Balzer Kuwertz is an interdisciplinary design studio focussing on story telling and substantial questioning. This website shows their latest projects.
While advertising, marketing and planned obsolescence have shortened product cycles and the individual lifetime of a product, we’ve seen a growing tendency towards the preservation of these products.We attempt to keep our products looking new, avoiding any signs of wear and tear, knowing that eventually we might trade in our phone or car for an updated version in the near future. In contrast to this active preservation, we are also purchasing products with artificial patina, often referred to as vintage or used-look. Safety First! is a series of golden rubber slipcovers for furniture, that prevent any damage from the product, while simultaneously making it more unique. These covers do not judge products that only exist to protect other products, but rather try to initiate a dialogue about this phenomena and how it effects the usage and perception of products and their design.
After researching the various ways different cultures deal with human remains, we found an abundance of multi-shaped vessels designed to contain the remains of our loved ones. These containers, by their very nature, constrain our access to the deceased, acting as symbols of grief rather than integrating into our everyday realities. Emerging technologies, however, allow us to rethink the way we deal with human remains. A recent project at the University of Seattle, WA explores the potential for using 3D printing technology to create any shape imaginable from pulverized bone material. The B1 Chair proposes to repurpose the bone matter of a deceased person, typically between 5 and 10 kilograms after dehydration, to create an entity that acts both as an object of remembrance and utility. As the amount of bone material will vary, an elaborate software algorithm will determine the material distribution on a case-by-case basis. This results in every chair having a unique inner skeleton and overall weight, while maintaining the same outer shell. A discreet dedication on the backrest credits the material supplier for generations to come. Collaborative project with Willem Rabe.
What makes a chair a chair? What is a table? Within the past 60 years, many objects, which have been created, do no fit into the typical definition of (industrial) design. These objects are not widely produced, nor are they considered art. Love, Affection, Confidence is a non-functioning dining table and six chair set, entirely made of foam and synthetic fur, that questions the relationship between form and function in design and the term design itself. Can you speak of Design, if an Object fulfills all the formal criteria of being a chair, but doesn’t feature the anticipated function of weight-bearing seating? Or can products today actually function beyond their obvious and original intention?
Inspired by the DIY culture, Europalette Chairs are a study about material and efficiency. The wood from one regular europalette can make 3 weight bearing, full-sized chairs, that anyone with a screwdriver can easily assemble. Our photo documentation serves as an instructional on
PLUS functions as both a table and/or a stool. It’s made of three 18mm thick acrylic parts which are easily assembled by adjoining the shapes. To encourage more DIY Plus products, we’ve made the pattern available for free. Now, anyone can make their own PLUS using any material that can be laser cut or CNC milled.
Even though numerous ready-made objects have been created and developed within the last 50 years, it remains an underrated approach in the design field; often thought of only as tinker or craft. In the tradition of the Castiglionis, Ron Arad and Tejo Remy, the Ready-made Collection tries to revisit these kind of objects by drawing new attention to their premade possibilities. The ready-made concept democratizes the design process through DIY in an increasingly technological field. We have the potential to rethink each and every object that surrounds us.
The amount of products that we recognize through media is significantly larger than the amount of products we actually experience. Although this constant presence provides more awareness, the evaluation of Design is frequently based on image, style, and marketing, rather than the physical experience or function. Knowing the importance of an image, we must question the way we think about design in order to create innovative ideas and generate new opinions.
Unlike most practicing designers, we do not prioritize economical intentions, market value, and sales potential when developing products. Instead, Balzer Kuwertz aims to create objects which relate to design in terms of form and context but ultimately communicate through the imagery in a way only fine art has previously achieved:
The objects Balzer Kuwertz creates, engage with the public in order to communicate, irritate or simply to amuse. Focusing on story telling, generating emotional reactions and substantial questioning, rather than performance quality and production feasibility. These Objects celebrate form, material, visual culture and design itself.
Former Köln International School of Design students Yanik Balzer and Max Kuwertz (both B.A. Integrated Design) met in 2010 and worked on several interdisciplinary projects ever since. They received first attention with their Ready-made Collection in 2011 and recently for their final thesis
Yanik Balzer (born 1987) grew up in Frankfurt, Germany and worked for several interior and furniture design companies before he started studying Integrated Design at KISD in 2009 and Industrial and Product Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2012. He is mainly focused on industrial and furniture design and currently living and working in Berlin.
Max Kuwertz (born 1988) studied Integrated Design at KISD, Communication Design at Parsons, The New School for Design, New York and Industrial and Product Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Max works primarily in the fields of graphic and product design. Furthermore he realized several collaborative projects in the fields of video, photography and installation. He lives and works in Berlin.
Studio Balzer Kuwertz
Phone +49 172 10 29 621