Please rotate your device
Frederic Rätsch

Frederic Rätsch studied Industrial Design at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Kiel, Germany, where he honourably graduated in 2014. Afterwards he worked at Atelier Steffen Kehrle in Munich. He moved to London to proceed his study within the Design Products masters programme at the Royal College of Art, from which he graduated in July 2017. Recently he worked for Sam Hecht’s and Kim Colin's design studio Industrial Facility.

Frederic is fascinated by everyday objects and especially by the industrial production in perfection. He believes in sustainability through long-lasting emotional relationships between human and object. Pushing boundaries, questioning known typologies and proposing new solutions on an industrial scale represent his major goals.

Frederic Rätsch Krautheimstraße 29a 80997 Munich Germany
M +49 (0) 176 22381959
PRESS MAIL INSTAGRAM
All

DCC

180°LAMP
INFO

180°LAMP

aluminium, silicone 09/2017

Probably there is nothing, which is more related to time than light is. With its help - with the help of the sunset and sunrise, we create a sense of time. The wireless 180° Lamp is designed to use light as an indicator of time. The product is concentrated on performing one single function very well, which is combined with a highly intuitive use. It questions how we interact with lamps and proposes an alternative control by moving the object itself rather than pressing an on/off switch.

The 180° Lamp embraces the common gesture of an hourglass to start the dimming process, which is straight forward, simple and understandable. As turned 180° the light gradually dims until turning off after a pre-set time period. To restart it just needs to be flipped over again. If one wants to turn the light off, the lamp can be placed horizontally. It can be used in every suitable situation, for example giving small children a better nights sleep or indicate some time to read before sleeping while one can calm down more naturally. // Photography by Verena Hutter.

DCC
INFO

DCC

Flexible Sitting in Public Spaces dupont plastics 07/2017

Specialist for performance materials DuPont™ and I started working on the project ‘Flexible Sitting in Public Spaces’ in October 2016, initiated as the graduation project of my master’s degree in Design Products at the Royal College of Art in London. The goal was to create a chair for public spaces and the contract market, that uses the high performance qualities of the flexible DuPont™ thermoplastic elastomer Hytrel® and the tough Crastin® PBT to increase the comfort known from most solid plastic chairs. It is characterised by observations of sitting behaviour, context and production technique. To achieve an outstanding design, extraordinary comfort and movement, the aim was to design the most challenging typology of a chair—a cantilever chair. The main theme of the chair is flexible sitting, which is addressed in different scenarios —flexible in movement, flexible in context and flexible in sitting postures. So far there are only two cantilever chairs made from plastic on the market and none of them is capable of providing the flexibility one would expect of a cantilever chair. The context of the chair is public space both indoors and outdoors. Throughout the Double Cantilever Chair (DCC) is consciously designed with the research of the particular context, material, design history and sitting behaviour in mind. In my opinion it is essential that design does not become something arbitrary or stylised. Hence the chair is characterised by e.g. the need of putting it on a table for cleaning the floor and the needs for agile sitting. It resembles understanding of the materials and showcases them while pushing the performance plastics to their limits.

DCC achieves the comfort of upholstered furniture through the use of high performance plastics. It features an elastic seat made of Hytrel® that allows adaption to the body. Visually it is totally flat and solid, but therefore provides a surprising moment when actually being soft and flexible. The Crastin® PBT with its strength and stiff properties is the perfect material to support the seat shell, while still allowing some flex. The design process was driven by a constant exchange between the computer and full-scale model making. CAD models have been used as a tool to record the process and allow FEA, stackability tests and arrangements in the chair’s context. While wire and cardboard models helped to define the design idea, further models in polystyrene foam or plywood enabled the basic seating comfort to be assessed. In the further development the Institute of Plastic Processing in Aachen, Germany supported the project with the production of a 3D printed full-scale prototype, which is using Hytrel® for the seat shell to showcase the intended flexibility. Observation of people’s sitting behaviour and a holistic understanding of the project have been key from the start. Unlike in other projects, it was not possible to use the actual material of the chair in the process. This asked for a very different approach in the beginning.

DCC WORKBOOK
INFO

DCC WORKBOOK

paper 07/2017

This workbook is a collection of models, prototypes and sketches, which mark crucial stages in the process of DCC. It shows how a product comes alive, that uses an injection moulded material, hence an invisible one in the process. Graphic Design by William Slocombe, Photography by Frederic Rätsch / Nicola Tree

My design process is always driven by a constant exchange between the computer and full-scale model making. CAD models have been used as a tool to record the process and allow FEA, stackability tests and arrangements in the chair’s context. While wire and cardboard models helped to define the design idea, further models in polystyrene foam or plywood enabled the basic seating comfort to be assessed. In the further development the Institute of Plastic Processing in Aachen, Germany supported the project with the production of a 3D printed full-scale prototype, which is using Hytrel® for the seat shell to showcase the intended flexibility. Observation of people’s sitting behaviour and a holistic understanding of the project have been key from the start. Unlike in other projects, it was not possible to use the actual material of the chair in the process. This asked for a very different approach in the beginning.

