 3rd places going respectively to Fynn Freyschmidt for his Pneumatic Knit inflatable bike helmet and Michal Jakubec for the Variable table and hanging system. Who the 2016 public choose from the 40 entries will be announced on the afternoon of Sunday January 10th. We don’t want to influence anyones opinions, but here four projects which particularly excited us.

Choice by Marcel Krummenacher

We remember, vividly, first seeing the project Choice by Burg Giebichenstein Halle student Marcel Krummenacher. It was a long, hot day in April 2015. Milan. After touring show after show throughout the city we arrived at Ventura Lambrate worn out, fatigued and genuinely questioning the value of our own existence. That HFG Offenbach were being especially generous with their beer wasn’t helping our general condition. Nor was the fact that some well meaning fool had parked a Dutch frietjes wagon in the middle of the exhibition hall. Physical exhaustion, mental exhaustion, Milan, the promise of deep fried potato goodness and alcohol never were, never will be and never should be the best conditions for viewing student design projects. However through out befuddled smog we were suddenly revived by Choice. A 3D printed ceramic attachment for a vase Choice means you no longer need worry how many, what type or what sort of flowers you can use with your favourite vase. With the correct attachment everything will fit. Choice looks good, functions effortlessly, is very simple and endlessly adaptable. Just excellent. As were the frietjes we bought for the way home. Not least because we were amongst the last customers and got two bags for the price of one. Result!

Choice by Marcel Krummenacher Staged Design Award 2016 Dresden

Choice by Marcel Krummenacher, as seen at the Staged Design Award exhibition 2016

Hey by Veronika Pechmanová

Yes. Another steel tube chair has got us very excited. Yes another steel tube chair that in its delicious simplicity revives faith in a genre many assumed had reached its zenith in 1936. This bent steel tube chair however comes from the Czech Republic. Not Belgium. Quite aside from the very accessible and welcoming impression Hey presents, we were very taken with the simple, uncomplicated and completely obvious solution by which the cushions are attached to the frame, and the little bump in the skid base. In addition, thanks to the simple, uncomplicated and completely obvious solution by which the cushions are attached to the frame Hey can be transformed at a moments notice into a makeshift single bed. Honestly, what’s not to like!!

Hey by Veronika Pechmanová Staged Design Award 2016 Dresden

Hey by Veronika Pechmanová, as seen at the Staged Design Award exhibition 2016

Lenoska by Andrea Kroupová

If we’re completely honest we don’t think Lenoska by Andrea Kroupová is finished as a design. For us it still looks far too much like student project; however the concept is very good and the realisation well conceived and well executed. We know several similar projects which allow for reconfigurable seating/table/storage systems, however within Lenoska Andrea Kroupová has developed, or is the process of  developing, a few details, touches and features which convince us it has more potential than most other systems. Just as we say needs a little bit more work, consideration and for all formal and material refinement.

Lenoska by Andrea Kroupová Staged Design Award 2016 Dresden

Lenoska by Andrea Kroupová, as seen at the Staged Design Award exhibition 2016

Flaxnet by Theresa Augustin & Kathrin Schadow

Sometimes concepts are so simple we could cry. Sometimes we do. On seeing Flaxnet we didn’t. Which shouldn’t be taken as a reflection on the project but much more our current emotional state. As the name implies, Flaxnet is little more spectacular than a net crafted from flax, specifically a net shopping bag of a type to be found in every high street. However, on account of its material composition and well considered construction principle Flaxnet can also be used as bowl: thus allowing for a self-contained system by which you can buy, transport and store fruit and veg. And because Flaxnet works as a bag or a bowl it can also be used to store your fruit and veg in a hanging basket styleee, thus allowing greater airflow and prolonged storage life. In addition as a material flax is more sustainable and harder wearing than cotton and thus Flaxnet is not just practical and functional but socially responsible. Sometimes we really, really could cry.

Flaxnet by Theresa Augustin & Kathrin Schadow Staged Design Award 2016 Dresden

Flaxnet by Theresa Augustin & Kathrin Schadow, as see at the  Staged Design Award exhibition 2016

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