Among other projects, you have successfully designed trade fair stands for companies like Vitra and Artek. More than 1,200 exhibitors present their products every year at trade fairs like imm cologne. What is the special challenge in designing a trade fair stand? Which elements are important to you for catching the attention of trade fair visitors? Do the history and the tradition of the company play a role in your concept?
For us it is always about presenting the respective brand ideally, telling stories, as well as showing the visitor the world and the personality of the brand in addition to the products. We want to inspire visitors by allowing them to submerge into the world of the brand. In order to attract attention at such large trade fairs, a good story is required, a space for well-being and a highly holistic concept that extends to the trade fair graphics, the giveaway bags and other specialsThe history and the tradition of the company thereby play a very important role for us.
The trade fair stand should always show where the brand currently is, but also its history. We look at every brand intensively, which means that each trade fair stand is also completely different and individual; an exciting mix from the company and Studio Besau-Marguerre.
We will be celebrating 100 years of Bauhaus next year. For the occasion you have relaunched the S 533 cantilever chair for Thonet. Are you still influenced in your work as German designers today by the Bauhaus style?
To be quite honest, we have never seen ourselves as being influenced by Bauhaus. It wasn't an important theme in our studio, and only later did we become conscious of the fact that the spirit prevailing at our old university, the HfG Karlsruhe, is very much influenced by Bauhaus, and that it also thus influenced us.
The interdisciplinary approach we represent, and that is also taught in Karlsruhe, was present in Bauhaus. Walter Gropius, for example, was an important architect, but he also designed everything from the interior to the armchair, extending to the coffee cup. We also stand for this holistic approach with our studio, which means there are in fact some parallels with Bauhaus.
As a studio, you also deal with the design and relaunch of websites. Recent studies show that especially young people buy furniture online. However, when one looks at some traditional German brands, one sees that they have fallen behind in terms of digitalisation. What chances do you see for furniture manufacturers in the online trade? How should furniture companies set themselves up so as not to fall further behind in the face of change?
Only the proactive brands will have a chance here over the long term. New models will be required, which connect the brick and mortar trade with online marketing and sales. When they are successful in establishing joint sales and provision structures, both sides, the trade and manufacturers, can profit. The interlocking of analogue and digital must be desired by both sides, and work in both directions.
Many thanks for the friendly discussion!