A decision to move houses is mostly (and hopefully) determined by visions of the anticipated future. So was mine. But when I sorted and sighted old forgotten documents I realized my move became at the same time a discourse with my past. Some of my finds I want to share with you here.
The following lamps I designed, made and installed in spring 1996 for a sport-rehab hospital in Cologne. 150 years ago in this building the famous "Eau de Cologne" was produced. Lamp by lamp I try to show how I addressed to the architectural peculiarities I found there.
The "wing lamp" (click left photo to enlarge) was installed in the reception areas.
Wing shaped glass diffusers quote the structure of the ceiling. The hovering installation and the light flow accent the barrel vault and at the same time reduce its gravity.
The "shield lamp" (click left photo to enlarge) was the vertical correspondence to the above wing lamp. I designed it for the several corridors in the building.
This lamp reflects the barrel vault by its archaic appearance and the echelon of the vertical light bars underlines the spatial depth of the gangways.
The "cuboid lamp" (click left photo to enlarge) was installed in the roomy workout and gym areas.
The technical shape of this lamp corresponds with the modern character of the ambiance arousing by the mechanical devices.
The simple cuboidal form of the cuboid lamp reappears in the "slit lamp" (click left photo to enlarge) primarily used for the waiting areas.
Special reflectors inside the cube channel the light through the slits. The slit lamp was designed to illuminate the impressive girders and the ceiling sections they create.
The "tray lamp" (click left photo to enlarge) was designed for the administration areas and the surgery.
The corpus of this lamp disappears completely in the suspended ceiling and the glass diffuser covers the opening. The tray lamp was kind of a neutral element to integrate the above mentioned working areas subtly in the lighting concept.
This project was a personal milestone for me. Due to the enormous workload of making about 120 lamps I decided to do this kind of work full-time and since then I make my living from it.
Among the things I schlepped to Denmark when I moved houses was a big card board box full of magazines. In this box I recovered the very first report about a piece of furniture I made.
The feature came up in Feb. 1994 and was part of a series about local creative people in the meier magazine - the urban magazine for the Mannheim metropolitan area.
At that time I had built a little table for my living room and called it "Bra Board". This piece was inspired by tumblers/skipjacks:
The lower third of each corpus was filled with sand and steel so it stood up even when it was inclined more than 30 degrees to the side. The bottom edge was cut plain and capped so it did not swing in that direction. Finally a 1/2" glass plate was set in flush with the sculptures and secured the corporas balance in the longitudinal direction.
Due to its weight the board was not very practical when I was moving my furniture. But still I am touched by its uncommon statics and its futuristic sensuality.
Since mid of December quite a lot of web-travellers come to my page from CommandShift3 "where websites do battle" (The title of the website stands for the screenshot hot key on a Mac). On this website you are presented with the screenshots of two websites side by side and you can click the screenshot of the site you think looks better. In this competition www.max-longin.com - i.e. my homepage, not my blog you currently read - was voted as winner for December 07.
Another large portion of my visitors finds my website through search engines. Especially image search results for furniture design, design bed or design chair attract precisely my target group to my website.
All above is my delight, but it's the merit of my friend Ivo who designed and developed my website so elaborate.
Though the slogan of his website iconified Webdesign Mannheim is "Standards, not Standard" he coded my website so thouroughly that it even works fine in Internet Exporer ;-).
Thanks so much, Ivo!
Another project that I would call an early work was an outside installation of 1994 - please excuse the bad graphical material, but I did not keep records of this project as I was working as a mathematician at this time and did not make my living with artwork.
The Polaroid on the left side I took in the former chicken house where I welded the piece. It was an advertising sign for a fashion boutique named OXY in Heidelberg/Germany. But what came out was rather a sculpture than just a sign.
The sculpture was made of stainless steel and the central figure was composed of rotational corpora forming the graphical logo legible from any side. The figure itself stood on a cantilever tongue.
The pipe you see behind the sculpture was in fact a half pipe containing a white neon lamp. The mirror finished metal sheet at the wall side was bended parabolically and the lamp was placed exactly in the centre of the parabola. As centre beams reflect parallel in a parabola the sheet was blinding bright from the distance leading to a mystic silhouetted lettering.
Fortunately I found at least some contact prints of the piece set up.
... was the slogan, goal and claim of the "Volksb?hne" (German for "People's Theatre") which was founded in the early 1890's in Berlin.
But to introduce my last project in Mannheim before I left to Denmark let my start with telling you that 2007 is 400th City Anniversary of this lovely southern German metropolis.
This anniversary brought 3 Mannheimian women (www.mein-mannheim.de (German only) - I. Krueger, N. Enke, S. Ballhause) to the idea to describe Mannheim through the eyes of its inhabitants. That is, they interviewed and photographed 30 citizens and the 3 women's work was published as a book.
(The book "Mein Mannheim" is published by the "Verlag Edition Quadrat"- ISBN 978-3-923003-94-5, the contents of the displays you can see on the website mein-mannheim.de).
But isn't it a little unsatisfying to show the view of the common people only to those who are willing and can afford a high gloss book?
So the three women came to me with the idea to make an exhibition of their result on a public free accessible place. The City of Mannheim supported the idea and provided a 800 square meter place between the fountains on the central "Alter Messplatz" for a three months exhibition. So I designed heavy weight (to resist the wind) displays and manufactured them in my workshop to install them in a public place for an entrance free exhibition.
This is why "Die Kunst dem Volke" was my singsong during my last project in lovely Mannheim.
I am moving houses and my workshop! Elke and me fell in love with an erstwhile farm on the west coast of northern Denmark and we are moving houses.
