s.wert design (berlin)
s.wert design is a firm based in Berlin, founded by designers Dirk Berger and Sandra Siewert in 2003. They create ?cultural souvenirs? that highlight architecture and urban planning, including the changes that specific areas are undergoing, with items that tell a story about Berlin. I am intriqued by their designs because I enjoy displays of passion and pride, I love seeing people who are genuinely concerned about their city and have a lot of pride in its history, and have something to say about the future. I like seeing them highlight fears via design. It's one thing to design something pretty or trendy, anyone can watch the market and design what's hot (not rocket science), but to go deeper than the surface... that's a thing of beauty. To design from your soul, focusing your work on all the issues that bother you as well as everything that you embrace, this is moving, touching, alive.
Gift wrap with a story? Yes, the Dialogue, Reciever, and Ruhesitz am Zoo all have something to say, Ruhesitz am Zoo with graphics from four decades (50s-80s) in West Berlin (Ruhesitz am Zoo is the name of a home for the elderly next to the Berlin Zoologischer Garten) to Angry Children pillows (the pillows show building fronts which have, or soon will, disappear from Berlin. These disappearing landmarks frustrate Berger and Siewert, who say that these pillows, "angry children", refer to disrespect of the current generation for their architectural forefathers.).
You can clearly see that this design duo has something to say about Berlins postwar modern architecture.
They even have gingham table cloths, "kleinkariert? (meaning small minded and also the material gingham). Through this item, they are shedding light on suburban sprawl, "suburban sprawl is padding a layer of fat around our cities". Table runners and dishtowels are also available in this pattern.
They even have two books, "Von der Partei zur Party?, about how the Berlin TV tower went from being a socialistic symbol to a subcultural icon and "B?rlinale", a book about the Berliner Bear, Berlin's most well known symbol, paying a tribute to this graphic symbol with 300+ designs.