Arndt Menke-Zumbrägel (Berlin) with “The Woodway”

May 17, 2010

photo: Andreas Velten

“The Woodway” (German: “Holzweg”, this word also has the meaning “to bark up the wrong tree”)

In today’s design wood is mostly chosen because of its optic or haptic attributes. To use wood as a proper construction material there are plenty of requirements to pay attention to e.g. such as shrinking and moisture expansion. As an anisotropic material it can only be loaded in the direction of its fiber. To rely under these circumstances on this material to construct a high-performance device requires accurate knowledge of the material itself as well as new and innovative processing methods. This diploma thesis (master degree) demonstrates the performance of wood as a construction material using the example of a fully functional bicycle frame with the astonishing little weight of 2,3 kg.

What does sustainability mean for me as a designer?

To me as designer sustainability means perfection. It is necessary to see a product within a chain of connections. This makes the design process significantly more complicated.

What does sustainability mean for me as a consumer?

To the consumer sustainability can be understood as a contemporary concept to consume politically correct without bad feelings. That also means that sustainability in this sense has been turned into a commercial notion.

What does sustainability mean for me in general?

Sustainability can be understood as a closed circuit, applicable in various areas. That variety also means that this answer has to remain rather imprecise.

Arndt Menke-Zumbrägel
Lilienstr. 7
12203 Berlin
+49 (0) 30 780 88 99 4