90 × 60 × 15 cm
Whoever interprets Philipp Drexler‘s Jägerzaun coatrack as a nostalgic reminiscence of the infamous fence around German single-family properties, is way off the mark. Drexler‘s fence piece of 90 x 60 x 15 cm, unwound into steel wires, may use the classic look of this folksy glorified icon, but other than that, it has little to do with a fence. Truth be told, Philipp Drexler focuses rather on the unconventional use of this three-layered structure out of diagonal and horizontal wooden bars: namely, some people‘s habit of sticking their no longer useful burdens into the diamond-shaped “compartments” of this fencing. All aesthetic aspects aside, we have to admit that this is quite a practical idea, even if its functionality may need to be further elaborated. This is exactly where Drexler comes from with his filigree transformation, as his transformation into angles, hooks and lines provides a much greater number of storage possibilities than the «real» trellis fence could ever offer.
elm wood, linoleum
90 × 120 × 70 cm
The finesse of Martha Schwindling’s “convertible” comes from the specially-developed film hinge that almost invisibly fixes its elements to each other. Multi-functionality is not a fetish here, but actually serves a purpose. Liberated of any visual indication of its multiple functions, the desk thus naturally has the same balanced aspect, both open as well as closed. In its opened, and seemingly more practical, mode it presents itself as a perfect piece of furniture for working and keeping things in order. Once closed via its hinged drawer, usually motivated by wanting to recover some sense of order and tidiness, it is only a desk, desk, and desk: a fully adequate, absolutely neutral plane surface for working and communicating for one or more users.
40 × 60 × 15 cm
Our ideas of the archetypical chair are primarily influenced by two or more fixed determinants: one is the configuration of a step-like construction, consisting of a table-like surface plus a “wall”, towering about twice as high above one side of this surface and functioning as a backrest. The other is the proportions of this composition. As for the configuration, Chair 4ty5ty by Christian Klotz completely meets our expectations: the backrest and seat quite accurately correspond to the model described above. The proportions, however, do not, as Klotz trims both seat and backrest to an extreme minimum. In spite of this, the chair works perfectly. It may not meet our expectations for comfort, but as a piece of furniture, as a “tool” for a hasty sit-down, it is ideal. You could even say that it defines a very contemporary idea of sitting.
160 x 40 x 7 cm
The outlet strip does not exactly constitute one of the gems of design. Its design is more or less infl uenced by sheerly practical considerations. Once it has been worked into our domestic cable clutter, we try to hide it discreetly somewhere in our home setting — and we all know quite well what that looks like. This is exactly where Philipp Scholz comes from when he deliberately puts the focus on the power strip. Not only does he choose an entirely different material, i.e. wood, but he also equips this roundwood casing with a broomstick, or rather a plug-pole, at whose upper end you can also fi nd the switch for this multi-box. This is exceedingly handy — and looks much better than those plasticine brown-white-black plastic power strips.
7xStool / Robotperformance
The stackable 7Xstool is cut right from a tree trunk with a chainsaw by an industrial robot. This unusual production process was developed by Tom Pawlofsky, and enables him to realize the stool design which was drafted together with Tibor Weissmahr. The different tree trunks vary in their bark, grain, and branches, making each stool one of a kind. By cleverly planning the saw’s tracks, these HfG alumni achieve a production method that is nearly scrap-free. The chainsaw robot will carve stools in public performances with millimeter precision, which can then be directly acquired by the audience.
Forests, not Plantations
The goal of ECHTWALD – “real forest” – is the revaluation of forests through active renaturation. This year, we began work in two wooded areas near Freiburg: the Wiesneck Castle and Frauensteig peak.
To help achieve this goal, ECHTWALD has developed a product line in cooperation with regional producers, available at www.echtwaldshop.com, whose profits will go toward supporting ECHTWALD’s work. We offer a growing number of products that we purchase, wherever possible, directly from the region in which ECHTWALD is active. This is currently the Black Forest with its neighboring Breisgau and Markgräflerland areas, as well as the Kaiserstuhl mountain range. ECHTWALD also aims to promote craftsmen, farmers, restaurateurs, and producers in the region. Because ECHTWALD is convinced that we are developing a value chain which strengthens the region where ECHTWALD exists and sustainably creates additional economic prospects, we are pleased at the positive reception with which these products have been met. An exclusive selection can be seen, for example, at Andreas Murkudis in Berlin.
It is our pleasure to now be able to take the next steps with kkaarrlls for ECHTWALD, and present exclusive applied art and high-quality design developed by young European designers who have all studied at HfG Karlsruhe. kkaarrlls is a platform which has managed to turn education into a success story, leading from HfG Karlsruhe directly to the consumer. An extraordinary talent factory, kkaarrlls draws national and international attention while at the same time working “at the edge of the ECHTWALD – the real forest”. We, for our part, are excited to be able to develop something together with young minds for the long-term, sustainable ECHTWALD project. The products we are presenting here with kkaarrlls for ECHTWALD are characterized by their wit, clarity, innovation, and a radically different approach to everyday wood. We would like to extend our thanks to Prof. Volker Albus and Stefan Legner for opening a door for ECHTWALD onto the design of tomorrow!
ECHTWALD was awarded the Werkstatt N seal of quality by the Council for Sustainability in 2011 and chosen by the “Germany – Land of Ideas” initiative as a Selected Landmark 2011.
When we founded kkaarrlls in 2008, we did not do so with the intention of establishing a new brand. We instead meant to portray very specific aspects of the work at our university. And in this respect, a lot of good has been done in the last few years thanks to the internet and to websites, to annual exhibitions and annual reports. But all in all, these communicative enterprises are more about somewhat classically influenced, overall rather defensively arranged, activities. This means that as an outsider, one must really look for them – and this applies to both the virtual as well as the real performances. With kkaarrlls, we are – like ECAL, RCA or DAE – going a diametrically differentdirection: we don’t wait for someone to come to us (or accidently stumble upon us), but rather, go outside the school. And directly to the big marketplaces. We do this because we are firmly convinced that our students’ work, especially at the peak of their performance, deserves to be introduced to a larger audience beyond just a one-time presentation, or on the occasion of a graduation examination or annual exhibition – in the sense of time as well as location. That’s exactly why we turn to one of the few but ultimately most important weaknesses of the university system: the very discrete, if not to say introverted, communication on student performance. Now this is not about generally undermining such caesuras – they are natural and unavoidable, and also absolutely necessary. Yet at the same time, we deem it appropriate to dignify this conclusive moment not only with a certificate in the form of a diploma, but beyond this, also to portray the actual potential of the student work in proper formats. kkaarrlls thus sees itself as a transition, a bridge between theory and practice, between “training camp” and real competition. With the partnership begun this year with ECHTWALD, this objective is made concrete for the first time with respect to the competitive facet. Philipp Drexler’s Jägerzaun, Christian Klotz’s 4ty5ty, Philipp Scholz’s Prop-it-up und Martha Schwindling’s Clerk form the premier team for, in our view, an ideal collaboration. Ideal because this partner operates according to the same maxim that we do: quality. Of course price also plays a role, but certainly not the decisive one. It actually cannot, because these objects are not about catchy, middle-of-the-road answers, but rather, special and yet simultaneously perfectly functioning alternative solutions for everyday problems. And kkaarrlls arose exactly to bring this perspective on the world of objects to a broader audience. And obviously not just kkaarrlls.