Florian Borkenhagen

The rebirth of Breuer’s cabinet

Following Marcel Breuer’s S41 chest of drawers (1924/27), Florian Borkenhagen stacked six drawer elements for the S41-2 chest of drawers and gave each drawer element an individual handle. This programme of contrasts parallels the black and white alternation of the original Breuer chest of drawers.

The chest of drawers with its distinctly architectural look knows how to set the scene. Its perfect form is suspended by two side handles, as if to suggest that henceforth chests of drawers would not rest fixed to the floor, but could be moved light-footedly on castors.

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Borkenhagen’s work straddles the divide between art and design. His sculptures are frequently characterised by their interactive qualities, while his furniture and interior designs often possess a sculptural character. During the final year of his studies at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg (1980–1986) he worked for film producers Gebhardt in their set design and accessories department.

In 1988, he established a studio for furniture and object design in Paris after a stint in Rome, where he worked as a furniture designer, and production and set designer. In 1989, the focus of his activities shifted to Hamburg. From 1990 through to 1995 he worked from a studio in Como, Italy, where he founded the Laboratorio Como – a workshop for industrial archaeology and interdisciplinary research, furniture and spaces. Borkenhagen worked from a studio in Munich from 1996 through to 1998. During this time he held workshops in Dakar, Abidjan and Cairo. He has directed the TRAVEL-A-HEAD sculptural project in Hamburg since 1999 and has served as a professor of spatial concepts and design at the Academy of Fashion & Design in Hamburg since 2005.