words Johanna Agerman
At Transalpino’s bright studio on Pappelallee in Berlin’s leafy Prenzlauer Berg, strips of wood veneer, the waste from a factory, is piled high in the windows and spread across the floors and worktops.
Five people, all part of the German-Italian Transalpino collective, are working intensively on bending, cutting and sewing the strips of veneer into curious shapes while the radio blasts in the corner.
The wall behind them is filled with products, creating a sort of 3D mind map. “You’re not supposed to know who has made what,” says Johanna Dehio, one of the designers. “Instead it is all about the process of how one object leads to another, how we all inspired each other.”
There is a basket, a handbag, shoes, a figure of eight, a football and a birdhouse and although it all looks seductively buttery-coloured, the individual pieces aren’t pushing form forward. Instead all of the objects resemble archetypes. Then again, as the name suggests, Open Progress is all about the process and not about the finished product.
images Thorsten Klapsch