Discover Germany, Issue 56, November 2017

Page 18

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Swiss Design 2017


Bringing a city’s silhouette to light A stark and sharp outline, lighted from behind: KONTURA design fabricates wall lightings shaped like the silhouette of Swiss cities – so far Bern, Zurich, Basel, Lucerne and Fribourg. In addition to the city silhouettes on offer, KONTURA also fabricates custom-made products for hotels, practices, hospitals and private customers. “My original inspiration was our move to Bern. Our new flat had very high walls and the view from the living room window was actually not very nice: The building next door was a large concrete office building,” says designer Susanne Heinzer. Because the room did not have any light fittings on the ceiling, she had an idea that would later become a business.“We created a wall light that gave us exactly the view we wanted,” a city silhouette. The Creative Hub helped with later product development. Susanne Heinzer is currently developing a new collection in her atelier, situated in a building from the 19th century. “I want to let ordinary things appear in a new form and in a new light,” explains

Heinzer, who has a great understanding of materials and their properties. Design should also have a function, she says. KONTURA design lightings are fabricated in the workshops of the GEWA foundation, a charity that helps people with mental health problems to integrate into a normal work routine. “Maybe the training period sometimes takes a bit longer, but

Small size but a lot of light. Photo: © Roland Goy (Fotostudio LichtBlick) and Susanne Heinzer


the work is always done with great precision and commitment,” says Heinzer. “We are very pleased with the cooperation.”

Designer Susanne Heinzer. Photo: ©

Zurich: the lights can easily be dimmed. Photo: © Roland Goy (Fotostudio LichtBlick) and Susanne Heinzer

A special way to say ‘Hello’:

Playful postcards and designs from Switzerland A giraffe with its head in the clouds, a mouse under a moon ready to sing a lullaby – schönegrü postcards are unique, hand-designed and inspired by artist Nina Binkert’s family life with five kids. Schönegrüsse stands for best wishes and speaks of the joy of writing and receiving handwritten notes. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: NINA BINKERT, SCHOENEGRUESSE.CH

For many years, Nina Binkert had worked as a freelance designer, but with five children she had to reduce her workload for many years. The family had moved into her grandparents’ house and renovated it from top to bottom. Three years ago, the designer added an atelier and finally had space to work at home. schönegrü was born. “All my drawings are inspired by my daily life with children. I love fairy tales and nature,” says Nina Binkert. Therefore, her atelier is not a closed off space, but one she enjoys together with her three younger kids. “They often play in the atelier while I work. That always cheers up the atmosphere.” The children even have their own workspace. 18  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017

Nina Binkert works together with traditional Swiss companies who print her hand-drawn designs on postcards, notebooks or calendars using lithography.

She has already made about 120 drawings, some of them sold out. In October, the publisher baeschlin published a children’s book with Nina Binkert’s drawing: Binkert illustrated a song by Silberbüx, a Swiss band who makes music especially for children. The text about a hippopotamus fits perfectly with Nina Binkert’s colourful illustrations. www.schönegrü