Ilja Oelschlägel was part of a group exhibition from Burg Giebichenstein,
Hochschule für Kunst und Design Halle during IMM Cologne this year. The variety of work in this display was impressive and Ilja's Heureka candleholder was fun to watch, given that the passage of time was captured by the movement of the candles in the water that held them. Ilja's portfolio spans furniture, accessories and a kitchen module, all presenting function with a twist.
The Heureka candleholder that you presented at IMM Cologne was a fascinating design. Did you set out to create a candleholder, or were you playing with the concept of the water and the heat first? How did the design come about?
The first prototype of HEUREKA was made out of concrete. It was one of the first studies of a concrete funiture project. And you are right... I was really playing the elements of water, fire and stone. Otherwise I'm really fixed on simple but fascinating physics-based experiments or phenomena - especially smart mechanical solutions. It is probably based on my mechanical engineering history.
Your 7 für die Ecke collection features seven designs created to fit into the corner space of a room. We are particularly curious about three of the storage ideas: the Indieeckebesenbesen, the Jecket and the Waldeck. How sturdy are these? They look like great ideas, but to what degree are they functional.
They are all sturdy, functional and still in use. Waldeck is a quite poetic design to confirm the function of a corner as a place to back out or to observe. It shows parallels between a high seat in a forest and sports equipment. Jecket is nearly ready for a serial production and was already requested by a company. Indieeckebesebbesen is functional too, but it is much more an ironic design. It is much more an ironic on a new function of a broom and its stable stand in the corner of a room....
You also participated in the creation of the Compact Kitchen, another wonderful idea. Why are modules like this not readily available to the public on a regular basis? Are you working on other designs of this type?
Oh yes. Compact Kitchen was a very good project and I really want to follow on with this together with my team partner Melanie Olle. To realise this project in a serial production lots of financial and technical obstacles have to be overcome. But we are working on it.