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Multi-facetted design objects

Detlef Klatt © for Klatt Objects

Detlef Klatt – designer and entrepreneur

Klatt Objects is synonymous with items that are meaningful as well as beautiful and that communicate, in a particularly personal way and through a wealth of different facets, a real sense of wellbeing. Each one is a collector’s piece, the result of small-series production, that works either as part of a creative arrangement or as a solitary object. We asked the designer and entrepreneur Detlef Klatt what inspired him to found the company and what distinguishes it.

: Herr Klatt, how did you hit upon the idea for Klatt Objects?

I often think about family, origins and responsibility; to me, these are very important values. During my creative period as a freelance designer, I felt a growing need to get back to my roots and create something of my own. My hometown of Louisendorf is a part of me:  my parent’s farm, the distinctive village architecture, the interaction between Man and Nature. These things didn’t just shape my personality but also my approach to design, which is clearly reflected in Klatt Objects.

: You aren’t just a designer and entrepreneur but also a master florist and trained gardener. How do these skills complement one another when you are designing a product?

Actually they all go hand in hand, the prevailing design philosophy being the same. In each case, I’m working with natural materials in order to create something beautiful and unique. When I’m designing vases or planters, obviously, my experience as a florist comes into its own. A good example of this is the RHIZOM vase, the openings of which are designed in such a way that the plant virtually arranges itself.

: You combine the approaches of Japanese and Nordic design with the more natural bent of Philippine craftsmen. How does the collaboration with your partners contribute to the special design value of the objects that arise from it?

As a freelance designer, I worked for a long time, among other places, in Japan, where I taught but also learned a great deal:  about aesthetics, culture and the appreciation of people and things. I continue to live this in my collaboration with Philippine family businesses, many of which I have known now for over 20 years. Sometimes we implement my ideas 1: 1. Other times they introduce me to techniques or materials that inspire me to create totally new designs. That is how, for example, the GALING series, created from woven banana fibres, came about. This is a material that was used traditionally for fishing or household items. For Klatt Objects we concentrated on the light patterns. The result is a delightfully delicate fabric for packaging as well as decoration.

: Value judgements are among the central themes of Klatt Objects. How do they find expression?

On multiple levels, I would say. I want people to feel comfortable in the presence of my products. That is why I offer them so many sensual, natural shapes and surfaces, such as those found in the COSIMO series, that are a joy to touch. As materials, I use only driftwood or sawn wood for which no tree had to be felled. My mother-of-pearl is derived from the food industry.

: What new products can we look forward to in the near future?

By popular demand, I will be re-issuing the FESTA hanging vases. These are decorative objects, made from the finest bone china, that bring a great deal of lightness and esprit to decorations – especially in spring. I am delighted, too, that the oil paintings from the Cuban artist Abel Massot have arrived. This is a limited series of portraits that go perfectly with the wooden busts upon which I’m currently working in collaboration with Philippine wood carvers.

Photos: Portrait © for Klatt Objects. RHIZOM, GALING, COSIMO FESTA © Klatt Objects  

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