A visit with Krupka-Stieghan

Das ist Berlin: Part 4

By Anna Carnick

At a moment when Berlin finds itself firmly planted on the international stage, we interviewed a handful of emerging design talents who've chosen to make the dynamic city their home. First off? We chatted with the uber talented design duo Krupka-Stieghan. Read on for their thoughts.

Based in Berlin for nearly a decade, Katrin Krupka and Philipp Stieghan launched their joint studio in 2014. Given Berlin’s longstanding reputation for creative boundary breaking, the two consider it the perfect setting for their own practice, which centers round experimentation and sustainability. According to Krupka, “[We] design products at the interface of design, material, and process technology to reveal new potential and applications. Berlin has always been a place to experiment and explore, and I think that is something that influences [our] work.”

With their award-winning Recreate Textiles (2015) series, for example, the German duo gave new life to cotton waste from the textile industry, which is generally disposed of through burning. Working with a team of chemists, manufacturers, and research institutes, they created a range of bioplastics that were then used in hand-formed, elegant vessels that celebrate the unusual pattern and texture of the upcycled cotton fibers.

Speaking to the city’s current socio-economic landscape, Krupka says, “After all the discussions about rising rents and increasing social injustice, for us Berlin is still a friendly, social, and quite cozy place to live a creative life. In comparison to other European cities like London or Paris and also worldwide, New York or Tokyo, it is quite easy to get started without bigger investments.”

Photo © Marco Lehmbeck for Pamono
Not surprisingly, Berlin offers them great creative stimuli as well. “I love just wandering through the streets to discover materials, colors, and pieces of the city. As we are living and working in Wedding, my neighborhood is my inspiration at the moment,” Krupka says. “Wedding is changing in the last few years. Carefully, but it changes—more cafes, a few fancy places, but most of it is still Turkish and in the hand of the honest workers of Berlin . . . I like the parts of the city where you realize how much space you have here—wide streets, parks, waterfronts, places where you can see the sky and where the density of the city gets stretched.”


*This story is part of a larger series on the talents helping shape Berlin’s contemporary design field today. Get to know more of the new generation of designers—and their thoughts about their chosen hometown—by clicking on the links below. 


Das ist Berlin: A chat with designer Anna Badur  Read here.



Das ist Berlin: A conversation with Philipp Käfer Read here.



Das ist Berlin: A conversation with designer Elisa Strozyk  Read here.


Das ist Berlin: A visit with Katrin Greiling  Read here.


Das ist Berlin: A visit with MY KILOS  Read here.



Das ist Berlin: The city's new design guard discusses a shifting landscape. Read here.








  • Text by

    • Anna Carnick

      Anna Carnick

      Anna is Pamono’s Managing Editor. Her writing has appeared in several arts and culture publications, and she's edited over 20 books. Anna loves celebrating great artists, and seriously enjoys a good picnic.
  • Photos by

    • Marco Lehmbeck

      Marco Lehmbeck

      Born and raised between forests and lakes near Berlin, Marco studied creative writing in Hildesheim and photography in Berlin. He’s also part of the organizational team behind Immergut indie music festival. He loves backpacking, Club-Mate, and avocados, and he always wears a hat.

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