Nothing but supreme design
How do you create a piece of furniture that stands out, when its mere purpose is to blend in? And how do you find the inspiration to reinvent one of the most original storage solutions: the wall shelf? The designers Böttcher & Kayser give us the answers below, where they share the story behind Nivo with us. Nivo might look simple and light hanging on the wall, but in fact the design itself contains considerations about both gravity, modern interior design and digitization of our society.
How did the idea for Nivo emerge?
– In times of digitization domestic life has changed. Times of the heavy bookshelves and cabinets with vinyl records are dying off. Today we need room to store things, to get them out of sight. But at the same time we are also searching for that perfect space for the carefully selected things, that we what to exhibit in our homes. With Nivo we developed a minimalist wall shelf that has a graphical appearance with reduced shapes. Our intention was to design a highly functional yet simple and iconic shelf with a main purpose of acting as a modern interpretation of the classic shadow box: an open showcase for all those small things, that are a part of us and that we hold dear.
– We are fascinated by the leverage effect and by items being fixed just by gravity, and therefore we thought of using this phenomenon for a shelf somehow. We came to think of the original CD wall shelfs from the 90s – you know, the ones where CD’s are clamped in to cuts in a vertical bar. We thought: why not see the CD’s like a shelving board? The specific idea for the principle behind Nivo emerged when we were sketching different overlapping lines as a result of the inspiration from the CD wall shelfs.
– We reduced the concept for Nivo to its essence by taking just two wooden poles and some sheet metal boards, while keeping a friendly, simple and timeless design. We had a few specific functional criteria for the design as well. First of all, there shouldn’t be visible screws anywhere on the shelf. Secondly, the shelves should be made to be smoothly plugged in to the wooden poles, that we created with slits exactly to fit. The final result was just as we intended it: Nivo has clean lines only and no unnecessary details. It hangs lightly and elegantly on the wall. This is what makes Nivo stand out from other wall shelfs: the soft stringency, the clean and sincere design, the simple and convincing solution, that is so relateable and easy to understand.
What was the biggest challenge when designing Nivo?
– Sometimes things work out very easy. The only actual challenge was to find the right balance of the material thicknesses and bring it to the limits in terms of design and resources. Luckily, we’ve intuitively been right with the design, its proportions and specifications from the beginning. Based on our design and drawings Gejst was able to build a first prototype very quickly. After just a few smaller adjustments the result was absolutely convincing to all of us. We are very happy with the result and we got great feedback so far.
What is the essence of your designs and how does this reflect in Nivo?
– Our goal is to keep our designs as simple as possible without letting it lose tension or letting it drift off to something trivial. There is a fine line between designs that touches one on an aesthetic or emotional level on one hand and a plain banality on the other. A product must be new in some way. There has to be a good reason for creating it, and it should provide with us a new answer, a solution or just a good feeling. As designers our philosophy is to combine all these aspects in our work. There are always opportunities and room for improvements, problems that demand to be solved and new ideas to be designed. We love to work in this area of conflicts and to cross boarders where it is needed. We aim to turn our designs in to something iconic and emotional by keeping it highly functional. We love to come up with innovative ideas, something that is meaningful or that surprises at a second glance by its qualities down to the very last detail.
– All aspects of a contemporary product is embodied and reflected in Nivo. Its design combines the good old German ‘form follows function’ with timeless, Nordic and warm aesthetics. That moment, when one of our designs become reality is still magical to us and the launch of Nivo was the climax of a pleasant and satisfying process. We can’t wait to follow the journey of Nivo from here and to see how people all around the world adapt it in their homes.
See more Nivo here.