Thomas Schnur is a German product designer based in Cologne

Hello Thomas, how are you?

Hi, I’m fine. Pleased to find the time to answer your questions after an intense week at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven and Orgatec in Cologne where I was presenting new projects with Functionals from the Netherlands and Objekten from Brussels.

Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Thomas Schnur, a German product designer based in Cologne working for international clients in the design field.

Where does your interest in design come from?

I have a very strong fascination for the possibility to build things that are used in the environment we are living in. In my childhood, it started with spaces – with my friends I was building small houses in the forest. Later I was trained as a cabinet maker where I became more familiar with the construction of furniture. After this I have studied product design. Today I’m running my office in Cologne and I guess I’m still following the same fascination.

Can you explain to us one of your projects?

I would like to contrast two of my projects: Rubber Table (2011) and Station Table (2015). Both side tables. One is very functional. The other one is very playful. Both are following certain ideas. Rubber Table is the transformation of the plunger into a table – meanwhile the idea of the Station Table is to transfer the principle of the cable drum into a side table for home use. I guess these two very diverse objects are pointing two extremes of my working field as a designer but they are both pivoting around the same interest: My research in designing something that creates a relation in between object and human.

Do you have a favorite material to work with?

In the last years, I was mainly interested in working with metal. I like the precision, the weight, the sound and the constructive possibilities of the material. But I’m also looking forward to next projects which will be in very organic materials as wood and earth. I’m not limited to certain materials – all materials have interesting parameters that I’m looking forward to learn more about.

A designer that you admire?

Konstantin Grcic for his diversity.

Is there a book which opened your eyes about design?

During my studies, I was fascinated by the trial and error approach from Konstantin Grcic documented in the book KGID (Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design) edited by Florian Böhm. At the same time the Super Normal Book by Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa became very important to me as a book of good daily life objects.

The last word…

Thank you for the interview.

Projects by Thomas Schnur. Interview: Dennis Moya and Tiffany Bähler, 11.16 ©

Industrial Design