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Designed by Nature:
Furniture made of natural materials

Photo: Danielle Trofe

Nature is extravagant, it produces everything in excess. But it also thoroughly reuses all this excess production. Man too produces things on an abundant scale. However, much of that cannot be reused and is often also difficult to dispose of. This is just as true of the interior design industry as of any other, and yet there is a growing number of designers who are making use of the cycle of nature.

A combination of design, feel and function

Photo: Pia Kintrup

With furniture, we arrange our flats, express our style and perhaps even make a visual statement. But we don’t decide whether we like a table or a sofa based on their looks alone – feel and function also play a role. The challenge lies in combining all three factors. With his master’s project at Folkwang University, the bureau “Kabinett”, Tim zum Hoff has even succeeded in directly linking a tactile experience with a function – the bureau’s compartments are illuminated by brushing a hand gently across its surface.

Design history: Midgard’s adjustable light – the rediscovery of a classic

© Midgard
© Midgard

Curt Fischer is today regarded the inventor of directional light. When he took over a machine factory for the production of industrial porcelain in 1919, he was unhappy with the lighting situation in his factory. In the same year he found a solution and established the Midgard brand and started to produce lamps with his company Ronneberger und Fischer. And that in a time, were electric light was in its infancy.

Blue is Germany’s favourite colour

Photo: e15, Kerman
Photo: e15, Kerman

The Germans love blue. With 19 per cent preferring this colour, it is ahead of green (14%) and red (13%) by a clear margin. The most popular colour spectrum overall runs from beige (10%) and yellow (7%) through to orange (6%). These are the findings of a representative nationwide survey of 1,000 Germans aged between 16 and 75, commissioned by the German Paint Institute in Frankfurt (DLI / Deutsches Lackinstitut).

Design history you can touch

© GAG Köln
© GAG Köln

The Germania housing estate in the Höhenberg district of Cologne, just ten minutes by car from Koelnmesse, is a remarkable architectural achievement in its own right. Built between 1920 and 1928 on the former grounds of the Germania coal mine, some of the architects involved in its planning were amongst the leading names of the time. The result reflects different architectural styles of the Weimar Republic that have come together in a harmonious whole as a work of architecture. Even at the time it was considered exemplary for urban residential building. Weimarer Strasse is also home to another special find: no. 15, Paul-Schwellenbach-Haus. A historic house museum has been set up here to convey the feeling of living in the 1920s.