When luminaires are also furniture

How funny, unusual and unique: thanks to a rechargeable battery and an oak wood body, the Bookowski lamp by designer Kai Steffens not only brings any book or magazine to any place, no matter how unusual, but also a good bottle thanks to a shelf with a glass holder made of stainless steel (approx. 995 euros). The name is more than well chosen: The late author Henry Charles Bukowski liked to drink a good drop - even if he often drank too much.

And "book" translates as book. Or take the Eichendorff reading furniture, this time named after the well-known lyricist and writer Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff: Kai Steffens has reinterpreted the good old bedside table with this design. It is not only equipped with a reading lamp, but also with a pull-out bookmark. It couldn't be more practical! Nevertheless, everything is reduced to the bare essentials. This explains the name of Steffens Design-Manufaktur: less 'n' more - less and more.

These are just two of many designs with which the 41-year-old designer recently earned much praise in Hamburg. At the invitation of lighting designer Antje Kröplin, he came to Sasel to present his collection in her newly designed Lichtja shop - and the philosophy behind it. And it is an impressive one, because Steffens has his luminaires manufactured exclusively in Germany. If possible, even by craftsmen in the neighbourhood. The wooden body for the Bookowski luminaire, for example, is made by a Lebenshilfe workshop in the immediate vicinity. However, Steffens does not only want to be portrayed as a good Samaritan. "The fact that the workshop works more cheaply than a normal carpentry workshop and that it has a wide range of manufacturing capabilities also speaks in favour of the cooperation." He has consciously decided against having his lights produced in the Far East - as many large manufacturers now do for cost reasons. "Transporting products or components halfway around the world is not ecological for me," says Steffens. "And not sustainable either." by ANETTE BETHUNE >> read more in PDF