“Classic success is not significant. In order to achieve that one must usually conform. The greatest success for us is to implement a project in collaboration with brave, inquisitive and open-minded partners, partners like us, who will not hesitate to take risks and who are able to overcome the conventional.”
It’s my pleasure to welcome Kirsten Hoppert of the husband-and-wife German design studio Vertijet. After studying together at the Halle/Saale University of Art and Design, interior designer Kirsten Hoppert and product designer Steffen Kroll decided to go into business independently and found their own studio in 2000. The name Vertijet reflects Kirsten and Steffen’s curiosity, their experimental working methods, and their passion for expressive, unconventional forms. Vertijet has been awarded significant prizes including seven Red Dot Design Awards, two IF Design Awards and the German Design Award. Two months ago Kirsten Hoppert and Steffen Kroll established their own label DIVijSOR. Enjoy the conversation. I sure did!
lava sofa – red dot design award 2007, german design award 2009
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a designer?
In the sandpit.
Looking back at your first project what knowledge do you wish you had back then?
With regard to this project, the knowledge base was sufficient. It was a good thing not to have too much insight into the structures, hierarchies and company processes yet. The viewpoint was still neutral and uninfluenced for the most part. Therefore, one was able to concentrate on the essentials.
Is there something that connects all your projects?
On the one hand, our thought process and the view of things. On the other hand, not to follow all conditions in an opportunistic manner. This is how our projects appear.
You describe yourselves as “form-builders”, specialised in transforming the intangible spirit of an idea into a tangible form. Could you describe it further?
Everything generated by humans is not intended by nature in this form. Therefore, the materialized human spirit is a foreign body – this theory has currently been confirmed by the climate change, humans are one of the main causes. In this case it is the high demand, to introduce a frequently constructed and thought out idea with all its minor and artificial attributes to a material that was not intended for this purpose.
hand-tufted rug collection made of wool – red dot design award 2009, IF design award 2008
What do you enjoy most in your work?
The livelihood one experiences when one cannot be bribed, the numerous topics, the good feeling one experiences if the form is correct.
What inspires you?
It is not so much the books, exhibits or theater that inspires us. It is life as such. One has to keep their eyes open and practice the processes to which one wants to contribute something new. These types of products are sensible, because in this case the resources used are sensible as well. We call it the „practical impulse“.
What do you love to do when you are not designing?
This is very seldom, because you cannot switch off the head! But if it should be like that, then we love meeting friends and family, going to the cinema, learning musical instruments, sports, occupation with photography…
What are your favorite books?
Currently the book „Papercraft“. I love paper.
akashi bags – red dot design award best of the best 2005
Your favorite places in Germany?
The places where our families and friends live – all over Germany.
You have been awarded significant prizes including 7 Red Dot Design Awards, 2 IF Design Awards and the German Design Award. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
We did not work toward these prices. We are idealistic and dedicated to the cause. Of course we are happy, but design pricing is fickle. Our greatest success is that we remained faithful and only produced items we believe in 100%. This was also the decisive factor when we established our own label DIVijSOR, which however, is only in the beginning stages.
travelmate – red dot design award 2008 and good design award 2008, ogon candle 2012
What does success mean to you?
Classic success is not significant. In order to achieve that one must usually conform. In our opinion the greatest success for us is to implement a project in collaboration with brave, inquisitive and open-minded partners, partners like us, who will not hesitate to take risks and who are able to overcome the conventional.
My signature question – what are the most important design elements?
Fortitude, courage, humility, idealism and a substantial idea.