“We make furniture, nothing more and nothing less”, says Sebastian Waibel, Managing Director of office furniture makers Gumpo. The family-run company from Dingolfing in Lower Bavaria is known for having its feet firmly on the ground. Having evolved in 1969 out of the Gumpoldsberger joinery, Gumpo can already look back on almost half a century in the trade, but in spite of this longstanding tradition, it’s still able to tread new ground. After ten years of absence from trade shows, Gumpo will now be exhibiting at the forthcoming Orgatec exhibition in Cologne, and its “Normcore” reduced collection is already causing quite a stir in the industry even before the show. The minimalist designs in pure white were masterminded by design duo Ana Relvaõ and Gerhardt Kellermann from Munich. “We don’t force the Gumpo stamp onto our customers,” says Sebastian Waibel. The “Normcore” concept, coined by artist collective K-Hole from New York City and swiftly adopted by the fashion and architecture scenes, is a combination of the words “normal” and “hardcore”. The concept involves adaptation rather than excessive individuality, so the office furniture is reduced to a minimum, with the intention that it should integrate aesthetically into any kind of architecture rather than appear as a standalone piece. It was important to Sebastian Waibel that existing processes and skills were applied to the new designs. “Find new forms for modern work environments without discarding proven concepts,” was the brief for the designers.
At the same time, it was very important to Gumpo that it didn’t have to relinquish control over production for this new collection. Instead, RelvaõKellermann dived into the company archive to look for basic materials, fittings, plastic parts and raw materials from manufacturing that could be assigned a new function in the collection. The result in the first instance is a family of fine, unpretentious products with its own design language: The height-adjustable “steno” table, the fold-up “temp” bar table on wheels, the "gumpo flipchart", the “pleto” trolley, the "diptic" display wall, the conference table "dito" and “saia”, a high table for meetings. “Normcore” will be presented at stand F021 in hall 10.1 at the forthcoming Orgatec, the trade show for modern work environments, from October 23 to 27 in Cologne. The new collection is part of a greater whole: RelvaõKellermann revised the corporate design – including a new Website and the design of the exhibition stand for Orgatec. “For me, product design and communication belong together. RelvaõKellermann are our art directors,” comments Sebastian Waibel. In the future, the collection is set to grow and encompass textile solutions too. “We are shifting out of the comfort zone and trying out new things,” says Waibel.