04/02/2015 | created by Dr. Jochen Hahne and Burkhard Remmers
In memory of Frei Otto
The architect and engineer Frei Otto passed away on 9 March 2015. He was 89 years old. Daily newspapers are full of acknowledgement of his life's work, and so are trade journals. He is the first person to be posthumously awarded the Pritzker Prize, which is probably the most significant public recognition of his work, appearing to be the exclamation mark at the end of an unparalleled biography. It would not be fitting for us to add another acknowledgement to those expressed by the experts. But for us at Wilkhahn, there is so much about Frei Otto that is worth remembering. So much that is too important to simply leave it unmentioned.
The Scandinavian design scene meets up
At the beginning of February around 40,000 visitors from all over the world met up in the Swedish capital to discover the latest trends at the Stockholm Furniture & Northern Light Fair. Stockholm Design Week with events all over Stockholm took place at the same time. Wilkhahn was one of the few German exhibitors at the trade fair and had a special surprise in store for selected visitors.
Innovations spanning 45 years
At the end of the 1970s a study caused quite a stir in Germany. Office planning at the time concentrated on minimising stress and strain placed on employees, but this study demanded a range of varied movements at desks. This triggered Wilkhahn’s desire to develop dynamic office chairs and flexible sitting-standing hybrids which are still setting standards today. A look back over 45 years of definitive developments which have revolutionised office seating – to an innovation that Wilkhahn will soon launch.
exito gets fighting fit and picks Wilkhahn seating
The 24th and 28th storey of the building affords a fantastic view of the whole of Nuremberg. With this inspiring panorama in the background, the team at online marketing agency exito come up with new plans and campaigns. In addition to the view, the office environment also encourages creativity in various ways. The company offers its team a number of options in order to keep fit, active and healthy at work. It has a football table and its own sports room. It also provides Wilkhahn office chairs which enable dynamic sitting and therefore effectively prevent backache and other complaints common in today’s world.
Wilkhahn’s delighted to receive its third prize for Stand-up. This sitting-standing hybrid is now also one of the winners of the iF Design Award 2015. Not just design-prize judges, but also media representatives have raved about Stand-up since its premiere at Orgatec and view it as another key milestone on the path to more dynamic movement in the workplace.
Wilkhahn partners with an art fair
Art Rotterdam is considered one of the world’s most important art fairs. It took place in early February at Van Nellefabriek, a factory building which enjoys cultural heritage protection just outside the city. Wilkhahn’s showroom is located there and the company supported the fair for the second time as its partner.
BUILDING FOR A N EW PURPOSE
Ahrens Grabenhorst Architekten BDA specialises in very challenging construction projects. This applies to both new and old builds. The Hanover-based architectural firm is on hand particularly when buildings require sensitive transformations to make them fit for new purposes. Examples include the redevelopment and extension of Celle Art Museum, the integration of a choir centre into an existing church, a memorial for an Israeli horticultural school, or the conversion of a church into a Jewish community centre with a synagogue. It’s no surprise that Roger Ahrens and Gesche Grabenhorst have won plenty of accolades which included the State of Lower Saxony’s Prize for Architecture in 2010 to name just one.
The end of the stairs?
An integral part of the Architecture Biennale 2014 in Venice is the “Elements of Architecture” exhibition, curated by Rem Koolhaas. It looks at and presents individual elements of architecture, including the history and typology of the staircase. Koolhaas believes it’s threatened with extinction and can only survive if used as an emergency exit. The staircase’s demise started about 100 years ago. The exhibition in Venice documents the staircase’s swansong. But more recent (albeit isolated) examples suggest it might be experiencing a renaissance. New findings and social trends encourage this conviction.
Designer talk: Jehs + Laub
Graph is a winner in all disciplines. It offers trend-setting design, innovative, energising sprung comfort and high quality right down to the last detail. We asked the chair’s designers to explain what makes their creation so superb. Markus Jehs and Jürgen Laub both studied at the University of Design in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany. In 1994 they founded their own studio together. Today they are two of the most successful young generation of German designers who work worldwide for renowned customers.
Designer talk: Klaus Franck
The Ulm University of Design (HfG) was considered one of the most influential higher education facilities for designers worldwide. Its active period between 1953 and 1968 didn’t just spawn numerous important product designs. Developed at UfG, the “Ulm model” was a design concept based on science and technology and it became a benchmark. Some 45 years after it closed, a permanent exhibition on the legendary facility recently opened in the original setting. It’s a wonderful gift to all design aficionados – and to one of the premier HfG students, Klaus Franck who’s about to turn 81 over the next few days. The interview below reveals what Klaus Franck, HfG and Wilkhahn have in common.