Osko+Deichmann Unexpected twists

Blasius Osko and Oliver Deichmann
Blasius Osko and Oliver Deichmann | © osko+deichmann

Whether it’s plants turned into vases, steel tubing kinked to form chairs or tables inspired by wooden piers: the work of the Berlin designers Blasius Osko and Oliver Deichmann focuses on modifying ignored details with amazing functional results.

It is an item we always used to find in large department stores or smaller boutiques when buying shoes. The special shoe mirror with tilted out bottom edge, that put the footware in an easy viewing angle and helped us make that important decision: to buy or not to buy. Given up for lost over recent years, Blasius Osko and Oliver Deichmann gave a breath fresh air to this mirror design using a simple modification. They designed a shoe cabinet for the French furniture company Ligne Roset, with a kink that slants the mirror out at the bottom to put shoes in the right perspective.

Objects as storytellers

“Shoe Cabinet”, Ligne Roset “Shoe Cabinet”, Ligne Roset | © osko+deichmann The designers were both born in 1975 and got to know each other when studying product design at the University of Fine Arts in Berlin. After successful completion of their foundation studies in 1998 they founded the design studio wunschforscher, or ‘wish explorer’, where they created Jumping Shoes, based on characteristics they copied from kangaroos. They also produced a Sushi Roller for household use that works like a cigarette roll-up machine. Since 2005 their creative work has focused less on inventions and the fulfilment of unexplored desires. They now concentrate as a team osko+deichmann on form-finding and on the design of simple objects that have extra meaning or tell a story.

Playful approach

  • „Airhopper“ © osko+deichmann
  • „Clip Chair“, Moooi © osko+deichmann
    „Clip Chair“, Moooi
  • „Kink“, Edition 21, Helmrinderknecht © osko+deichmann
    „Kink“, Edition 21, Helmrinderknecht
  • „Straw Chair“, Blå Station © osko+deichmann
    „Straw Chair“, Blå Station
  • „Natural Indigo“, Galerie S. Bensimon © osko+deichmann
    „Natural Indigo“, Galerie S. Bensimon
Blasius Osko and Oliver Deichmann try to get the very best out of the most simple production methods. At a first glance, the results are often not immediately recognised. The way in which the Shoe Cabinet reflects footware in a completely new light is just as amazing as the occasional table Ponton, the team’s first furniture item for Ligne Roset. Inspired by a pier with reeds sprouting through, this table has an integrated vase for plants that can pierce through the wooden battens of the table top. The Clip Chair by Moooi on the other hand, copies the mechanism of a small, foldable market basket and is made of straight identical slats that are beaded on a steel cable. It then becomes a stable structure once someone sits in it.

Underestimated details in furniture design

“Ponton”, Ligne Roset “Ponton”, Ligne Roset | © osko+deichmann To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Bauhaus movement, three years ago, Osko and Deichmann presented the Straw Chair as a new interpretation of the Freischwinger or cantilever chair. Here again they used the method of a simple kink. The designers saw this deformation in the steel tube as an overlooked design detail that, when correctly dented and folded using a vice, can serve a functional purpose and also boast remarkable elegance. “It was a challenge to explore the design history on the one hand, and then again create a surprise effect by using a “deformed detail” to build a chair of an extremely strong and stable design”, Oliver Deichmann commented. The object thus derives its final form and function through “deliberate damage” by kinking.

Aesthetic appreciation of a defect

“Straw Chair”, Blå Station “Straw Chair”, Blå Station | © osko+deichmann This research not only led to a second four-legged stackable version of the Straw Chair, introduced in February 2010 by the Swedish furniture manufacturers Blå Station at the Stockholm Furniture and Lighting Fair. In the Kink series ¬ a small limited edition of steel tube furniture with tables, large arc lamps and small table lamps ¬ the dents previously considered to be defects were integral to the design.

This interest in deliberate defects and the positive aesthetic appreciation thereof is also evident from other projects, such as Natural Indigo for the French Gallery S. Bensimon. The object series comprises vases, clocks and lamps that are covered with a repellent, rough coating with a wax-like surface. This is normally used to prevent vandalism on objects in public spaces such as park benches. “We do not attach so much importance to the new function, but rather to a new form language“, Blasius Osko explained. “This led to the approach of emphasising the aesthetic quality of things regarded as blemishes and to look at them through different eyes.“