Special thanks to Berlin-based journalist Marie Sophie Bekker, for being Design Milk’s on-site correspondent for DMY International and providing this article about the event.

The DMY International Design Festival is known for supporting young talents and focusing on inspirational and conceptual design approaches. So the 8th edition of the DMY that took place a little over a week ago (June 9-13) revealed pioneering products and experimental prototypes by more than 400 designers from all over the world. It featured new product launches by professional designers, studios and firms as well as processual and experimental works by young and upcoming designers.

A main focus seemed to be on recycling and sustainability, that Managing director Joerg Duermann confirmed: “Sustainable solutions play an increasingly central role in the design process.”

For example Swiss designer Laura Pregger uses old and new porcelain for her work “The Curiosity of Cabinets,” that includes lamps, vases and wall pictures. Laura says: “I try to put the porcelain in another context. It is an ironical contradiction of tradition and modern trend.”

Finnish born designer Liisa Hyyrynen also aims to give objects an increased life time. She arranges old boxes, tins and other containers with historical cabinet silhouettes, creating unconventional pieces of furniture. Liisa says, “As consumers we are gathering more and more possessions, which are increasingly seen as disposable. I am aiming to rescue objects abandoned by consumerist society and to reinvest them with value.”

However, there were also many other inspirational products including German designer Johanna Richter’s Swing Necklace.

And also German designer Robert Haslbeck’s Under-Koffer, a foldaway table that transforms into a suitcase for easy transport.

Jin Young Lee from South Korea presented Da-Bloom, furniture designed to encourage children’s imagination – it is a chair, a table, a bench, a den. And what is even more important for Jin: “It can be used by adults, too. I use it for my books for instance.”

Berlin designer Susanna Hertrich presented the Chrono-Shredder to remind us of the “momentariness of Now.” This object combines functions of a calendar and a clock and so shreds every single day in real-time.

Are you one of those who have tons of magazines lying on their coffee table? So maybe Lukasz Wysoczynski from Poland has the right table for you!

Students of Burg Giebichenstein University of art and design in Halle (Germany) on the other hand were challenged with a special task for their degrees. They designed kitchens matching the motto “1,2,3 … easy kitchen”: 1 square meter living space, 2 hearth areas, 3 guests – these were the demands for the design. And this is what they came up with this kitchen. It’s called Come Together by Albrecht Seeger and Martin Klinke and it features lots of storage, a sink, hearth areas and four stools.

No Kitchen by Christopher Meyer. Sink and hearth areas are hidden beneath heat-resistant white silicone. Hence this kitchen can be used as a desk as well.

Winners of the DMY awards were amongst others the Austro-Croatian design team “For Use/Numen” with their tape installation:

This installation is made of 45 kilometers of transparent sticky tape that docks to the surrounding architecture. And apparently it is just great to hang out with your friends.

New to this year’s DMY and a highlight of the fair was the Maker Lab, which the Festival Managers describe as a “celebration of Open Design through practice, presentations and collaborative action.” In numerous workshops people could learn new techniques like weaving on a laser-cut loom, rhino polygonal modeling, bioplastic production or printing on fabrics. Joerg Suermann explains: “We want to involve people in the process of design making. Handmade is one of the trends in design, that’s why we focus also on knowledge-sharing.”

Photos by Marie Sophie Bekker, except Chrono Shredder photos from Susanna Hertrich and Liisa Hyyrynen cabinet photo from Liisa Hyyrynen.