Newcomer 2018, Philipp Weber

In December 2012, Philipp Weber completed his design studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. His work focusses primarily on the value of the production process. Questions such as ‘What is the significance of manufacturing processes today?’ and ‘What is our relationship to the materials around us?’ serve as inspiration for his design approach. His projects shed new light on manufacturing processes and explore their significance in our society.

Weber’s project A Strange Symphony, an allegory for the relationship between glass and music, won the New Talent Award at the 2013 DMY International Design Festival Berlin and the 2014 Bavarian State Prize for Young Designers. In 2015, A Strange Symphony was added to the collections at the Shanghai Museum of Glass. Weber’s work has garnered international attention and has been featured in exhibitions in Italy, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Dubai and China. In the summer of 2015, the Australian National University in Canberra invited him to participate in a seven-week-long research project.     


A few questions to Philipp Weber:

You're a 2018 German Design Award finalist. What does this distinction mean for you and your work?

I’m very pleased about the award, and I feel honoured. It shows that my ideas and approaches to design resonate with people, that people consider my projects relevant. That understandably gives me a lot of motivation to keep going!

Traditional handicraft is central to your work. In this regard, what would you say 21st century design is about?

Today, technology provides us with so much. But I feel that we’re also losing something. Industry is making certain experiences superfluous, experiences that used to be essential. So, good design should be powerful and should connect you to the manufacturing process behind a product. We can’t forget about craftsmanship; rather, we should be assigning it new value. 

How important are the topics of environment and sustainability in your work?

My projects are about making things visible and more apparent, making them something you can experience. Although I don’t directly address the topics of environment and sustainability, this speaks to a default position of sustainability. My work questions the distance that is created between people and materials through industrial manufacturing processes. I’d like to generate a little reflection in the digital frenzy. Being sustainable is about understanding materials and valuing them. 

Carbon, glass, textile — what’s next?

I think industrial steel manufacture is very exciting. Which is why I’ve dealt with coke as a material in the past. In upcoming projects I’d like to work with iron and steel and creatively explore the manufacture of steel.