are an ever growing international collection of designers focussed in their practices on building a sustainable future into the products they create - transforming perceptions of waste materials and the way we use things in the process

postfossil




Postfossil News 


Postfossil are a Swiss collective of designers. As the name suggests, they are concerned with a future that doesn't depend on fossil fuels. 
We met and befriended the Postfossils at Ventura Lambrate in Milan 2011 where we were exhibiting neighbours. They were presenting their work "trattoria utopia" around a table laden with cleverly styled food - including a dazzling checker board made from white radish + red capsicum squares and rosemary infused water stored in large glass jars - demonstrating their theme of the importance of the rituals of sitting together around a table, sharing food and playing games - like their own democratic chess.


democratic chess


juri cutlery and chequer board hors d'oeuvres at trattoria utopia


The Postfossil designs were integral to this theme; vessels that offered food in small healthy portions; the Juri cutlery; one set of stainless steel forks and knives that slowly take you from a meat eating diet to a less environmentally impacting vegetarian one - another set that makes eating quickly difficult so that we slow down to enjoy food in a more healthy and social way, chairs, stools, baskets and games that all worked together to create a cohesive working example of the lifestyle that Postfossil both live and promote through their objects of design.



Five forks on the Subject of Slow Food. The juri cutlery by
Thomas Walde was also shown as part of the SOS exhibition
in Sydney

We would sit with the Postfossils, often with a glass of their Swiss rosemary water or the Australian red wine left over from our Vogue Living opening event, playing with a Postfossil spinning wooden top and talking about our lives in the different hemispheres. If I could portray this experience in a film it would be of all the salone sped up into a spinning blur happening quickly all around us, while the movement in the Postfossil camp occurred in slow motion, almost like we were in another dimension. 

When not sitting with them, I sometimes watched from our exhibition as a lot of visitors passed the Postfossils by, if you were tuned to moving fast and taking things in quickly on your visit, attracted by bright colours and lights, then this installation surrounded by its small stylistic swiss trees, where time slows down, is easily overlooked. 

Over the five days of the Fuori Salone and the whole Fiera this exhibition emerged for supercyclers as one of the most important, the message: slow down, eat well, use less - but hand made, enjoy what you have.

This year I invited the Postfossils to be a part of the SOS (supercycle our souls) exhibition in Milan and I feel they added a strong and important dimension to the exhibition. While much of the work in the SOS show concentrated on material re-invention/use and democratic approaches to production and design, the Postfossils presented new works that embody a subtle sustainable outcome into their end use.


fred & ginger by Claudia Heiniger
Claudia Heiniger's Fred & Ginger, is not a ground breakingly new idea, but she has created a dustpan and blond timber broom beautiful enough to stop it from being hidden away in a cupboard, her hope that having it leaning up against a wall in your kitchen or living area makes it easier to use than reaching for the vacuum cleaner and hence turning on the power.

Anna Blattert has made a simple and beautiful set of coloured glass jugs with a cork stopper housing a metal container to hold citrus or herbs which infuse into the water. The Postfossil logic is that this might encourage a flavoured drink at home, avoiding bottled water or acting as an option to a can of flavoured drink. Again this is not such a new idea, but carried out in an updated and desirable way.

Stir It by Anna Blattert 

The other piece in the SOS exhibition was Thomas Walde's Sculptures for the Turn - these are formal interpretations in white maple that portray for Thomas times in history when humans have had a paradigmatic shift in thinking. His belief is that now is one of these times. The sculptures are intended to act as a catalyst to the viewer to think about these moments.


Object for the Turn


The latest series of Postfossil works are currently in manufacturing development and will be released (imminently) so that we can own and use these tools in our fast lives and maybe do a little postfossil slowing down in the process.

supercyclers: where are you based? does where you live and work influence your practice?
postfossil: We all live and work in Switzerland, but we don’t share one studio. Anna Blattert and Christine Birkhoven sharing their studio with two other industrial and furniture designers in Zurich. Daniel Gafner is running a workshop and a studio with two artists and several carpenters in Zurich too. Claudia Heiniger is sharing her studio with her husband, an architect in Berne. Thomas Walde is working in a studio with five other designers in Aarau.
The exchange with other designers and artists is important for the work of Postfossil. The fact that we are living and working from different environments helps us to grow a wide network and brings various inputs.

tell us about how Postfossil met and formed? and who you all are...
We met during the time of our industrial design studies in Aarau, Switzerland. In 2006, when we finished our studies we thought to continue our personal exchange regarding our design projects. So we arranged a meeting and founded the collective with a theme which converted later to our name Postfossil. We are all industrial designers who run a design studio. Postfossil is growing and become an important factor to everyone of us.

how do you work - do you collaborate together on some projects?
or all produce individually within the group?
Several times per month we meet and discuss our products and intentions. If it is not possible to see each other we meet on skype or share our thoughts over internal blogs. How we work and collaborate among us it is diverse and open. This year the furniture and objects for Postfossil were personal projects which we reviewed in the group. Other projects like exhibitions or a chair project for a restaurant we did together as a team. Postfossil has become quite a thing, so there is also a lot of work to do besides the creative process. This part we share among each other of course.

why do you think it is important to work under the banner of one name?
It was more a circumstance of our situation that we started to work under one name. If you work together on problems, the good solution is much more important than the individual name. But we also realised that we have more power as a group than on our own. Especially if you work on a topic like the post-fossil era it is important to have an ongoing discourse, you are forced to reflect and be reflected by your companions.

what would you say are the main themes in the Postfossil work?
We create and produce objects for the home in the context of problematic resources and in light of the postfossil era. The use of environmentally friendly and renewable resources is only the basis; The word fossil does not only stand for energy sources but also for social behaviour patterns. 
Our work is based on three key aspects. 
First, as a platform and through exchange we try to conduct research on materials that assimilate a philosophy for an oilless future.
The second aspect is the production; We produce our own collection. The decision to produce ourselves allows us not only to retain the design, but also to manage the production and distribution; another step implementing the postfossil approach.
The third aspect is to engage with the user and the transmission of the postfossil thought itself. 
To this end Postfossil exchanges ideas with users, leads public discourse and holds workshops.

what are some of your career highlights?
We already had a good start. On our first joint presentation at the Salone Satellite in Milan in 2008 we won the design report award and had a lot of interest by press and buyers. This validated us and gave us the motivation to work on. Later, we were invited by the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich to be part of a small exhibition that helped us to be acknowledged also outside the design scene, which opened new possibilities. 
One of our biggest projects was probably the “Designers Dinner” at the DMY Berlin in 2010 for the Swiss Embassy. It’s hard to say which were the highlights, we are really lucky to have had a lot of interesting projects in the past.

what is coming up for Postfossil?
We are in the middle of the setup for our first solo exhibition in the Forum Schlossplatz here in Switzerland. We will exhibit some of our products, but we are also going to have an open  workshop where we will experiment with new materials. There will be Workshops, lectures and talks. We are really looking forward to it!



some of the Postfossils:
Anna Blattert, Daniel Gafner, Christine Birkhoven, Thomas Walde