Interview with Uli Budde:
form Edition #5 Kinetic Object
Product designer Uli Budde worked for a number of different studios after studying at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, and in 2004 graduating with a degree from the Design Academy in Eindhoven. For form Edition #5 Budde has developed a kinetic object.
He is co-founder of the design studio Officeoriginair and in 2009 opened the Uli Budde Design Office, which undertakes and creates furniture and lighting projects for international manufacturers. Budde is also a guest professor for industrial design, most recently at the Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle and from October 2017, at the Bauhaus-University in Weimar.
What do you find fascinating about Karuun?
I am fascinated by the fact that Karuun is basically rattan, a material that is no longer valued as much as it once was. Thanks to the patented method Out for Space Rattan is once again gaining a new level of attention and quality, giving it a renewed status.
How did the idea for the edition come about?
While thinking about a theme or typology for the form edition, I was looking for two characteristics: a high degree of craftsmanship and something that couldn’t be made industrially, but also something that had an application in and connection with everyday life – something that is familiar to us. I was clear that I did not want to create a design or product idea that would have been better and more efficiently produced industrially.
A kinetic object is an interesting hybrid, it lies somewhere between product and object. That excited me. For form Edition # 5, I investigated the functioning and balance of common mobiles and questioned our tendency to focus on the vertically suspended elements in mobiles.
What were the challenges of developing the object?
I did several experiments under different conditions with different setups in order to get to know the material and consider my approach. Before we found the right parameters we inevitably had some unsuccessful attempts.
What’s special about the relationship between the horizontal and vertical?
In many kinetic objects the focus is on the vertically suspended elements, and this is precisely why I changed the focus. I wanted to focus on balance and imbalance in the horizontal and develop the idea further. An emphasis on one side unbalances the horizontal strut. The length of the counterweight attached to the other side corresponds exactly to the length of the strut that needs to be balanced, and restores the balance of the kinetic object.
How would you describe your way of working?
I have a very analytical approach to a topic or assignment. Where does something come from, what is its origin, and would this problem usually be solved? These questions are my starting point, and enable me to think about whether or not there are other possibilities and the questions can lead to new, more interesting or better solutions.
What meaning do products have in your living environment?
We are surrounded by products or surround ourselves with them. The interesting and exciting thing about products is their diversity and reason for their existence. There can be many different reasons for why we have them – functionality, sensuality, identification, or, for that matter, simply randomness.