We spotted German design brand Moij Design‘s Origami collection at Ambiente Frankfurt. “Moij” is low German for pretty or beautiful and the design studio was founded in 2013 by Hamburg Academy of Fine Arts Stine Paeper and Angelina Erhorn. Their work is characterized by a playful approach to material experimentation. We tracked down Stine and Angelina to find out more…
How did you first become interested in design?
We have always been creative and got to know each other during our product design studies at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. During that time we had the idea to run our own design studio after graduation.
What inspires you? Where do new ideas come from?
We constantly find inspirations in the most everyday of situations. We go through the world with our eyes open. We also like experimenting with materials and techniques.
Your work is quite diverse in terms of materials, techniques and disciplines – why is it important to you to be so broad in your approach rather than specializing?
Designing different things enables you to see things from different perspectives – and that’s what we love doing when we design. And the other thing is that we are constantly learning – gaining knowledge of materials and techniques and how the disciplines affect each other.
Can you tell me a bit more about the origami dishes that you were showing at Ambiente Frankfurt – what inspired their design and how are they made?
Inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding, we have created various bowls, plates and beakers from square sheets of paper. The paper is then moulded in plaster and the porcelain can then be cast in the plaster mould. At the beginning we wanted to find a manufacturer who would produce the tableware for us, but that turned out to be quite difficult. So we started a crowdfunding campaign, to buy the equipment and produce the it by ourselves. And with the help and support of a lot of people we raised enough money to make 500 snack bowls. Now a year later, we have a workshop in Hamburg and besides the snack bowls, the Origami tableware consists of smaller dip bowls, a cup, an espresso cup, and a plate.
How would you define good design?
Good design can be a lot of things, practical and aesthetic. For us it is important that design is out of the ordinary and follows a concept. And if a wonderful form means that you can’t stack the crockery, then that’s just the way it is.
Talk me through a typical day in the life of Moij Design.
Rather late due to our public transport tickets – we take the train to our workplace in Hamburg. It’s an old station building that we put a lot of work into making nice and it now comprises a workshop, a ceramic workshop, a kitchen, our office, a showroom and a few studios we rented to other creative people. We normally start with emails, followed by either working on orders or projects. We also leave our office chair sometimes to make some origami tableware for our online shop and markets. There is always a coffee break in the afternoon but beside of that no day is like any other.
What are you most proud of?
We are proud of how far we came in the last 18 months since we founded Moij Design and that we can work the way we want to work.
What’s next for you?
We hope that some of our furniture designs like the chair Sitzen and the light Spirallight make it into collections and get produced this year.