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DMY—International Design Festival Berlin

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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As part of Berlin design week, the DMY international design festival invites budding designers and artists to showcase their work in a classic industrial surrounding; Berlin's Templehof airport—now closed and used as a public field and exhibition centre since 2010.

The festival is an event spread across  several days, showcasing different artist and events such as award ceremonies, exhibitors, social designers, new talents, local designers and work from international design schools.

In general, Berlin attracts creative people from all over the world to work and live, with this in mind, it's no surprise that the vast majority of designers in the exhibition base their ideas upon new, innovative approaches to classic forms of furniture, accessories and gadgetry. So, let's take a look at some of the more exceptional work presented at the festival.


A dramatic day with a dramatic setting that breathes a lot of history into this city.


An airport that was once one of the worlds busiest and leading bases of operation for both cargo and commercial air traffic, hosts innovative young minds that could, one day, be leaders in their own fields of design. Described by British architect Sir Norman Foster as ’The mother of all airports', Templehof is still renowned as one of the worlds largest buildings, spanning a 1.2km long quadrant, was the first to hosts its own underground railway and, during its redevelopment pre-WW2, also forms the shape of an eagle mid-flight. A ground breaking airport for ground breaking design. 

The table Un/Quarto

Italian designer Ermanno Ferrari  has made the legs of this table using one larger leg from another; cut into quarters. The chairs beside the table, represent a fusion of old and contemporary design styles (by physically combining old and new chair forms and highlighting them with green and white paint) are handmade from solid fir, using eco-friendly methods.

Tool free furniture

Furniture that requires no tools to assemble? You must be joking, right? Wrong: Dado furniture is making its mark in the world. This example from designer Justin Allen is a fitting tribute to this movement. Stable and easy to erect, this style of furniture might be more and more easy to find in the near future.

Space age lamps

Made of lightweight metals, this ceiling fan, from designers Victor Foxtrot, is all about abstracting the glare from artificial lighting that we often receive. Each disk is adjustable to make sure you can create an admirable ambiance for your room of choice too.

The shallow swing

This design, known as the Potato Chip Chair, is a popular piece of garden furniture that's really making a name for itself in Europe. Made of weather-proof materials, it is craftily formed to take a good amount of weight (up to 3 adults); due to how the fabric supports the wooden frame and vice-versa. Those wishing to purchase one for their home can select a variety of different wood and fabric finishes to personalise it, even gradients are available. 

Imaginary deco

This work from a design student from Korea. It was one of the jury's selections for the entire exhibition. Mao and Piu are imaginary creatures who seek a peaceful life, normally invisible beings, this visual representation of them incorporates a special handmade paper based material that changes appearance during night and day.

Flexible Furniture

This unique new material fusion allows furniture to be decked in a comfortable and flexible surface made of plywood and foam. Here is just one application of its use, however it can be used as a cover for many, normally uncomfortable, surfaces; acting like a membrane. The smart material can be rolled up and stored with ease and attached to metallic objects through magnetic strips down the side. 

Weird and wonderful

The exposition contained some rather unusual pieces too, like this chair. This is more work of some design students, showcasing how classic pieces of furniture can be easily transformed into a variety of different forms—this example being a rather extreme way to illustrate a point!

Zoo—multidisciplinary furniture

The idea behind this simple design is to create a piece of furniture that is suitable for a variety of purposes. Zoo is essentially a stool, however it can also be used as a coffee table, magazine rack, bench (when attached to one another), shelving and a footstool. The wood used is pine and it's all sourced responsibly. As you can see, the prepared top surface is perfect for artistic personalisation!

Room in a box

The philosophy behind this unique design is that a bed, being the most personal and sentimental item of furniture that you're likely to own, should be more easily transportable. As a result we have the this bed: made of corrugated cardboard and capable of withstanding huge amounts of weight (with a mattress on top, of course). The bed comes fully assembled and comes to your door in a box; which you then open, pull it across the floor and voila! You've got a bed frame!

In addition to the bed, the company also makes a variety of other furniture types like a night stand and coffee table—a real room in a box.


Cityscapes is a design idea inspired by the cityscapes of America, visualised within wooden furniture—meaning each one has a real character of its own.

The street food kitchen

A Swiss design student from Basel, won the show for the team here at homify.  A simple sack barrow adjoined fold-out crates, creates a spatially aware and practical design that is as functional as it is beautiful. To the top right of the picture, we see a version with a sink installation and to the left a hanging herb garden atop a variety of fresh ingredients, ready for transport. A compact idea for those with little space and big ideas.

The street food kitchen

Around the other side is an area for hooks to hang utensils and cloths. The design comes in two basic models, horizontally or vertically adjoined and has a multitude of applications, from sink (as we saw) to a protected gas stove; for street cooking.

The ALU wine rack

Each part of this wine rack is a triangular piece that consists of four individual wine holders. The great thing about this is its potential for customisation; design anything you want, wherever you want. For example, the designer has given himself a counter to read at, something that would also act as a great serving hatch in a restaurant.

Fold up bench

An idea that we also loved, is a bench that was as portable as it is sturdy. Joined together, these benches could provide great seating at social events or parties and we hope too see more of them in the near future.

Take a look at more ideas from across the world—click here  

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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