Test your design IQ

() - June 25, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Who is the German product designer who has designed iconic products and furniture for brands like Authentics, Flos, Krups, and Magis, including the 360 Chair and Stool, which are part of the selection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York?

He was born in Munich in 1965, and studied carpentry and cabinet making at Parnham College in Dorset before enrolling in the master’s course in furniture design at the Royal College of Art in London.

After graduating in 1990, he worked for a year at Jasper Morrison’s studio before returning to Munich to open his own practice. With a unique style that combines formal rigour with subtle humor, he has designed products and furniture for companies including Authentics, Cappellini, Flos, Ittala, Larry, Magis, Moroso, and Muji, as well as Krups.

For the first 10 years of his career, he worked within a rationalist design language, but has since experimented with computer design software to create more fluid forms.

For the one series of furniture designed in 2003, he decided to create a deliberately strange form in die-cut aluminum, a new material for him and the manufacturer Magis.

He constructed Chair One “like a football — a collection of small, flat planes assembled at angles to create a three-dimensional form.”

When he was asked by Group SEB to design a new range of appliances for its Krups brand, he concluded that rather than adopting a radical approach to the design of practical everyday products like a coffee machine and sandwich maker, he should concentrate on refining and redefining them.

“We approach a product like a piece of architecture,” he observes, “where volume and shape are strongly determined by the arrangement of the inner technical components like ergonomics and specific features.”

In 1995, he produced a series of metal stands and tables for SCP, and in 1996 began a collaboration with Authentics, the German home products manufacturer for which he designed a series of plastic products.

In 1998, he completed the design of the iconic Mayday lamp for Flos, for whom he also developed the Hertz halogen light in 2000. He also designed a series of porcelain objects for Nymphenburg and Gallware for Ittala in 1999; designed the One series of furniture for Magis in 2003; and unveiled the first of his kitchen appliances for Durps as the start of a long-term project for the brand.

Each of his products is characterized by his careful research into the history of design and architecture and his passion for technology and materials. Known for pared-down pieces, he is often called a minimalist, but he himself prefers to speak of simplicity.

Many of his products have achieved international design awards — his Mayday Lamp won the Compasso d’Oro in 2001, while his Table B for BD Barcelona has been awarded a Silver Delta Award by ADI FAD, the most prestigious Spanish design association.

He has been awarded as an honorary designer for Industry by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce in 2008, and was named as the Furniture Designer of the Year in 2010 by the prestigious Wallpaper magazine. In February of the same year, his 360 Chair and 360 Stool were selected into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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Text your answer to 0917-9498721 with your name and address. One winner will be chosen through a raffle of texts with the correct answer. The winner will receive P2,000 worth of SM gift certificates for use at Our Home, SM Department Store, or SM Supermarket. They can claim their prize at Our Home in SM Megamall. Call the store manager at 634-1950, 634-1943. Bring photocopies of two valid IDs and a clipping of the Design Quiz issue in which you appear as winner.

Last week’s question: Who is the French chef widely considered to be the greatest living seafood chef?

Answer: Eric Ripert

Winner: Krisinda Dim of Quezon City

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