Katrin Schacke

Posted inDesigner Profiles
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Covers from “Stanley: The Open Question Magazine,” personal work.

Title: Designer

From: Erfurt, Germany

Lives in: Offenbach am Main, Germany

Age: 27

URL: katrinschacke.com

Katrin Schacke’s work arises via unusual means: She designs by stacking. Her 2008 thesis project at the Hochschule fuer Gestaltung in Offenbach, Germany, was called “Stanley: The Open Question Magazine.” The project visually represents the seven biggest questions in science, using things like white lamps, umbrellas, rubber boots, and an enigmatic sphere reminiscent of Albrecht Duerer’s Melancolia I. To illustrate where and how life first arose, Schacke photographed three orange wading pools placed one above another, each exhaling soap bubbles. Black holes became a stuffed trash bag hung on a ladder, sucking in basketballs with a vacuum cleaner. Inventive works like these have landed her assignments from T: The New York Times Style Magazine and the German magazine Neon.

“I love the frankness of 3-D works,” says Schacke. “Everything you see is real, no illusions built in Photoshop.” She relishes how “tiny flaws, disruptive details, or protruding elements give the scenes personality.” She cites Austrian artist Erwin Wurm and Germany’s Thomas Demand as influences.

Schacke also applies her wit to editorial designs as an art director for the Frankfurt agency Heine/Lenz/Zizka. Her career guide for young designers (the title, translated, is Obstacle Course: Finding Your Footing in Design) displays the same tongue-in-cheek quality and includes a two-sided poster, one side a steeplechase of career obstacles, the other a thicket of questions designers need to answer on the way to employment.

She hopes to establish her own agency, but she remains matter-of-fact about young des- igners’ prospects in this cruddy economic climate. “I’m not sure whether now is an especially easy or tough time,” she says. “Probably the times are less important than what’s always necessary: courage, determination, and having fun as you work.”

Picture from “Stanley: The Open Question Magazine,” personal work.

[View the entire list of winners here.]