Geometrically astounding pieces that will intrigue and inspire.
mydeco.com in conversation with The Fundamental Group.
What's the ethos behind your brand?
Hungry. We're always hungry, curious, tasting, and testing. In most ways, we live in a totally saturated, privileged culture, but there are some things one can't get enough of in order to live a good life: knowledge, understanding, growth, the possibility of transformation. We are hungry for that. And this hunger, this curiosity, this delight in glimpsed understandings is what we look for in our designs.
Where do you find your inspiration?
We're inspired by geometric principles, but the burgeoning Berlin studio owes its existence, at least in an abstract sense, to another realm entirely: physics, i.e., the field in which opposites attract. We take much of our inspiration from Islamic architecture, which has a similar mathematical bent. Moorish architecture is interested in transforming one volume into another; they were constantly trying to put domes on square rooms. Currently we’re really inspired by two distinct movements in history: the early Italian Rennaissance and the Arts & Crafts movement in England and its Deutscher Werkbund counterpart in Germany in the era running up to WWI. What the eras have in common is that they emerge after a period of cultural stagnation and open the doors to new ways of seeing. We aim for an essential simplicity in our work, but we also imbue our pieces with subtle texturing to give richness and depth, and ensure that people keep coming back to the work.
What is your most prized possession?
Stephen: I recently bought a small ca. 15th-century clay pipe at a farmer`s market somewhere in Turkey. It was hidden amongst some old, used plumbing tools and I couldn`t believe my eyes.
Gunnar: I have a small collection of works by contemporary American and German art-school graduates from the last 5 to 10 years, mostly friends and their friends. We also hold some East German artists on our studio walls, like Willi Sitte and Werner Tübke.
How would you sum up your personal style in one word?
Can you explain a little more about how you make your products?
Our furniture and small objects are physical manifestations of our attempts to work out simple mathematical logic problems. The Kennedy and Monroe side tables, deal with growth patterns. What happens when you split a line over and over again and how many times must you do it before it produces a viable table surface? The answer is 126, in case anyone’s interested. The ultimate payoff of that approach is that it piques the user’s curiosity and prevents the final piece from seeming too static.
What would you say is your hero product?
It depends on the day of the week. But if we had to chose an absolute favourite it would be the Rhombus System, because of the way that it really engages the user to 'own' the product and make part of their space their own. We've had lots of amazing feedback from people who've totally transformed their spaces with something they know is 100% unique and limited to an edition of 1.
The Fundamental Group's best sellers
- Rhombus system, full set
- Fragmente, complete set
- Scented candle, wood '82
- A few of my favourite things, small
- Parabola cups, set of 6
Hercules, smoked oak
Hercules, smoked oak£800