To me there are many new wonderful experiences as we now have an own piece of land. We have a little forest and sheep on the grassland. We grow plenty of vegetables and fruits. I am cutting down trees and make firewood. We started growing another forest to protect us from the heavy winds in some years. And in my freetime I enjoy being at the wonderful beach.
You see there is a lot to do besides working in or improving my new workshop, but I won't complain as it is great to work outside on the countryside. But you may excuse that I hardly found time to post some news on my blog. Finally now i did and reported on my last two projects in Mannheim which both were making displays. You find one above and one below.
I am very proud that I was asked by Thomas Busse, the workshop manager of the National Theater in Mannheim, to develop frames for changing exhibitions in the foyer of the time-honored theater together with him.
The National Theater Mannheim is the eldest municipal theater of the world. As important milestones of the historical value of this institution let me mention that the world premiere of Schillers "Die R?uber" (The Robbers) was given there in 1782 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart worked there from 1777 to 1778. Today the National Theater offers a colorful mixture between classic and modern theater, opera and ballet.
A requirement for the displays was that the pictures to be displayed could be easily changed and that the frames should hold pictures on both sides. The light construction we chose were stainless steel outer frames holding photographic paper looped at the corner by springs.
The pictures you can see inside the frames on the left are from an exhibition on the occasion of Mannheim's 400th anniversary where the National Theater reflected a period of its history in the 50s. The pictures inside the frames are of the famous German photographer Robert H?usser.
I am asked from time to time whether it is possible to see a float bed in New York. Here you can see one! Ok, sorry, this float is not exhibited, this posh room is private - and the bed was ordered by the 1100architect studio.
I am happy that I can call the lovely singer Verona Davis (known from the Stereo MC's) and the amazing keyborder Thomas Hinkel (known from the Schwefel band) friends. They founded a band called Evolver and they were inspired by the swaying feeling of the bed to make a marvelous song.
You can download the song in mp3 or ogg format from the downloads section of my website.
When you develop something new you have great advantages on the market as you have an item which no others can provide. The term "Unique Selling Point" (USP) is very fashionable nowadays in the terms of marketing.
On the making side my interpretation of the abbreviation USP would be "UnSpared Pain", as you have to manufacture every minor detail that is not a technical standard. In the picture you can see some pushers I have manufactured during many hours and rests of the preliminary products.
Even these little tools for the disassembly of the float bed are very labor intensive, including:
- turning of the grip, the trapezoid thread rod and the hexagon nut
- cutting and drilling of the flat stainless steel bar
- welding the nut on the bar and the wrench insert on the thread
- bisecting, glueing and oiling of the grip.
Well, actually I wanted to show you that I spare no pains to build your bed!
Ever wondered how a float bed may look made up? Here is what I was asked in an inquiery from Atlanta: "... I've seen lots of pictures and reviews about it online, but I haven't seen a single image of the bed actually made, complete with bedding. I'm curious to see if it would look just as good with sheets on...do let me know if you have any pictures of the bed made up." So I made up the one in my exhibition room! It is a California Kingsize float made from american maple.
I took me some effort to keep the survey over all the different tube segments I welded together for the production of the first eight stream chairs. But all parts fitted perfectly, thanks to the brave bar benders of Fa. Schuster Co. In the background you can see a first pre-assembled chair. In the foreground you can see first weldseams which you will not recover on a finished chair.
The "Alte Feuerwache" in Mannheim is an old fire station used as interpretive center in Mannheim city since 25 years. The Alte Feuerwache building raised 1912 is one of Mannheims landmarks. On the southern front directed to the river Neckar I installed a float bed banner.
Ever wondered how such a little one-man firm as mine makes it to have such perfect photos on its website?
Lucky I am to have a brilliant photostudio next door, and my luck is hard to put in words: the award-winning grandmaster of the camera who runs this studio is my brother Stefan Longin! The gorgeous photo on the left (click to enlarge) recently was awarded at the BFF, the German Association of Free-Lance Photographers. To see more such sophisticated shots feel free to visit him on his posh website www.longin.com.
To achieve the stream chairs uniformity I assemble its several parts in a universal positioning device. The concruence of the chairs is provided by a grid, and in abstract terms this grid is the least common constructive denominator of the chairs. In the trestle you can see on the picture all parts that have identical positions in all different stream chairs are positioned. To facilitate my welding I clamp all parts to achieve tight fits and perfect seems.
Rys from Sheltering Sky Design used a float bed for his interior design. Sheltering Sky Design claims its essence to be Authentic Reflection, Innovative Design, Natural Character, Redefined Expectations, and Multi-Dimensional Experience. Currently you can find the same photo on the Sheltering Sky Design website as a part of the project one, the documentation of a striking complete interior design. Thanks for the photo, Rys!
floats packaging concept is not only very useful to transport and store the bed, it helps me to join the rods with the tube corners precisely. The tenons of the rods are turned over-sized and I compress them to fit into the tubes with a nautical glue. The mid rail of the inner frame contains small cutaways to hold the outer frame parts exactly. The rods and tubes are taped during this process to avoid stains from the glue.
Crucial for an invisible weldseam is a perfect congruence. I achieve such a perfect fit by pressing the bars ends into two prisms simultaneously. Here it is amazing how much better the fingers feel an excessing projection as the eyes can see it. Finally when my fingers "say" that the fit is satisfactory I come to welding and - believe it or not - this is the point when say I love to work:
The welding process is an unexpected smooth operation - you may even call it ruminant or meditative. You try to move smooth and continuous and watch the melting metall. Yet the melting of the solid is a continuous process. That means you don't have just the discrete states "fluid" and "solid", but all in between. Like when you drive your bike at a certain point you stop thinking about that - you just watch how you channel the seam by mastering the ductile.
(Page 1 of 1, totaling 18 entries)