Interview: Matthias Demacker
by / August 17, 2006

Munich-based Matthias Demacker is an established designer who has worked with many well-known European design brands. He has also worked for several design offices but in 2003 he set up his own shop, demackerdesign. Judging from his recent work (see more after the jump), things are going well.

icon.barstool for B-LINE.

When did you decide to become a designer?
As a young boy I always liked to create things with my hands, but I didn't know about the profession of a designer. Then as a teenager after visiting the just opened Vitra-design museum in Weil (Germany) I knew what a designer does and I knew this is what I'd love to do…

Where do you do most of your design work?
Most of the time I am working in my studio, but since we are talking about inspiration- this can be anywhere…

origami.series for van esch.

Where, or from what, do you get inspiration for your work?
Like I just said it can be anywhere/ anything that catches attention. I just visited yesterday a great exhibition about the architectural work of Herzog and de meuron and this was really inspiring to see how they work… but it can also be a profane water puddle you see raindrops falling in, that wants you to understand the structure of the raindrops… or discovering a book about origami…

About that book...
For the origami series I discovered a book about origami in the bookstore, which was really inspiring. Then I tried to apply this art of folding to a series of furniture with a thin elegant material, but strong structure. First I thought about thin sheet metal that would become rigid by the different folding, then Simon Van Esch (the owner of the company I developed the series with) came up with the idea to go even further and try some first prototypes in aluminum and they turned out great: rigid and thin light lines... (here you see another important aspect of design: partners for communication).

Partners for communication, can you explain how this works for you?
I mean it is important to have someone that understands the idea and adds his own thoughts to it, so new aspects of the original idea arise. Sometimes a good talk about an idea leads to a whole bunch of new views that one alone could never think of (in the best case it is like playing ping pong with thoughts…) .

What is your favorite part of the design process and why?
I really like the start of a project, when you don’t really know which direction it will take, then you start trying different things until you know which way you want to follow it up. This is great, it is a lot of trying different directions and mixing different ideas…

Easy.Storage for B-LINE.

How would you label/categorize your work?
It really depends on the item. Sometimes my approach is playful sometime straight- I don’t want to develop a certain style, I’d rather approach the topic and discover what it is all about. But you can say that I like simple things, so I try to leave out most as possible.

Who are your favorite designers and/or architects?
There are so many good designers, but I really like the work of Morrison and Irvine and of course Grcic and the Bouroullec-brothers… like I said there are a lot…

What item (PC, pen, etc) can you not do without when you are designing?
I would say all: the pen for thinking and finding new ways, the PC for details and paper for models.

What's next?
Right now I am working on upholsteries, tableware, lighting and seating concepts, so I am doing a lot of furniture and accessories… In the future I would like to have the chance to do something new like consumer electronics- it would be great to have new experiences…

Anything you can show us?
I will be happy to send you some information as soon as it is ready…

plug.table for habit.


Full name: Matthias Demacker
Location: Munich, Germany
Size of team: 1+x
In business since: 2002
Claim to fame projects: The plug.table for habit, which was awarded with the interior innovation award 2005, astonished a lot of people for the simplicity of the function.
Spare time: friends, when I have time for them….


Favorite website(s): MoCo Loco, designboom, core77, materialconnexion
What music is on your iPod or radio? Right now the new Nouvelle Vague
Your favorite magazine(s): …
Last or current book you are reading: there is a pile next to my bed, that I will probably never finish, but on top is right now Jason Starr - Twisted City
Last movie you saw: I really don`t know…

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