Trivet Mood

The new, beautiful coaster

Admittedly, until now I had not had the desire to buy a coaster, but used a simple wooden board. Now there are these new designy coasters and I can’t resist. They are available in two sizes, for pots, bowls and casserole dishes. And when there is no pot on it, the decorative object magically attracts my hands. I want to run my fingers over it, follow the shape, feel the fine wood. I think about what else you could do with it, maybe make a mobile? Mobiles, like trivets, are relics from the past, when you still cooked for yourself every day and didn’t constantly look at your cell phone, but also looked up. Well, over.

Clemens Haufe designed the fine coasters. After completing their studies in 2007, he and Sven Deutloff founded the design office WESTOSTERON for interior and product design in Dresden. I spoke to them about design and of course the “must-have trivet ” that we – TOFF & ZÜRPEL® Manufaktur – now produce and sell.


Interview with Sven Deutloff and Clemens Haufe



How important is sustainability in your designs?

S & C: For us, sustainability means that a product lasts a long time. Not only should the material be durable, the design should not wear out optically, but should do you good for as long as possible. This claim contradicts the current consumer behavior. Many things are only produced for one season. But this form of sustainability is our credo, so to speak.

What design elements do you quickly get tired of?

S & C : If an object contains a lot of decorative elements, is rather fashionable, is supposed to attract attention, one tends to get fed up with it. If something is neither carefully made nor innovative, it’s easy to get tired of it. We believe that it’s good for us when the things around us are so beautiful and functional that we don’t constantly need something new. All this fast-moving consumption is satisfying for a short time, but has nothing to do with the basic satisfaction that good design can create. Kitsch is a red rag for us!

So good design is when you enjoy something for a long time?

S & C: Yes, you could say that. We humans find natural shapes and proportions beautiful. For example, the head fits eight times the height of the body. We see that as consistent. We believe that every human being has a natural awareness of form. As a designer, you train this feeling.

Natural materials such as wood, stone or metal are also appealing. We like to develop products from the material, consider what is this substance suitable for, what is in it? That’s exactly what we appreciate about the Marie & Markus label, that the structure and properties of the processed materials are brought to the fore, nothing is laminated to “embellish” it. This naturalness connects us.

In our blog post “Simply brilliant. What is good design?” you can find out more about it.

What else connects you to Toff & Zürpel, i.e. to Marie and Markus?

S & C : We have been friends for a long time and had the idea of developing a product together. Sven and I had designed the trivet a few years ago, but only as a prototype, i.e. as a sample. Marie & Markus found the object very attractive and together we thought about how it could be mass-produced. That was a challenge, because the production of larger quantities has to be efficient and make economic sense without sacrificing quality. That’s why we developed the pressing device together, with which the coaster can now be mass-produced.

How would you describe the trivet to someone?

S & C: When we designed the trivet , we were dealing with the topic of laminated wood. On the one hand, laminated wood is very thin and therefore conserves resources. On the other hand, it is resilient due to the gluing. Therefore, it is often used in lightweight construction and even airplanes are built with it. The special thing about laminated wood is that it can be glued “excitingly” in the truest sense of the word. This is how the shape of the trivet came about. We tried different proportions and strengths until we were satisfied with the aesthetics and of course also tested the limit at which tension the form threatens to break. The result is an object that is as elegant as it is functional and that you simply like to touch.

Three things that are currently important to you?

S&C: Peace, peace, peace. We hope that people will remember to do each other good and live together peacefully. Our thoughts are very often on this topic right now.


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