“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” – Charles Caleb Colton
Design originals – the classic masterpieces of history. In the right context, they become
storytellers that leave a lasting impression for years to come. But from when, then, is an original
considered an original?
Not every interior innovation becomes a design icon. There’s no doubt that new things -furniture, appliances- always serve to stir up our curiosity and excitement. This feeling, on the other hand, lingers only until the next trend comes along. They have already proven their functionality and with their timeless design, evoking a feeling of security and peace. But how, then, does a design original actually achieve this status?
For an original to become an original, two things are vital: relationship and appreciation.
For anything to even be considered an original, a designer must grant the manufacturer the right to produce.
The appreciation a manufacturer has for design also plays an important role: A design wants to be
understood and recognized, and that only works when there is a close connection between designer and
manufacturer. We want to show you great design icons that emerged from such partnerships and levels of
appreciation. Take a look at the following, a list of eight German manufacturers who have produced timeless design classics:
Gira E2’s simple design has inspired interior lovers for over two decades.
The design icon behind the switches
The Gira E2 design line
Since 1998, Gira has been setting standards with the timeless Gira E2 design series.
Since 1998, Gira has been setting standards with the timeless Gira E2 design series. It was
conceived as a solid statement against the then prominent trend of frivolity and opulence.
It espouses a minimalist language of design, a pleasant feel and high-quality material which
still inspires designers and architects today. That’s what makes this minimalist design a classic.
With subdued and modern colour tones like pure-white semigloss, pure-white radiant, matte black,
painted aluminium and anthracite – or in the stainless-steel material version – the Gira E2
design line allows for the combination of many styles.
It’s not just the design and variety that are convincing. The high-quality frames enhance
the appearance of light switches, plugs, touch sensors and the Gira home stations.
The Gira E2 switch series thus combines design, function and the experience of 100 years of
engineering art to perfection – a real original.
"Design creates peace, clarity and order."
Hans-Jörg Müller, Gira Head of Product Design
“This lamp has changed how we view light.”
Carlotta de Bevilacqua and Ernesto Gismondi, Artemide
Decades of innovation: The Tolomeo Standing Lamp from Artemide.
Conseta from Cor: Generations of originality and timelessness.
“A sofa that shaped the future. And wrote history.”
“It is harder to build a good chair than it is to build a skyscraper.”
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Architect and Bauhaus Director
Classic design from the Bauhaus period: The Stahlrohr-Freischwinger S 32 from Thonet.
Allrounder: The USM System makes dreams come true.
“Flexibility – to expand, to reorganise and to implement step by step.”
“With the 111 door handle, HEWI has created both an icon and a force field that the field of architecture simply cannot ignore.”
Hadi Teherani, Architect and Designer
The Hewi Door Handle 111 is pleasing to the eye and touch.
Slender and elegant: Tara from Dornbracht, the icon among the fittings.
“You don’t change an original, you refine it.”
Michael Sieger, sieger design
“Every point of the FK is clearly defined. This easy chair simply exudes timeless strength.”
Claus Sendlinger, founder of Design Hotels and SLOW Hospitality
Style icon, film star and design original: The FK bucket chair by Walter Knoll.
Is every new product
Open forum “Design as an economic success factor”, with…
Thomas Tuma, Chief Editor, Handelsblatt
Norman Kietzmann, Journalist for Design and Architecture
renowned design experts and creative leaders
On January 14th, 2020 at 4.30 PM
imm cologne 2020, Hall 4.2,