Roche Bobois worldwide


February 2016


Roche Bobois is committed to seeking out emerging design talent and to giving young designers the opportunity of showcasing their skills. Since 2009, the brand has organised a design competition to take place in a different country every two years, with the intention of discovering young designers from all over the world.

After competitions in China and England, the most recent competition took place in Germany, in collaboration with the magazine Architektur & Wohnen. The theme of the competition was ‘modularity, multi-functionality, versatility and mobility.’ The jury (consisting of Nicholas Roche, the brand’s Creative Director; Gilles Bonan, CEO; the designer Sacha Lakic; Barbara Friedrich, A&W’s previous editor-in-chief and A&W’s current editor Jan van Rossem) considered the nominations carefully before selecting a winner for each of the three categories: lighting, furniture and seating.

Lighting Category: KOBE by Florian Gross

Young designer Florian Gross, a graduate of cabinet-making and interior architecture, spent a few years gaining professional experience at a number of international companies before starting his own studio in 2012.

The adaptable nature of the KOBE lamp answered the brief in every respect. Florian Gross was inspired by the hyperboloid structures which were popular amongst architects at the start of the 20th century, and were particularly favoured by Russian architect Vladimir Grigoryevich Shukhov. His lamp uses this principle but in a novel and playful way. The aluminium discs that hold the structure together can be positioned at any height, so that they change the position of the light source and thus the object’s silhouette.

Furniture category: HYBRID by Meike Harde

After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Saarbrücken, Meike Harde founded her own studio in 2013 and made a name for herself in the world of design thanks to a number of exhibitions, predominately with Lidewij Edelkoort. She likes to use and develop simple materials using an innovative approach.

The main qualities of the HYBRID cabinet which most impressed the jury were its delicate design, the use of an unusual material (metal), its clever construction and its artistic spirit.

Seating category: FORMENTERA by Vera Kerzel

A graduate of architecture and interior design, Vera Kerzel founded her own studio in 2007 and has since been exhibiting her work both in Germany and New York. The basic idea was to create a modular sofa which was both practical and adaptable. The result, FORMENTERA, was inspired by Russian dolls. Composed of three pieces, the main sofa is transformed into three smaller sofas at the touch of a hand! Kerzel’s unique and playful design impressed the jury due to the degree to which it answered the competition brief.