From product to space

From brand strategy and product design to flagship store and exhibition concepts – the collaboration with UTENSIL demonstrates our holistic design approach very well. In 2009 we started work on the brand strategy and developed the flagship store concept. We have been creating products for UP, UTENSIL’s own product series, since 2012.
We designed a modular trade fair stand for the presentation at Milano Design Week and have implemented several pop-up store concepts for brand presentations at exhibitions or events.

The brand

A store in Ehrenfeld, Cologne’s former working-class neighbourhood and now an ambitious designer quarter, has been creating a stir with its extraordinary convincing product range since 2009: industrial culture comes home – with UTENSIL.

The Assortment
Store owner Anna Lederer takes lamps, furniture, bags and clothes, cutlery and dishes – all familiar from workshops, professional kitchens, laboratories or schools – out of their professional context and presents them as functional and aesthetic products for private use. In UTENSIL’s sale room, a workshop lamp turns into domestic lighting, a laboratory glass becomes a wine carafe, a leisure locker key wristband changes into fashion jewellery, Japanese work shoes are fashionable accessories. Stadium seats become a garden bench, while canteen crockery finds its way onto the coffee table. The carefully compiled range is available in the UTENSIL store in Cologne, as well as Europe-wide via UTENSIL’s online shop.

The Owner
Initiator, curator, merchant: designer Anna Lederer (born in 1976) has always been more interested in the use of everyday objects than in designing more and more new products herself. After her training as a saleswoman, her defined goal was a shop of her own. With UTENSIL, she ennobles anonymous industrial design, and the skilfully curated range provides added value to everyday life, aesthetically as well as practically.

UP – The utensil product collection

UTENSIL presented its first collection, which went far beyond the concept of a regular range, at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2012. Designers from Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia reinterpret industrial objects with unique materiality and convincing functionality – or exploit their manufacturing methods – to invent innovative products for private use. Even though they’re completely new and distinct, these products impress with their formal recognition value.

Our studio has so far developed three products in the UP range – Newschool, CarPet and Raster. Further products are in progress.

The store

Distinct and simple design, convenient use, resilience as well as a fair price – the philosophy behind the products and the curatorial concept of UTENSIL can be inferred by glancing at the shop fittings and the location in Ehrenfeld. The wall tiles, hooks, glass ceiling, and original entrance door from the 1950’s were deliberately retained in the Utensil flagship store, a former greengrocer’s and butcher’s shop. Elements typical of the shop’s former trade, such as colourful grocery boxes, inspired the new interior concept.

Pop-Up concept for trade fairs

Modular and compact – we designed a stand concept that had to be very flexible and easy to set up. The presentation elements made of black MDF provide the perfect stage for the iconic UP products.