Nand designs

Mitte is a place where old meets new. It’s Berlin’s historical centre, home to landmarks like the Reichstag, Museum Island and Brandenburg Gate. The borough’s also known for its vibrant alternative art scene. Small galleries, squats and the streets themselves host works by local painters, sculptures and street artists. This is where Studio Nand calls home: a fitting setting for a collective whose work fuses traditional design values with cutting-edge technology.

“There’s lots of hype about Berlin at the moment,” says Nand co-founder Jonas Loh. “Which is fine, as the city has to keep moving and reinventing itself, as it has ever since the wall came down. Compared to London, the atmosphere is relaxed, not so hectic. At the same time you have a lot of inspirations and can escape to nature quickly.”

Loh, Stephan Thiel and Steffen Fiedler officially founded Nand in February 2012, but they’ve been working together for almost seven years. The trio met at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, where they worked together on an interactive installation for a theatre production. The project saw them experimenting with new techniques, hacking mobile phones and building high-res video players. It took three months to complete and became the blueprint for Nand’s working mode.

Loh, Thiel and Fiedler set up the studio to allow them to collaborate more frequently and intensively, but they also had loftier ambitions. “We’re a studio that’s especially concerned with bringing together experts from different fields,” Thiel says. “We work with linguists, synthetic biologists, people from technology domains. We try and bridge the gap between all of these and create interesting design products, services and experiences that communicate knowledge or show the potential of technology.

“The future of education and sustainable businesses is in bringing experts together to leverage their full, individual potential. Design functions as a glue in this process – fostering discussions, developing a wide range of ideas and communicating them in compelling ways.”

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