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Pure Talents Contest Nominee David Ciernicki:
“The best moment is when an idea takes shape.”

Photo: David Ciernicki
Photo: David Ciernicki

An interest in photography and fashion led David Ciernicki, born in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1987, to Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). This is where he discovered his profession – product design. He believes that, in a world that produces too much waste, ceaselessly striving to emulate trends is the wrong approach. When developing a product, the focus should be not only on its “beauty”, but also on solving problems. Thanks to a clever connection system, the modular system “Major Tom”, Ciernicki’s entry in imm cologne’s Pure Talents Contest, is designed to allow furniture to be assembled, dismantled or modified quickly.

Why did you become a designer?
Basically, it was always clear to me that I wanted to do creative work. I always felt an urge to create things. Photography and fashion led me to study at the UdK in Berlin and, once I was there, I quickly realised that I would like to do product design. I never really had any doubts about it.

What was the most unusual place where you ever had a brilliant idea for a new design?
I can’t recall any particularly unusual places. However, I find that the solution to a problem very often occurs to me in the middle of a conversation, just when we’ve turned to a completely different topic.

Do you still need a pencil as a designer today?
As long as a designer finds another way to visualise and formulate his ideas, a pencil is not absolutely necessary. To be quite honest, I’m not even great at drawing. During my degree, I got into the habit of going into the workshop at a very early stage and developing explorative models. CAD programs became part of my design process relatively late on, even though they are now essential.

Do you have a role model?
I don’t have a role model, but there are certainly people who inspire and excite me.

Does design make you happy?
Creating things makes me happy. Not because design is so great, but because I’ve been lucky enough to be able to call my passion “work”. At the same time, design is also very hard work and very demanding. A working day can consist of phases of the utmost joy and the deepest despondency – and then afterwards be described as perfectly normal. Design itself cannot make you happy, but you can find it delightful and enjoyable.

Thanks to a clever connection system, the modular system Major Tom allows furniture to be assembled, dismantled or modified quickly. Photo: David Ciernicki
Thanks to a clever connection system, the modular system Major Tom allows furniture to be assembled, dismantled or modified quickly. Photo: David Ciernicki

What do you find unsatisfactory in design work?
The best moment is when an idea takes shape and evolves. The work is dissatisfying when solutions are incomplete or inadequate. If products are only designed to have a short life cycle, or you couldn’t get the most out of them.

Is there a design world beyond serial production? And if so, how important is it for you?
Serial production gives people the possibility to afford things, and gives the designer the opportunity to reach people. But at the same time, it leads to this uneasy situation where an object loses value too quickly. One-off pieces will enjoy a revival. I think that the development of 3D printing and its possibilities and influence will change everything.

What can`t you quit while you are working?
The minimum number of tools, materials and probably my laptop.

What kind of product needs to be invented urgently?
A time machine! Definitely! I would like to try out more things, learn more and perhaps also study architecture.

What does the imm cologne trade show mean to you?
I’m delighted to have the opportunity to present my idea at imm cologne. I hope that I’ll get some constructive criticism and I would like to have more projects as a result.

Further information about the nominees and ther projects you will find here.