For those of you not familiar with DMY Berlin, the annual contemporary design festival is hosted in the German capital, and each year it invites aspiring and established designers to present new products, prototypes and design concepts to an international crowd. DMY Berlin’s being is a result of the visionary nucleus of leading creatives from the Berlin design scene, who love to recognise, transform and curate coming trends in culture and design.
© MARKUS MÜLLER-WITTE
This year, after 14 years of existence, the festival’s theme and working motto was; Odyssee 2016. According to Theodor W. Adorno; “a modern man must (like Odysseus) be able to give up his identity in order to preserve it”, and DMY’s organisers were keen to curate a show that addressed the design world’s current lack of orientation in both digital and analogue forms.
Exhibitors from all design disciplines were invited to participate, including product and industrial design, fashion and graphic design, and communication and digital design. And DMY’s organisers strove to ask of their attendees: “What is or is still not architecture? Where do we draw the line between interior design and product apps? Is design able to build a bridge between the digital and the analogue worlds? Who is designing the future of who?”
The objective of DMY is simple; to bring together the powerful potential of contemporary design by giving it a space and a setting in which it can interact with a wider audience. Developed synergies are carefully curated as innovative developers and designers meet to discuss industry and economy as well as to forge new partnerships.
The favourites from the festival include Pull me to life by Juno Jeon. His exciting range of furniture objects respond actively to being used, and offer an exercise in practical phenomenology upon interaction. As you open a drawer or slide open a panel, a surface of scales ripple and flow. Jeon’s aim is remind you that everyday objects are extensions of the living self.
Andreas Müller’s massive ash furniture collection also impressed, his emphasis was on architecture, but through a directness in the design, the pieces also communicated their size in a wonderfully minimalistic way. The collection also fitted a concurrent theme that weaved its way through the festival; that of flexible furniture - in both ergonomic and sustainable incarnations.
Children were kept engaged throughout DMY Berlin with workshops aimed to educate and spark interest. Key to these workshops was a Reuse, Reduce, Recycle motto that got children thinking of their environmental impact in inventive new ways.
And finally, DMY festival rewarded design and innovation in three areas with its awards section. The Best Exhibitor title went to Czech furniture designers, Master & Master. Best New Talent to the Japanese artist and designer, Aya Kawabata Design, for her collection of insanely beautiful and wonderfully intricate textiles, and the Education award went to Germany’s own Hochschule Osnabrück.
All in all, the four day celebration of emerging design talent hosted by DMY was a breath of fresh air for tired design brains the world over. Thanks to everyone who got involved and made it happen.