say hi to_ Bannach
We were all swept away with the resurgence of Memphis Design in the past five years and then collectively most of the design world quickly tired of it. I felt like there was a void in the design world with too much brass and Scandinavian minimalism which is why the post-modern trend took the global design market like a wildfire. What I was drawn to with the Memphis comeback were the unexpected color palettes and then was quickly suffocated by the myriad of dizzying patterns and chaos. When I discovered the work of German rising design talent, Moritz Bannach, I felt a sweet nostalgia for what I liked about the Memphis revival, in his atypical color combinations and felt relieved and reenergized to see them used in chic and minimalistic forms.
Although simple in form, I felt like on first glance Bannach’s inaugural collection, ‘UNO’, first and foremost invoked images in my mind of the Dutch movement ‘De Stijl’ in its purist lines and block colors, a reminiscence for the Memphis movement as mentioned before, in the collection’s slightly more playful approach to color combinations. On second glance I had to say to myself, those Germans are quite brilliant with their logical approach to creativity as these pieces are still completely functional and could be anywhere from an avant-garde architects' office to a boardroom of a corporate company… If you have been following say hi to_ for any amount of time you know that not all furniture I find, love and feature are both experimental and functional at the same time. Hats off to you Moritz.
Funnily enough, after our chat, I found out De Stijl had no relevance in Moritz’s actual creative process and I completely missed the subtle inspiration of abstract-minimalist master, Josef Alberts. That is the beauty of BANNACH though, I find. You feel a nostalgia for a contemporary art movement or piece you’ve seen but you can’t put your finger on it because he completely transforms these influences into something new and fully functional. Time to revamp our office with one of these new tables - that’s all I know.
We sat Moritz down to talk more about his creative process behind BANNACH’s first collection ‘UNO’ and what is next for this rising star in the German furniture scene.
| Kristen | Hey Moritz! Can you please introduce yourself and what you do.
| Moritz Bannach | Hey Kristen, nice to meet you. I’m Moritz Bannach, born in Frankfurt/Main. I grew up in a family who was very passionate about creative things. My mother works as a graphic designer and always took us to art exhibitions as children. In my childhood, we always painted together a lot, especially large-format paintings with tons of colors. My grandfather had a small joinery and built his own furniture, which was always giving away to everyone in the family. As a kid, I was with him a lot in the joinery and I helped to make the furniture.
After a slight detour from landscape architecture studies, my path led me to dopo_domani, one of the most renowned high-end interior design agencies in Berlin, where I worked for over 5 years. During that time, I was always thinking about founding my own furniture brand… which I finally did at the beginning of 2018. And here I am now working on my dream.
| Kristen | What made you decide to branch out and create your own company? Do you have a concept behind BANNACH or a prelude to what we can expect in the future?
| Moritz Bannach | The idea of doing something myself has been with me all my life. I also always liked the idea of building a brand and creating something that has not existed before. While working at dopo_domani, everything suddenly made sense and resulted in the decision to start my own brand.
The concept behind BANNACH is to create furniture not only functional furniture, but also strong aesthetic values.
A purist design and bold combination of colors are among the core design features of the brand. To ensure a high quality of the furniture, I cooperate with selected manufactures in Germany.
For the next years, I want to expand the brand so that BANNACH will offer a comprehensive furniture collection which includes tables, chairs, storage furniture and also accessories. I am also really interested to collaborate with other designers on collections.
| Kristen | Your first collection UNO brings images of forms from De Stijl and colors of the Memphis Movement to mind. What were your inspirations behind this collection?
| Moritz Bannach | I was most inspired by minimal art and well known artists like Donald Judd and Josef Albers. I really like the works of Donald Judd. His fundamental thoughts on symmetry, proportions and dimensions have been a huge influence on me. The same goes for Josef Albers and his ‚Square paintings‘. I also like the idea of the Memphis Movement to use and combine lots of colors in the design of furniture. It was something completely different at the time and I admire the designers behind the movement, especially Ettore Sottsass of course.
| Kristen | Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process behind the collection? How do you get started and how long does it take you from concept to creation?
| Moritz Bannach | In the creative process, there is always a big emphasis on the visual perception. For example, when I'm on the move, out for a walk and can take time to observe everything around me. Also leafing through art books can be a great inspiration for me. There are some recurring examples of some artists who inspire me a lot that come to mind, such as Donald Judd, Dan Flavin or Imi Knoebel.
When I see something that I like and sticks with me, it starts a process in my head. Sometimes I immediately have a concrete idea for a piece of furniture, sometimes it just sets the process in motion. So, in my case, it varies how long it takes from concept to creation.
For the collection UNO, I was most inspired by the design principles of minimal art. Also the approach to combine many colors, as in the Memphis Movement and artists like Josef Albers, Imi Knoebel or Agnes Martin were an inspiration. I like the idea of combining a purist design with a selection of expressive colors. And that is also the fundamental design of the BANNACH brand.
| Kristen | Do you have plans for a second collection? Will you continue designing tables or will BANNACH branch out into different types of furniture ?
| Moritz Bannach | There are already concrete plans for expanding the furniture collection of BANNACH. Next, a series of mirror objects will be released. In this series, expressive colors are combined with polished copper, brass or black nickel. I also want to collaborate with other designers to expand the collection, especially when designing a chair that fits visually and aesthetically within the aesthetic universe of the tables from our first collection UNO.
I wanted to launch my brand first with the UNO collection because the modern dining and conference tables clearly reflect the core stylistic elements of the brand. The entire collection features a strong sculptural character, further underlined by its purist design and bold combination of colors.