The Raum (space) artist-run gallery in Bremen opened two years ago. The team includes the ceramists Tanja Möwis and Frauke Alber, the bookbinder Tale Jo König, and the wood designers Hergen Böttcher and Hubert Steffe. In addition, the gallery showcases products by about 20 other designers. What inspired its formation, and do such projects have any future prospects?
Hubert Steffe The open studios on the Kunstwerk im Viertel (art in the ‘quarter’) weekends showed us that there was definitely some potential. Then we found a nice room between Bremen’s cultural mile and the trendy district. We showcase all the genres between arts and crafts and contemporary design, and regularly organize exhibitions and the Local Designers information days. We also show films all day long on all the products and the relevant crafting processes. This is how we can immediately react to any spontaneous interest, and inform customers about manufacturing, materials, sustainability and functionality.
Art Aurea How do you compete with department stores and large corporations?
HS After several generations have grown up with the Ikea system and cheap mass-produced commodities, many people are growing tired of them. Many of our customers were determinedly searching for a place where they can find high-quality, individually designed products. We offer auteur products devoid of any planned obsolescence, some of which also have a story to tell. Many (including young) people meanwhile consider sustainability an important issue, and there is a need for “honest” products that are sturdy, and reliably perform their intended function, and which people also enjoy looking at every day.
AA Can you give me an example?
HS In particular in their kitchens and at their dining tables, i.e. where they spend their time with family and friends, people like being surrounded by objects that they have some kind of amicable feelings for.
AA How do you see your future prospects?
HS We are getting some nice feedback from our customers, and look to the future with a lot of optimism.
Raum für Handwerk+Design
September to March
28203 Bremen, DE
Interview Reinhold Ludwig
English translation Sabine Goodman