International Furniture Design Competition

Comments by the Judges

Nils Holger Moormann


I was very much looking forward to intense discussion with the other judges in Japan, and to judging what I was sure would be a very high level competition. My bags were packed and I was ready to leave, when I heard the shocking news of the earthquake in Japan… Design, travel and the seemingly important discussions with the other judges on where to place the product suddenly seemed so insignificant.

However, our work must continue, and the Japanese judges were forced to meet without their European colleagues. I was left with no other choice but to intensively study pictures of the submitted products and receive the best insight possible through live video conferencing. I wondered whether this was even possible. Aren’t the judges supposed to both inspect and test the products? I was therefore very surprised by the broad agreement with my Japanese colleagues on our favourite entries. The purity of excellent designs clearly shines through, even over long distances.

I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the organisers for their perfect preparation, and to the other judges for their assistance. I am looking forward to the final results with a hint of the unexpected, and with a new outlook on alternative approaches and solutions to problems.

Nils Holger Moormann

Nils Holger Moormann

Designer, Germany

Since 1982 the self-taught Nils Holger Moormann, as one of the protagonists of the "New German Design" school, has been producting and selling products from young, unknown designers. Following the main principles of simplicity, intelligence and innovation, the items are generally characterised by innovative characteristics, precise detailed solutions and simple form.

Since 1992, Moormann and his company have been ensconced in the idyllic landscape of Aschau im Chiemgau in upper Bavaria. Situated in the midst of the Alps, the company tries to have everything manufactured by firms located nearby. At time, it's possible to manage this aim by 98%. As a large proportion of the product components are manufactured by external suppliers, the company retains a high degree of flexibility and a large breadth of items manufactured. The regional structures, which have developed over a long period of time, paired with international contacts, have a decisive influence on the company philosophy. For example, the seeming disadvantage of a lack of infrastructure is compensated for by conscious definition of what the company stands for by the place where it is located. From an unconventional one-man firm, an enterprise has developed which employs a team of 20 employees, who leave Nils Holger Moormann time to be active as an international juror and lecture.

The furniture collections, of which many individual items have been awarded international design prizes, is constantly being extended, with new furniture and product lines being added all the time.