This year’s BLICKFANG Zurich from 18 to 20 November promises to be an experience of honest design. It aims to transform the Kongresshaus with around 180 design labels into an inspiring concept store for contemporary design. We were able to see for ourselves that this was largely successful during a media tour before the opening.

At Zurich’s BLICKFANG, a fairly representative cross-section of the independent design scene is indeed presented; the exhibition proves to be the largest platform for independent design in Europe and not only shows curated designer pieces from the fields of furniture, fashion and jewellery, but also offers producers the opportunity to sell their works directly. In this way, visitors also experience first-hand the diverse stories behind the products in direct exchange with the designers.

© Anna Schmid Schmuck

«Knospen” by Anna Schmid Schmuck, Basel

“Those who follow the spirit of the times know that individuality today goes hand in hand with consciousness. Our exhibitors have understood this and impressively demonstrate it with innovative approaches, honest design and a deeper meaning behind their products,” says BLICKFANG project manager Jana Klein. “We are proud to be able to inspire our visitors again and again with the handpicked selection of designers and offer fresh design experiences – and at the same time show that the concept of BLICKFANG is timeless,” says Dieter Hofmann, founder of the BLICKFANG design fair.

Selecting from the variety is always difficult and also very personal. Nevertheless, a few projects impressed us with their simplicity, their innovative power, their creativity and the commitment of the manufacturers. We would like to present this subjective selection here with the note that your personal visit to the BLICKFANG would probably produce a completely different picture.

Anna Schmid Schmuck

Anna Schmid Schmuck

In her workshop in Basel’s old town, Anna Schmid, a qualified goldsmith and designer, designs and creates sensual jewellery objects and wearable small sculptures with a special radiance by hand. The transition from jewellery to art object is always fluid.

Anna Schmid‘s clear formal language as a goldsmith is inspired by dance and music, by studies of nature or even the shapes and colours of precious stones. In her free works, she is interested in the tension between two impulses, between curvature and recess, between movement and stillness.

As a goldsmith, I often witness very personal stories, biographies and stages of life that give rise to the acquisition of a special piece. The basis for this is my craft and my experience which I have acquired over many years.” And by the way: all objects are unique pieces or are made in numbered small series in high-quality precious metals and precious stones.

So anyone interested in very personal jewellery should definitely not miss her presence at BLICKFANG in Zurich.

The magic number 33

Adhoc is a robust stool made of ash wood by Edition 33. With its clear construction, it is more of a small architecture than an obtrusive design statement. Nevertheless, its runners and unusual six-legged construction give it a strong and likeable personality. Simple and joined without romanticising wooden joints, it subtly questions the laws of traditional furniture construction.

A special object that stands out without imposing itself. Max Neustadt from Edition 33 in Munich developed the “Adhoc” stool according to this principle: sturdily constructed, six legs, two runners, versatile, in oiled ash and 5 bright colours. But what distinguishes the label founded in 2020 above all is the clever and resource-saving production principle: a piece of furniture only goes into series production if at least 33 orders are received at the time of market launch. In this way, only what is really in demand is produced. Unnecessary energy and logistics costs are avoided, sales and marketing structures are minimised and resources are conserved. Small series of special, durable and useful products are created.

Tightened, not screwed!

NOMAD by Gebr. Dubois is a piece of furniture that knows how to play perfectly on the symbiosis between change and durability, without ever forgetting its origins, which are rooted in simplicity. No screws or nails. The NOMAD is a simple beauty. Simple in its handling, clear and honest in its appearance. It is more than just a piece of furniture. It is a companion for life. NOMAD – Unique. Simple. Versatile.

A Swiss newcomer label that should be remembered: Gebr.Dubois. The Zurich furniture makers Felix Messmer and Marco Hischier act for more sustainability and practicability in everyday life. To this end, they developed furniture without screws or nails according to their “stretched, not screwed” line. After a furniture system that can be assembled and disassembled within 5 minutes, their latest coup is the bed 108, which convinces with clarity, beauty and minimalism. The wood for her furniture comes from the forests of Zurich, the tension straps are made in a family business in Sursee and the whole thing is produced by hand in the Landheim Brüttisellen. A synergy of regionality, beauty of form and social responsibility.

But the best thing is to go to this year’s BLICKFANG at the Kongresshaus Zurich yourself and find your own trouvailles. It’s worth it.