A chat with David Geckeler and Frank Michels

What did you have for breakfast? 

F: Bread with peanut butter strawberry jam.

D: Egg benedict.

Do you have a signature dish? Something you always make your guests to return?

D: I think I do; to welcome my friends I often cook my grandma’s best dishes! 

F: In winter times it is definitely the fennel radicchio-rose risotto.

Do you dance at home? What’s your favourite song to dance to?

D: I dance to every kind of music, even when there is no music around I dance.

F: (laughing) That’s so true, David, you have an electrified body…  On my side, at home I started dancing to cheesy pop tunes together with my 2,5-year-old son.

What is a good track/album/playlist to hang out to?

F: YouTube auto play made me rediscovered this 2003 album from Tommy Guerrero, its name is Soul Food Taqueria.

 

D: All the „Friends of LACK“ sets from my beloved Berlin label LACK Rec.

 
Are there any spaces / homes that have made an impact on you?  

D: The 60’s pavilion style home from my grandparents as well my father’s architecture and the house I grew up in.

F: The sacred spaces and art museums I visited have strong emotional impact on me due to their contemplative qualities enabling individual transcendence. To name one, I have to think about the minimal art museum Dia Beacon which is in the state of New York.

What was the house like where did you grow up? 

D: The house was designed by my father, which is a privilege to have a house conceived by the same people using it. It was close to the Lake of Constance, it was a multi-storey modernist timber construction with a lot of glass and bridges. 

F: The house I grew up is an old water mill, the first floor was for living, had a terrace and wooden floors, the ground floor was transformed to an art studio for my dad’s work.

What’s your favourite thing at home?

D: I love my Megaron floor lamp from Artemide, a nice example of Italian functionalist design of the 70’s. It uses simple aluminium extrude profile and the halogen spot gives a super light in my living room.

F: This Ikea spot lamp I have since I was a kid is a good example of efficiency in production and brutalism in form of a plastic product. Maybe the fact that I grew up with it made it beloved and made me forget some aesthetical flaws.   

Who do you feel are doing cool things now or in the past?

D: There were and are so many influencing and inspiring creative around, but it´s definitely a luck that I met Frank, he’s doing cool things ;-)

F: Maybe David is right, at least I hope so (laughing)…. well it’s hard to pick one or the other person, the idol idea was more something thought of in my early years. 

Who/what inspires you? 

F: In my opinion, what inspires me is not so far away or let’s say exotic. As a designer duo we look at what happens or happened in design culture and we draw a lot from what and who we are, what we have experienced and learned so far…

D: … sampling is the right term to describe creating things based on various inspirations, cultures and energies nowadays. Aesthetic and function is what still drives me most.

How does it look where you work? 

Is that where you feel where you do the best work or does it serve another function?

D: Mainly the creative work happens behind our central placed mutual big desk, where I sit with Frank side by side to think and work out our designs. 

F: Our studio is in the ground floor shop in Berlin Neukölln which gives a nice connection with the neighbourhood and the people living there. The space maybe could have more daylight and it could be even bigger. There is never enough room for product designers, we simply collect so many materials, samples, mock-ups and prototypes.

What should a sofa do for you?

D: It should invite me to sit down/lay down and have a lazy evening while being a well proportioned sculpture in the room during the daytime.

F: It should make me naturally feel comfortable at home, in a lounge, in a pool party, at friends’ place… so many scenarios that need this one function.

Is there any work you would like to share with us and why?

D: I think you should have a look at our BIAS side tables, they are just right next to any sofa ;-)

A correspondence over email between David, Frank and Jonas (Common) in November 2017.