FIGHT FOR
INFO

FIGHT FOR

The quality of physical things sheet metal, paper 05/2017

‘FIGHT FOR’ is a campaign and attitude emphasising the quality of physical things. It started off by realising the loss of receiving actual letters for special occasions and what it means to send a letter, compared to an obscure e-mail. While Appreciating the possibilities and emerging oppertunities of new technologies, we are concerned about losing important aspects in social and everyday life. A letter opener and bookmark made of sheet metal are symbols of the campagin, which is motivated by the consequences of the ongoing digitalisation and the risk of losing the essence of reality. Posters and postcards were designed to support and spread the statement of the campaign.

In collaboration with graphic designer William Slocombe.

TOOL CHAIR
INFO

TOOL CHAIR

chair for flexible sitting maple 07/2014

How do we actually sit? Do we really need the whole seat or a classic backrest? Is there always a front or a back? - To questioning known typologies and standards is fundamental in my work as a designer. It is not about making just new and pleasing things, or even for a fashion trend, but rather about driving forward an evolution of things. In doing so, it is necessary to fathom out and change boundaries. The Tool Chair is a chair that enables - maybe even provokes - flexible seating. It enables the sitter to take up various postures and positions. A bent plate on the side offers support, be it as arm rest or backrest, to hold on to, to rest on or place something. With its narrow seat, the Tool Chair cultivates the habit of sitting on the edge of a chair.

On average we sit about 9.3 hours per day - much more than we stand, walk or lie. Sitting permanently in one position is unhealthy and sap one's energy. The Tool Chair is designed to help the user remain concentrated, not for relaxing. On this chair you stay agile - you stand up and sit down again. The seat height is higher than usual to facilitate this. The Tool Chair does not extrapolate immediately, but rather has to be discovered. This involvement increases the "potential for identification". Mostly the chair is not perceived indifferently, but surprises and provokes the user towards discovery.

TYPE SIDE TABLE
INFO

TYPE SIDE TABLE

side table glass, steel wire 02/2014

The Type Side Table, made of steel wire and a glass plate, is designed to extend the idea of the Type Chair. The wire is used like a sketched line in space. It is based on a simple and understandable construction. The glass plate just lays on it and is fixed between the wire simply by its particular position and size. The glass does not cover the structure and gives priority to it.

MIO GLASS
INFO

MIO GLASS

water glass glass 07/2013

'Do we really need more products?' This is one of the most critical issues in the field of design. My personal drive is caused by a lack of things with the potential for identification. To achieve this, points of contact, friction and design exceeding the rational are needed. Identification is also a key criterion within sustainability. It is not about making objects which many people only like superficially and are thrown away indifferently after a few years, but things with attitude and emotional appeal. These things polarize. Some do not like them, but others love them for a lifetime.

Mio Glass is a water glass greatly influencing the drinking attitude by its shape leading to a more original and cherished movement, which can also lead to an increased appreciation of the glass itself.

MIO SIDE TABLE
INFO

MIO SIDE TABLE

side table steel 07/2013

'Do we really need more products?' This is one of the most critical issues in the field of design. My personal drive is caused by a lack of things with the potential for identification. To achieve this, points of contact, friction and design exceeding the rational are needed. Identification is also a key criterion within sustainability. It is not about making objects which many people only like superficially and are thrown away indifferently after a few years, but things with attitude and emotional appeal. These things polarize. Some do not like them, but others love them for a lifetime.

Mio Side Table is a reduced side table which causes senstation by its red tip at the most loaded point. In spite of its subtle appearance it determines to a great extent about the character and charisma of this side table. It affects the decision about love or hate. The Mio Side Table can easily be collapsed flat.

MIO LIGHT
INFO

MIO LIGHT

lamp pp, led 07/2013

'Do we really need more products?' This is one of the most critical issues in the field of design. My personal drive is caused by a lack of things with the potential for identification. To achieve this, points of contact, friction and design exceeding the rational are needed. Identification is also a key criterion within sustainability. It is not about making objects which many people only like superficially and are thrown away indifferently after a few years, but things with attitude and emotional appeal. These things polarize. Some do not like them, but others love them for a lifetime.

Mio Light is a lamp with emotional appeal. It creates an unusual and much more direct relationship between human and light. It is more light than lamp and sits like a small and lovely being beside you. It shines, it illuminates, it lets you look into its eyes.

DESK FIVE
INFO

DESK FIVE

desk beech, aluminium 06/2013

A desk is often not just used for one matter. Changing and interrupting the activity can lead to an unstructured workplace. Through several areas Desk Five allows work in parallel. The current work can be interrupted without clearing aside the materials needed for it. Thus the interrupted work can be continued later without any problems. Two plates on top at a sufficient distance above the base plate for a laptop, books and writing utensils can be moved by wheels. Some slots in the leading groove at the parking positions generate a haptic moment and offer grip.

Particularly the common switching between digital and analog work can be organized comfortably. Five areas are available to the user and can be linked and separated. The bent aluminum frame runs in a cross-recess on the bottom of the plate. This construction results in a high stability without visible braces, underlining the lightness of the extremely thin-acting beech base plate.

TYPE CHAIR
INFO

TYPE CHAIR

chair steel wire 02/2014

Type Chair is a structure to be used as a chair. It is made of steel wire like a 3D-sketch. It is reduced to the most important parts, which support the human body. It can be easily equipped with different things like the upholstery, but also with pillows or other things like some fabric, which could be just wrapped around the structure. This leads to the possibility of individualisation. The chair's character is highly connected to the cushion and can be changed easily.