BURKHARD REMMERS / WILKHAHN (DE)

Related Projects: Belgrade Design Week Festival 2010

The Belgrade Design Week was the best design conference I have ever enjoyed – the specific spirit of the city in a kind of in between status, the rough tension which can still be felt ten years after the bombs, the pride and the looking for new orientation especially in the young generation – all this is giving the BDW a special flair far away from the current events of the global design circus. In addition the enthusiastic organizational team trying hardly but unsuccessfully to keep the program along the schedules, the informal exchange between the international speakers, the loss of any discipline, the parties on the river … what ever and how ever the interrelations between these aspects are working – it makes the BDW an unique, likeable, inspiring and productive event, I will never forget.

Unlike virtually any other manufacturer in the office furniture industry, Wilkhahn stands worldwide for design made in Germany. It offers high-quality office and dynamic conference furniture which are benchmarks for the entire industry. Some 60 years ago, the company made better utility value, long-lasting design and durability its goals. Milestones like classic office chair FS-Line (1980), Confair folding conference table (1994), office chair Modus (1994) or skid-base chair Aline (2004) have shaped the way offices have evolved. The latest examples of pioneering innovations are the multi-purpose chair Chassis, the conference range Graph, or three-dimensional ON and IN which leading experts currently consider the world’s best office chairs.

Wilkhahn also sets new standards in terms of its socio-ecological approach. As winner of the German Environmental Prize, the company has worked with architects Frei Otto and Thomas Herzog and has actively been practising environmental responsibility for over 20 years. In addition to a number of international accolades, office chair ON has also received the Federal Ecodesign Award.

Running in the morning through the city (down what the germans call a fussgangerzone) and being amazed by all the grand empty old buildings that reminded me of my Berlin beginnings. Grafitti on buildings. Lovely broken walls with acne'd facades from decades of reverse engineering. Discovering that all the ships on the river were party boats and open till the morning. Sweating so much in one of the clubs, my phone got messed up. Losing phone in said club. Visiting belgrade police station to report a then stolen phone to a twenty-something cop with a doctor's lab coat, listening to Rammstein (loudly) while hacking out my report on a pre-electric typewriter that looked (and sounded) as if it was from some era before typewriters were invented.   Thinking of Naked Lunch. Thinking of Die-Hard. Listening to architects talk about porous facades. Thinking of old smart bombs. Imagining the flash and crunch of several floors of reinforced concrete collapsing in on themselves. Wondering why I'm the only interactive guy here. Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade? Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade?!

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