DBS DESIGNER TALK: VAUST
As part of the DBS Designer Talk series we have been introducing you to fashion designers from the BERLINER SALON portfolio. This season, the initiative has undergone a transformation; it has cast its net beyond the world of fashion to create a new and exciting interplay between fashion, photography and design, all fused together under the BERLINER SALON brand. And with that in mind, it’s high time that we introduced you designers from the other disciplines, too. Kicking off this new era of Designer Talk is VAUST, an experimental design studio based in Berlin run by three friends; Joern Scheipers, David Kosock and Bart Navarra.
You’ve been friends for a while now and actually come from different backgrounds; architecture, marketing and fashion. When did you decide to start your label VAUST and what was the inspiration behind it?
J: It’s almost three years ago to the day that we were sat in Schwarzes Cafe on Kantstraße and decided to launch VAUST. At that time we hadn’t decided on the name VAUST, but we were absolutely certain about what we were going to do: design furniture. Our desire to work together just got stronger and stronger after spending many mornings huddled around the kitchen table in our first shared flat.
D: In some ways, VAUST is just the logical conclusion of our shared passion and friendship. When we first started we had no idea where this project would take us or how it would develop, so we took our time and spent three years trying to work out the right direction for us.
You describe VAUST as an experimental design studio. What do you mean by that exactly?
J: Experimentation implies sailing into unknown waters. We don’t want to succumb to the pressure of having to belong to a certain “genre”. The fact that we come from different professional fields gives us the freedom to realise the same vision using different approaches.
D: When we were defining the objectives and spirit of our studio, we quickly realised one thing; under no circumstances did we want to create any kind of framework or structure around us that could limit our creativity or potential. We are fascinated by everything between space and object, and we give ourselves the freedom to interpret VAUST as an experimental space for creative work that reflects that fascination – wherever this might take us.
To what extent are you involved in the design and creation process?
D: Generally speaking, Joern and I are the driving force behind VAUST’s creative process. We approach themes from different perspectives, which is the really great thing about our collaboration. Thanks to his knowledge and expertise in architecture, Joern has a very precise and spatial understanding of design, which is then combined with my often quite theoretical and holistic atmospheric reflections on the aesthetics that we are trying to achieve. Bartosz takes care of all the structural and organisational issues, he manages the studio, and ensures that we have the space and freedom bring our creative process to life.
You all put your heart and soul into every piece that you make, but how does your individual input shine through in the final pieces?
J: It’s difficult to say who was responsible for which particular element of our pieces or work. And that’s not particularly important to us. We care more about people being able to recognise that a particular piece was made by VAUST.
You transform materials such as oak, marble and brass into modern design pieces. What was the inspiration behind this idea?
J: It’s more about a particular purpose or a desire to use those materials. The result often reflects our understanding of the way in which materials are formed and of design, taking into account the spirit of the times and our own, individual visual input.
You never define or specify the function of your items. You leave that open to interpretation. Why is that?
D: For us, it’s all about the aesthetics. Our items should enrich the space they are in. As such, we also distance ourselves from traditional furniture vocabulary and talk more of “furniture-inspired” objects. The real benefit of our items is their aesthetic value, and that has to be spot-on at VAUST.
You launched VAUST V/33 as part of the BERLINER SALON. Why did you choose the Salon’s group exhibition to present your collection for the first time?
D: For us, the invitation to launch VAUST at the BERLINER SALON was both the perfect moment and the perfect setting. Being surrounded by jewellery designers, fashion designers and photographers fits perfectly with our perception of VAUST as an experimental design studio.
J: DER BERLINER SALON is a great initiative and it is very well respected. It was the first time that the focus was not exclusively on fashion. We’re very happy that we decided to take part, and it was an incredible way to present ourselves to the public for the very first time. Thank you again for the opportunity!
Thank you, guys!
Photocredit: VAUST Studio (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Getty Images for DER BERLINER SALON (6)