Anyone who has been writing about design for 25 years has seen many trends come and go. In retrospect, I even have to smile when I think about some of the theories – such as the one that things would ‘disappear’. That was actually predicted a good two decades ago with the advance of digitalisation.
Today, we know that analog hasn’t disappeared – and that we still want to live with things that can be kept and touched. The return of the vinyl record, for example, was unthinkable for many – and yet record players are enjoying great popularity again. Especially because we now have access to millions of songs via our smartphones, there's something special to the ceremony of putting on a record.
I know what I am talking about. My collection has been growing for years and my pile of books isn’t getting any smaller, either. At some point, you become a specialist for storage space and presentation possibilities, because what you like to have around you should also have a suitable place at home. The same applies to folders and documents that you need for your work and that should always be at hand in the office.
Aesthetics, paired with functionality
There's no doubt about it: when architects and interior designers think about the ideal properties of a new, modern shelving system, a whole series of crucial points come together. Aesthetics should be paired with functionality, robustness is a central aspect – just like flexibility, easy assembly and material sustainability.
Of course, not all wish lists can be fulfilled – but when an experienced professional like Munich designer Stefan Diez joins forces once again with manufacturer Wagner Living, one can assume that no half measures will be taken. On the contrary. The new D2 shelving system designed by DIEZ OFFICE combines the above-mentioned requirements in an independent, modern and innovative way.
Sustainability and ease of assembly in particular distinguish the D2. The parametric furniture system uses translucent polycarbonate panels in combination with commercially available aluminium or cardboard honeycomb panels. Why? Simply put: in terms of the circular economy, these two materials are currently the only ones that can be recycled by type, unlike comparable sheet materials.
With a specially developed fitting made of nylon and matching aluminium profiles, the panels can be joined together without tools to create shelving and customised room solutions. D2 is offered in two versions, both made of aluminium. Incidentally, Wagner Living deliberately offers the planning and the patent-pending connector individually – and not the finished piece of furniture.
The aim is to build up an infrastructure that brings local craftsmen, architects and customers into contact with each other; this combination optimises transport and storage costs. And when local craftsmen take over the assembly of the furniture, not only is professional implementation guaranteed, but the short commuting distances help to save fuel and hence protect the environment.
The team at DIEZ OFFICE anticipated every step in the design phase and developed a clear idea of how to develop both the production and the subsequent recycling of the individual parts of the D2 system in such a way that a cradle-to-cradle material cycle can become a reality: materials that have already been recycled can be fully reused later.
Sustainable and modular
Considering the enormous quantities of materials used in office furnishings every year, this concept takes a huge step in order to minimise the industry’s harmful impact on the environment. As an interior designer tasked with furnishing large office spaces, choosing D2 by Wagner Living and DIEZ OFFICE can score important sustainability points.
After all, most companies have long been sensitised to the issue of greener production choices and decide in favour of a particular product precisely on this basis. But just as decisive in the case of D2 is the restrained, minimalist appearance of the adaptive and modular system. This is already demonstrated by a current exhibition in which it is being used.
Dedicated to Bauhaus member and chair designer Erich Dieckmann, the exhibition at Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin was realised by Stefan Diez and furnished exclusively with D2 by Wagner Living. Here, the qualities of the system are evident, providing an ideal stage for the historical furniture designs. So, do things disappear? Fortunately not!