Karoline Fesser, Klemens Grund, Tim Kerp and Thomas Schnur are freelance designers who choose once a year to bundle their know-how in a collaborative project: known as “Generation Köln”. This exhibition format was initiated in 2017 by Sabine Voggenreiter, (founder of the Passagen exhibition project in Cologne), and serves as a platform for mutual criticism but also as a means of communicating personal ideas on the design of furniture and products. The focus of the creative journey is therefore on artisanal skills, experimentation and the exchange of know-how, and results in the designers creating new, unique objects.
While last year the four designers cooperated with Werkraum Bregenzerwald to create sustainable furniture from silver fir, for their current project they explored glass as a material. Specifically, during a workshop this summer Karoline Fesser, Klemens Grund, Tim Kerp and Thomas Schnur combined their ideas with the traditional craftsmanship of the glass-blowers at Centre International d' Art Verrier in Meisenthal. It was here that Karoline Fesser came up with a cylinder-shaped vase through whose base a stone thrusts itself upwards. “In combination with water this produces the image of a towering mountain,” explains Fesser. This collaboration between designers and glass blowers resulted in innovations on both sides: In their creative approaches the designers took their inspiration from over 2,000 traditional Meisentahl steel molds and created new molds from wood, tin or stone. They also worked with the glass blowers to come up with tailored ideas for the production of 25 objects; for example, in order to install the stone precisely in the base of a smaller version of the vase by Karoline Fesser the craftsmen employed a combination of stone and screw that then doubles up as a handle.
At 10 a.m. on October 20, 2020 i.e., during the virtual Dutch Design Week 2020, (October 17 – 25) “Generation Köln” will participate in a live talk on Instagram. Not only will the designers will look back at their collaboration with Werkraum Bregenzerwald, but also provide some first insights into their current project with CIAV Meisenthal.
The exhibition of the glass objects will then take place next year in Cologne's St. Gertrudenkirche during the PASSAGEN Interior Design Week Cologne from 18 - 24 January 2021.