Bartmann Berlin, Reduced to Everything
To some, the design world is a creative hell-hole - to others, a fortress of mediocrity, mass-production and repetition. And as not to sound too demented, perhaps to a small sample of young, inexperienced design students, it is an aspiring metropolis of endless possibilities. Regardless of where your existential crisis places you, we can all agree on one thing: Excellent and functional design is hard to come by.
It would be quite understandable for anyone to give a genuine eye roll in this moment as tiny living, tiny furniture, multifunctional furniture, minimalist furniture and the most iconic midcentury furnishings have made a grand resurgence in the past decade. Interestingly enough, these interior accessories and furnishings are no longer for lounging and contemplating, but more-so support a lifestyle for on-the-go young professionals that wish to demonstrate their good taste.
A telling survey indeed would be one in which contemporary home furnishing collectors would have to explain the original design ambitions of their most beloved pieces. The famed Eames Shell Chairs were originally created with the intent of making “the best for the most for the least.” So - affordability. The Eames “Hang-It-All,” which is saturating social media outlets and design magazines, had a rather uncomplicated aspiration of using bright colors and whimsical design in order to persuade children to hang up their clothing and toys. So - a solution to an age-old problem for young families. Nonetheless - the concern of one acquiring iconic pieces of design history without a profound understanding of their origins is not part of the problem. The fact that this is even a dire concern for some is precisely why young designers find themselves abandoning the cheeky and pompous design-world altogether.
Abandoning the conventional design sphere is harder than one might expect - how can you possibly erase the ramblings of the Academy, the stock-pile catalogues of IKEA and the incessant images of iconic design? How do you remove a lifetime of context? For Bartmann Berlin, this meant retracing every step back to the beginning - back to the craft. Sometimes, a reduction of everything leads to just the right thing. Carpentry, craftsmanship and proximity to the design process is what brought Lasse Schnack, Sebastian Kunath and Robert Zeise together. This integration has allowed for a focus on quality, sustainability and hyper-modern production methods, that interestingly enough, have forged the path for a return of hand work and a sense of traditionalism. By regularly collaborating with fellow designers, the ideas, sketches and process remain fresh and contemporary just like the homes and corporate offices they end up in.
In the spectacle the design world has become, it is painfully easy to linger within the realm of the known and bounce ideas amongst monotonous inspirations. Bartmann Berlin has chosen to embrace an entrepreneurial spirit, leading the way in simplicity and a reduction of forms. They have chosen to return to the crafts, to return to the process - and in doing so, have encouraged home dwellers to enjoy the pleasure of leisure - to enjoy the pleasure of exceptional design.