‘Riesen mit Zwerg’—or ‘Giants with Dwarf’—is Swiss architect and designer Stephan Hürlemann’s menagerie of towering creatures, cleverly fashioned out of dusty antique chairs and tables from the depths of the horgenglarus design vault. First exhibited at Designers’ Saturday in Langenthal, Switzerland in 2016, the wooden marionettes made a second appearance in Milan this year, as part of the second edition of Ventura Centrale in low lit warehouses underneath the city’s Central Station.
Yawning and creaking in the still of the underground, the seven eerie creatures could be brought to life via puppet wires as a poetic, interactive re-imagination of forgotten furniture. Each was conjured out of parts and pieces of some of horgenglarus’ best-selling chairs and tables, drawn from a catalogue of over 100 years: elements of horgenglarus’ classic (1918), moser (1931), miro (1999), lyra (2007), and most recent kilo (2014) designs all feature. The parts were left in the condition in which they had been found, only had holes drilled into them, and were connected with cable ties.
Leering at about three metres tall, the collection of creatures includes a monkey made from 33 parts, a bee from 34, a duck from 35, a panda from 35, and a pink panther from 39. Then there’s the tired soldier made from 51 pieces, and the dwarf from 35.
The enchanting exhibition was so well liked, it took out the Unicorn category of the Milano Design Awards this year—bestowed upon presentations that surprise and amaze visitors with an alternative approach and innovative interaction with their own products.