Transalpino “Open Progress”

copyright by sven ole reneke und sven funke

copyright by sven ole reneke und sven funke

transapino_open_progress_startIMG_0312transapino_open_progress_objkete1transapino_open_progress_objkete2IMG_0761copyright by sven ole reneke und sven funke


Veneer is piled high in the display windows and spread across the floor of the exhibition space in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg borough. In the middle of the room is a U-shaped table, used for shaping, folding, cutting, stapling or gluing this thin wood. The walls are adorned with abstract shapes and finished objects like bags, bird houses, lamps and stools. Chalk arrows lead from one object to the next, documenting the process of how the products came into being and how they link back to the original concept.

13 designers from the German-Italian group TRANSALPINO spent seven days together in a small space developing objects from one material: veneer. They worked with waste material from a veneer factory, which is both low cost and easy to manipulate with basic tools. The designers created “ad hoc objects” connected in a kind of mind map – no object stands alone, each one is intrinsically linked to others.

The exhibition is an experiment, where the focus is not on the end product but on interaction, as well as testing and discovering the limits of designing in a public space. It doesn’t just showcase finished products but also “open progress”, in other words the group and the work themselves. Here, ideas and inspiration are shared, with none of the usual references to who has designed what. This theme is continued in the workshop rules: “Adopting ideas is encouraged”, “Copyright-free zone” and “No mass

TRANSALPINO is aiming to put its work in context both with other designers and the public. This means that it is not always easy to differentiate between the designers and visitors at the exhibition. Many people who just wanted to come and have a quick look grabbed a piece of wood and crafted an
object themselves. This also made them part of the exhibition.

The German-Italian designer group TRANSALPINO has exhibited at the DMY International Design Festival in Berlin and at the furniture fair in Milan in the last two years with pre-arranged themes (“Solutions with Hooks”, “Major Matter, Minor Matter – A Meal Among Friends”). The group is dedicated to encouraging the trans-national exchange of ideas.