In search of rare production sites, designers Karoline Fesser, Klemens Grund, Tim Kerp and Thomas Schnur traveled to the French cultural site Centre International d'Art Verrier (CIAV) in Meisenthal. From four different perspectives they portrayed the border region, the craftsmen and the material glass by means of objects. For the Urban Design Parcours they give an insight into their work.
A Lockdown exhibition
From January 18 - 23, 2021, the designers of Generation Cologne will present the results of their cooperation with the Glass Culture Center CIAV Meisenthal in the Church of St. Gertrud in Cologne, built by Gottfried Böhm.
In search of production sites that put people and materials first, designers Karoline Fesser, Klemens Grund, Tim Kerp and Thomas Schnur traveled to Meisenthal, France. The border region of the Northern Vosges is home to a centuries-long glass tradition, preserved by the Centre International d'Art Verrier (CIAV) cultural site.
The designers met glass artisans who have practiced their craft for decades, yet challenge it every day. Confronted with contradictory impressions of a region on the move, they worked hand in hand with glass masters Jean-Marc and Momo to create objects that celebrate glass as a material as well as portray the region.
In keeping with the experience and skills of the glassblowers and the malleability of the glass, some 25 objects were created that reflect the different approaches of the designers. Some are based on one of the 2,000 steel molds in the in-house mold library, for others entirely new molds were made from wood, sheet metal or stone, and still others manage entirely or without molds at all.
The glass objects will be exhibited in 2021 in the Church of St. Gertrud in Cologne, built by Cologne architect Gottfried Böhm - a structure that translates the rubble of the past into a hopeful meeting place.
The project is curated by Passagen founder Sabine Voggenreiter and supported by KölnBusiness Wirtschaftsförderungs-GmbH.
"Generation Köln" currently acts as a mouthpiece in design. The exhibition format was founded in 2017 by Sabine Voggenreiter, curator and maker of the Passagen in Cologne.
The grouping currently consists of Karoline Fesser, Klemens Grund, Tim Kerp and Thomas Schnur. What unites the four is at the same time the core of their work: they investigate the correlation between man, material and production. They make their questions tangible through objects and experienceable through exhibitions.
After the kick-off exhibition at DDW 2017, exhibitions followed at Bureau Europa in Maastricht (2018), at Passagen in Cologne (2018 / Galerie Ruttkowski, 2019 / Bunker am Bahngleis, 2020 / Galerie Martina Kaiser) and in 2020 at Werkraum Bregenzerwald in Andelsbuch.
The exhibition format serves the mutual criticism as well as the communication of personal points of view in the design of furniture and products. Originally initiated as a platform for personal statements, the exhibition format currently consists of a group of designers who examine and reflect socially relevant topics with the help of their designs. In 2019, Karoline Fesser, Klemens Grund, Tim Kerp and Thomas Schnur initiated a cooperation with the craftsmen of Werkraum Bregenzerwald. They traveled to the Austrian border region of Vorarlberg, which they portrayed using products made of silver fir and showed at Galerie Martina Kaiser in Cologne. The experience of encountering exceptionally well-founded craftsmanship and production sites of sustainability in the Bregenzerwald led them to their current project: a trip to the cultural site Centre International d`Art Verrier in Meisenthal. Here, in cooperation with the glassblowers, they created objects that will be exhibited in 2021 in the Church of St. Gertrud, built by Cologne architect Gottfried Böhm.