Legend has it that four rogues got together and decided to make a big deal. Lee (Leslie Hildebrandt), Joe (Johannes Hemann), Bill (Kai Linke) and Mat (Martin Wenzel) carpentered, with stolen wood, the glorious Saloon „StolenWood", in Offenbach in the summer of 2005. Mat made a bolt for it and went south. Lee, Joe and Bill never got enough, they knew, there had to be a bigger deal.
Johannes Hemann:Born in 1980. Resides in Germany.Johnnes Hemann studied product design at the Offenbach Academy of Art and Design. During his studies he spent one semester at the Department of Product Design Kingston University in London. The focus of Johannes Hemann works which have already been presented at several exhibitions and fairs, such as "inspired by cologne 06", "Stylepark in Residence", "Designboom Mart New York" and "post fossil" by Li Edelkoort", lies on furniture design. "Long live visual imagination!"
Leslie Hildebrandt:Born 1977 in Villingen (Baden-Wuerttemberg) 1997 - 2000: Training as the carpenter Hipp, Konstanz2000-2002: Work as carpenter's workshop Walser, Konstanz 2002 - 2008: Academy of Art and Design Offenbach/Germany, Department of Industrial Design 2008: Diploma at the HfG Offenbach am Mainsince 2009: Employment at unit Design GmbH as Designer
Kai Linke:Born 1980 in Offenbach am Main2001 - 2002: Architectural studies at the University of Technology in Darmstadt/Germany2002 - 2008: Academy of Art and Design Offenbach/Germany, Department of Industrial Design2005: Scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation2006: Internship at Studio Jurgen Bey, Rotterdam2008: Diploma at the Academy of Arts and Design, Offenbach/Germany, Department of Industrial Design2008: Freelancing at Studio Tomas Saraceno2009: Setting up own studio
Q : When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?A : Kai Linke: I always wanted to things with my hands and after my first try seeking into architecture i found out that productdesign is the perfect playground for me. Johannes Hemann: In the age of 12 or 13 I realized I have a passion for creating things. I grow up in an old farm house and there was always something to be built, to be renovated or changed. And there were a lot of things to work with, left from the former owners: old rusty tubes, wooden planks or springs from a bed. So I started to create lamps from these things and it became my desire to be a designer. Leslie Hildebrandt: While my work as furniture maker. I thought it would be great to give may designs to a producer instead of manufacture designs of other people.
Q : How would you define your design style?A : Kai Linke: a mixure between art & design playfully oriented on natureJohannes Hemann: It is hard for me to describe my style - as I always feel it is hard to judge your work yourself - I would describe my approach to design as a poetic and sensitive way of design. The focus of my project is often based on physical laws or natures´ laws. E.g. the storm furniture, where the wind shapes his own forms.Leslie Hildebrandt: Clear with a bit of surprise.Q : What would you do if you were not a designer/artist?A : Kai Linke: carpenter Johannes Hemann: My design is often inspired by nature - and this also comes as a result of my admiration for nature and the sports I do there - so if I could not be a designer, I would like to do something with sport. If possible outside, if not, maybe a sport teacher or - but this is far too late now - an elegant ballet dancer.Leslie Hildebrandt: I would be a furniture maker.Q : Where do you draw your ideas/inspiration from?A : Kai Linke: nature & history Johannes Hemann: From my surrounding, it is nothing in particular - just anything can inspire me. It can be an interesting combination in the city life or a very beautiful impression while being in the wild/ or only the green.Leslie Hildebrandt: From daily grid monitoring.
Q : Who do you consult about works?A : Kai Linke: friends Johannes Hemann: Mostly the people who surround me - my graphic design girlfriend - and a buddy from university - we studied together at the school of design and art Offenbach - and also work together on some projects. But I am also talking to people working with the materials I am using - as I think it is very important to respect the ones who actually make the things we create and to take in consideration the experience they have. Leslie Hildebrandt: friendsQ : Which of your projects do you consider a success?A : Kai Linke: Catching the Wild, Mirror ChairsJohannes Hemann: The storm series furniture, based on the idea to create shapes trouhgh the power of wind. Because after working with them and on them for quite a while now, it always still inspires me and my mind is still working on it - which is rare. Normally if you work on a project and it´s done - it´s done, but this is not the same for the storm series.Leslie Hildebrandt: My work with stolenwood.Q : Which of your projects do you consider a failure?A : Kai Linke: An art project I did with a friend.Johannes Hemann: There a lot of failures, of course. If you work on your ideas there will always be failures, but you would not learn if you would not make these mistakes - and sometimes after a while you work on the idea again and you cut it down to the basic idea and then you get it and the failure turns out into a good project. So there is still a chance to develop a good thing out of a first failure.Leslie Hildebrandt: I would not admit that.
Q : What is the first design work you can recall?A : Kai Linke: my LEGO creationsJohannes Hemann: I am not sure which was my first design work - it was definitely a lamp - but I would not call it a design work maybe. The first one which I would really call a work of design would be: Catching the wildLeslie Hildebrandt: My journeyman's piece.
Q : To what extent do you believe that design should be functional?A : Kai Linke: no good design can work if it doesn't functionJohannes Hemann: I think design can work in different directions; function is necessary but does not have to be the first quality of design.Leslie Hildebrandt: It should make you see the designs consciously.
Q : Name a colleague you admire.A : Johannes Hemann: Mathieu Lehanneur, he has a great sensitivity for green technology of the future.Leslie Hildebrandt: My colleagues of stolenwood and Reinhard Dienes because they have a great passion for what they do.Q : What have you learnt about design yourself?A : Kai Linke: patience and being well organized Johannes Hemann: You have to believe a lot in your own ideas and try to put as much as possible in your work and the energy will come back.Leslie Hildebrandt: I love it.
Q : What in your opinion is the greatest design invention in recent years?A : Kai Linke: cable clipJohannes Hemann: I am still waiting for the great design invention which will help solving a lot of problems the world has to experience at the moment - but maybe this would more be a project for designers and engineers and environmental specialists.Leslie Hildebrandt: Every product which makes mobile communication possible. Because it's not only a status symbol but it renders a new way of life without deciding on one place.
Q : With which personality from the past would you like to have coffee?A : Johannes Hemann: James Cook, I would like to know how he discovert the Pacific Ocean.Leslie Hildebrandt: Elvis Presley. I don't know why.
Q : Which materials interest/fascinate you most?A : Kai Linke: woodJohannes Hemann: Wood is still one of the most beautiful materials I know. It provides you with its own character and with all the different trees it offers a huge variation in colour/ patterns/ consistencies etc. and it can be treated in so many different ways. Leslie Hildebrandt: Soft materials. Because they enclose things. And metal because of it's structural analysies.
Q : What advice would you give a designer at the start of his career / What advice would you have liked to receive at the start of your career?A : Kai Linke: Keep on going! never lost your patience and be open!Johannes Hemann: Believe in yourself and your ideas.Leslie Hildebrandt: You have to have an aim. And you have to concentrate on it.
Q : What are your future projects?A : Kai Linke: planning a exhibitonbootJohannes Hemann: If I think about what I have told you, I think I should do something with wood again, as I am very impressed by the material, and worked with it a lot when I was young and not a real designer, but l did not work so much with it once it really comes to designLeslie Hildebrandt: I'm actually working on the designation systems for example for frankfurt fair gastronomy appliance.