No tightrope walker
5 questions
for Nils Holger Moormann
Mar 28, 2014
Photo © Nils Holger Moormann

Thomas Wagner: Dear Nils Holger Moormann, word has it that in 2014 you once again won’t be taking any furniture to the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Was there again no suitable booth for “Klopstock” and “Kampenwand”? Or is spring in the fresh Chiemgau air simply more enjoyable than in the suffocating trade-fair halls?

Nils Holger Moormann: You’re right. We’re going to visit Milan, but not to exhibit. At the moment we find it more exciting to evade the market and try to continue down our own path. And that’s better done with calm and concentration.

So are you back playing Ludo again this year or have you thought of something else to make you forget Milan?

Moormann: Last year we felt like Luddites. This time we’re looking forward to a relaxing time as visitors.

Maybe you’ll simply opt to steal the day and stay in bed with a good book?

Moormann: No, getting up early is still part of my life. And I am still in love with those eerie camping grounds in Milan with the screeching peacocks and long nights of loud Scandinavian girls dancing. So see you there.

Are furniture fairs overrated as a market place? Or is Milan simply over-full?

Moormann: Trade fairs are important. It’s only that there you get to meet all the tightrope walkers from our circus. And of course it’s great fun, and meaningful, to swap opinions here, find out about things. That said, I find it really worrying that value attached solely to the purely commercial nature of fairs, with booths becoming ever more opulent, every larger, ever more identical. And as a result, the astonishment, the wonder that is simply part of any circus, no longer has any role to play. And yes, it is no doubt a serious problem if there are too many events, on top of which they’re often interchangeable.

So what’s your take on all things new? Must a furniture maker present novelties each year or does the importance of such items simply get exaggerated? Anything in the pipeline at your company?

Moormann: New is always good. The press loves it. Obviously one of the simplest ways to remain present in the media. Yet this clearly runs the risk of no longer fathoming products out thoroughly, letting them gradually mature in long, careful processes. For all the joy we get out of fielding new products the path down which we are going is emphatically one of consistent deceleration. We simply love elaborating the simplicity and thrust of an object too much to forgo the chance to do so. And in this context a rush of the new can often be counterproductive.

Mister Moormann, many thanks for your time.