Location: Blaufelden, Baden-Württemberg
(smow)blog: Let’s start at the very beginning, where did you meet?
maigrau: We both studied Industrial design at the Kunstakademie in Stuttgart, and we have known each other since the first semester – so since 2003 – and we completed our studies in 2008.
(smow)blog: And immediately formed maigrau…
maigrau: … exactly. In principle we really started in our final semester. Our diploma project went a little in that direction, we also developed a couple of products and so it was a fairly fluid process.
(smow)blog: And why the decision to produce, market and distribute yourself?
maigrau: It was simply the basic thought it would be good when we could accompany our products through the complete process right up until the customer.
(smow)blog: And the commercial/business elements, did you learn these at college or was it more a case of learning by doing?
maigrau: If we’re honest that was a shortcoming of the course in that there wasn’t a great deal of business skills taught. And so we have had to learn a lot ourselves, be it price calculations or dealing with customers – specifically because as a producer/retailer we have different customers than those designers who simply offer design services to a client.
(smow)blog: And was it the correct decision?
maigrau: Definitely! And it’s a decision we’d make again. Sure it’s a stressful path with some hard periods at the beginning but over time and through the experiences one learns.
(smow)blog: And in that context congratulations on the nomination for the 2011 German Design Prize.
maigrau: Thank you. We’re absolutely delighted. And obviously it’s a little bit of recognition that what we are doing is correct and that we do it well. It’s a nice feeling to be nominated for such a design prize.
(smow)blog: Where do you want to take maigrau in the future?
maigrau: Obviously we want to expand our collection, one of the one hand as designers we naturally want to continue designing products ourselves, but on the other we can also imagine developing products for maigrau in cooperation with other designers.
(smow)blog: One of the new products is the side table Turn. What was the motivation behind the table?
maigrau: We were interested in producing a modern side table which was also vaguely reminiscent of typical works from the 1950s. The turned wooden legs combined with the thin 3mm steel top produce a very simple, yet new form.
(smow)blog: The table comes in two heights, Luca comes in two forms, the shelving in two lengths, is there a deliberate plan to produce your objects in different versions?
maigrau: It’s not exactly deliberate, but it is often that case that such an option presents itself. From a development perspective the creation of a larger version doesn’t automatically mean more work and because we organize the production ourselves here in Germany we have direct control. And so the development of different versions or the further development of a design is often a sensible, obvious step. For example, in the autumn we plan to launch the further development of the luca lamps.
(smow)blog:Then all the best and good luck for the future!
More information on maigrau can be found at at maigrau.com/