“There must be always remaining in every life, some place for the singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathless and beautiful.”
Howard Thurman

Love Good Design? Check out Norden Design Week!

Love Good Design? Check out Norden Design Week!


If you find yourself curious about why there is day old suishi on fancy plates in [co][lab]'s storefront, just know it's Norden Design Week.  I was curious too, so I walked down the hall to talk with Anna, one of Norden's founders. Norden is the only German Design Studio in the Midwest and is led by Johann Rischau and Anna Gutsch. Their goal is to be a local resource for meaningful design that strives to last a lifetime. Norden Design Week is a week for the studio find out the local needs and show their creativity to the community. Stop by [co][lab] at 206 W. Main St. Urbana, IL between 12pm - 7pm any day  until  October 19 to talk to Anna and Johann and see or purchase their great products pictured below.


What to expect at Norden Design Week: 

During Norden Design Week, Johann and Anna have several items on display and a few for sale, so act fast and don't miss out!

Midwest inspired Japanese dinnerware

One of the great products on display at Norden Design Week is a collection of Japanese dinnerware that will be featured at the Nick Offerman "East meets Midwest" fundraiser dinner at Prairie Farms which benefits the Japan House.  The Japanese dinnerware is inspired by a hybrid of Japanese and Midwestern food culture and perfectly encompasses the mixing of cultures that is present here in Champaign-Urbana. The dinnerware will be available for anyone interested in having a set of their own!


Hand-crafted origami cards

You will also find personal greeting cards that have an origami aesthetic. Anna and new intern Keen have worked together to create these hand-crafted cards that are meant as a way for people to re-connect. "People don't write to each other anymore," said Anna.  "The cards are meant as a way to encourage people to write to each other more, so you can go to the mailbox and not just get a bill or credit card offer you already have, but a beautiful, hand-written note."


Heat-activated cherry pit packs

Have an ache or pain? Check out the cherry pit packs. They are a heat pack you can use on a variety of ailments such as a sore muscle or stomachache. According to Anna, cherry pits are one of the best sources for storing heat. As a bonus, when you initially heat the pack, cherry oils release a soothing, aromatic fragrance. Anna mentioned she used this type of heat pack growing up in Germany, and now she is sharing the natural remedy with us!


Oskars: keychain and necklace tokens

Finally, one of my personal favorite items that Anna showed me: you have to check out what she calls oskars, a keychain or necklace token that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Seriously, these are my FAVORITE! The tokens are designed in Illustrator and then laser etched and cut out of wood. Anna says the inspiration of the oskars is to remind people not to forget life's cute moments and to hold on to those cute memories. I have a special fondness in my heart for cute-looking monsters (a topic for another blog post). That said, these will make your heart melt.


Buy local design + meet Rosie

Check out Norden's Design Week and let me know what you think in the comments below. One last tip, don’t forget to meet Johann and Anna’s adorable beagle, Rosie!



What do you think? Did you check out Norden Design Week? What design elements inspire you and what do you want to see for design in your local community?


Photo credits for Norden Design Week: Anna Gutsch, Carrie Welter, & Carl Catedral


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