Wednesday marked the start of Berlin’s 10-day DMY International Design Festival, including a cross-section of emerging and established designers from Germany and abroad, as well as lectures and even a tour of design-driven nightlife destinations. Joerg Suermann, DMY founder and managing director, explains how this year’s fair is different from past years. www.dmy-berlin.com
How will this year’s festival change from previous years?
During past years, as DMY Berlin, we used to be a part of a Berlin-based design festival. This year, we are the festival itself. With the DMY Youngsters, our focus over the past few years has been on up-and-coming designers. This year, however, we also offer renowned designers a platform via the DMY Allstars, where we will present the work of artists such as El Ultimo Grito, Studio Aisslinger, or Nik Schweiger. The DMY Design Symposium offers international designers the opportunity to exchange views on design-related themes. Allison Dring, Daniel Schwaag, and Jerszy Seymour are a few of the speakers. Finally, this year’s festival does not reduce itself to a single location and a single thematic field, but spreads throughout the entire city.
What are some highlights from this year’s show?
This year, for the first time, we have worked with an international jury whose members have selected the 10 best projects from more than 300 applications. My personal favorites include the projects by Aylin Kayser and Christian Metzner, Kwangho Lee, Chris&Ruby in Friesland, and Maria Makowska and Piotr Stolarski. I am especially fond of Aylin Kayser and Christian Metzner’s work because of their poetic approach to light and warmth, and how each melting wax lamp is perfectly unique. Kwangho Lee’s project fuses traditional techniques with modern materials, creating lamps that evoke sculptures (see I.D.’s news post from April 25, 2008). These projects lie precisely at the border between art and design. Chris&Ruby’s work combines design with social themes, evidenced by the ironic manner in which they deal with a familiar product. However, Maria Makowska and Piotr Stolarski’s cuttable radio, Gogo, also reflects the spirit of DMY. With this product, the consumer takes part in the creative process by cutting out his radio himself.
What can you say about the current state of German design at home and abroad?
These days, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recognise, or define, national design. In other words, while there certainly are German developments and trends, they don’t just influence the national design scene—the international design scene also relies on German designers, and vice versa.