21 Common Things exhibition

Thomas Schnur honours everyday objects with Cologne exhibition

German designer Thomas Schnur's 21 Common Things exhibition at IMM Cologne pays tribute to everyday objects including watering cans, plastic bags and clothes pegs.

The show is based on the designer's book of the same name, which explores Schnur's experiences and thoughts related to different products.

21 Common Things exhibition

"These are objects you don't know who designed them, who produced them, who invented them and if you start to research about them you find no clear information," he explained.

Schnur chose objects for their ubiquity, including mass-produced items such as plastic bags, chopsticks and wire coat hangers that would appear similar regardless of where in the world they are used.

21 Common Things exhibition

"These kinds of objects are part of our lives and our personal environments, if we want it or not," he told Dezeen.

Schnur's own personal experiences played a part, with objects in the book arranged in chronological order as they related to his memories from childhood onwards.

21 Common Things exhibition

For the exhibition, the designer arranged the objects on pieces he designed himself in recent years, placing a green plastic watering can and a plunger on side tables created back in 2014. Meanwhile, chopsticks and a glass ashtray appear on his Stand Up shelf.

Many of Schnur's own projects have been based on or inspired by everyday objects. In 2016 he presented a collection of pieces inspired by traffic cones and metal barriers. He has also designed tables based on the shape of classic Parisian bistro furniture.

"The exhibition is a mediator to bring people from physical objects to ideas and thoughts, and with this to win a new perspective on apparently familiar things and stereotypes," he said.

21 Common Objects is on display at furniture fair IMM Cologne, which began on 16 January and continues to 22 January.

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21 Common Things exhibition
21 Common Things exhibition
21 Common Things exhibition
21 Common Things exhibition
21 Common Things exhibition
21 Common Things exhibition
21 Common Things exhibition