An oasis for creative people
For a long weekend every other year, Langenthal in Switzerland is transformed into a colorful venue for the design scene. Seven companies, which included Ruckstuhl, Girsberger and Création Baumann, opened their doors and invited manufacturers with whom they cooperate to take a look at their production and storage buildings. The 17th edition of Designers’ Saturday was more compact and international than previous ones. And under the motto “Improve, Share, Connect,” there was a stronger focus on communication between experienced actors and newcomers. Moreover, Japan was the first Designers’ Saturday guest country to present itself, namely in the Design Depot. And it was highly successful: It might have been their first presentation, but Naoki Terada from inter.office, Terada Design, and Koichi Suzuno from Torafu Architects won the Grand Prix Award for their installation of delicate paper works. Another prizewinner was Sebastian Herkner, who, in a piece for ClassiCon, projected film footage of the proverbial heroes of production, the craft workers at the glass manufactory, onto cinema-size screens.
Dietiker’s installation likewise caused a stir: Inspired by a swimming pool, it represented a stage-worthy setting. Here the chairs, surrounded by soap bubbles and bathed in blue light, floated in large plastic balls above visitors’ heads. Under the watchful eye of the pool attendant, visitors were allowed to traverse this fantasy space, though jumping in was strictly forbidden. By contrast, Création Baumann used projections to present its industrial facilities in a dramatic light and permitted visitors a peek through the keyhole with a tour of its in-house design studio and refurbishing workshop. For Girsberger, the designer duo Greutmann Bolzern presented the swivel chair “Simplex 3D,” which permits intuitive movements thanks to its 3D mechanism. “We wanted to design a chair that makes casual sitting possible,” explains Urs Greutmann-Bolzern. Similarly flexible was the design by Atelier Oi for Girsberger: The lounge range “Velum” includes single armchairs, two- and three-seaters, and combined with oak panels and textile covers creates a cozy micro space for focused work and confidential discussions. “You can determine how far apart you wish to sit from the other person thanks to the space-defining elements,” says Aurel Aebi.
From product to installation, movement and interaction characterized the presentations of many exhibitors. While you could rock in rings in the installation by Intertime, Inter Office enticed visitors with a pink bath of balloons. At Schätti Leuchten the luminaire heads were hidden inside oversized paper lantern hoods in red and black. Visitors were in for a hearty treat at Feuerring: Star chef Stefan Wiesner spoiled guests with sausages grilled on the “Feuerring,” sausages they first watched being made by hand. For the first time, universities from all three language regions of Switzerland were invited to present themselves at Designers’ Saturday. The students enriched the Mühlehof event with complex installations and an eye for detail. Thanks to the relaxed atmosphere at the venues, visitors were able to enjoy unique spatial experiences and despite the packed program there was still enough time to talk directly with the creative professionals.