Thomas Schnur
Book Presentation and Window Exhibition

PASSAGEN – the design festival in the city center parallel to the cologne furniture fair – has been cancelled for 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Nevertheless, there will be an Window exhibition to see. From 18th to 24th of January the publishing house of Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König will present the “Chairman” book by Thomas Schnur in the shop window at Ehrenstraße 4 in Cologne. Beside the new book, the including furniture designs for Tecta, Echtstahl, Magnus Mewes and Tischlerei Valentin Winder will be on display in the shop window. On 172 pages with 329 illustrations, the design process of the Cologne-based designer Thomas Schnur is presented in the form of sketches, photos and drawings. In iterative processes, Thomas Schnur researches new forms of expression and constructions together with furniture producers. As a self-proclaimed “chairman” in both senses of the word, he designs chairs and furniture that address the ecological, economic and social challenges of our time. The book was designed by Deutsche & Japaner and is published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, Köln. It is produced in the Cradle to Cradle process and consists exclusively of ecological materials. 

Photocredit: Alexander Böhle

“In my projects I always attempt to negotiate with the product I am to design. I negotiate on the weighting of materials, manufacturing, appearance, meaning and function. I break down this task into its characteristics and meanings. I then analyze, assess and construct the idea. In this, it is important to me that despite their cross-references, the products, which are often created from familiar fragments, are able to develop the greatest possible degree of autonomy. In this way, they allow for associations but, beyond this, develop their own potential for becoming autonomous products.“

Thomas Schnur, born in 1983, trained as a carpenter and then studied product design at the University of Applied Sciences in Aachen. During his studies he worked for Mathieu Lehanneur in Paris and studied at the École Supérieure d’Art et Design de Saint Étienne. His work has been presented at numerous national and international design platforms: from imm Cologne to Maison et Objet in Paris and the Salone del Mobile in Milan.

Thomas Schnur has been teaching at the ecosign Design Academy in Cologne since 2016. His concern is not only to design products, but also to implement them with the students. “I see this as a contrast to the form of teaching which today is increasingly concerned with design on the computer”. In 2017 he published the book “Common Things”, which was presented with the exhibition of the same name in Munich, Cologne and Leipzig. For his latest chair design, a stackable wooden chair, he was awarded the German Design Award 2019.