jannis ellenberger

August 31, 2011

“Authenticity—just be yourself and go for it.”

Where was your favorite place to live?
I am quite happy where we live right now. Bremen is a charming city in the north of Germany with many nice people—not too far away from the sea with lots of fresh air—and we have a river going through with a beach. So in the summer we can take a bath right in the center of the city.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
We have a double room we share as a family. It’s for living, eating, sleeping, playing with our children… and a sunny balcony attached. It serves many functions and when doors are wide open it’s one huge space.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
Hard to tell…maybe the Lego® brick. A very small and simple toy children will keep on playing with for generations I guess. Every human on the planet owns an average of 62 Lego® pieces!

What do you drive?
The Dutch bike I inherited from my father-in-law. When I need a car my C5—which I bought because Citroen® was the first company installing “soot particle filters” in diesel cars.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
Hard to evaluate… maybe my books. I always have to be surrounded by books even though I have almost no time for reading. I have some very beautiful books and believe that designing books is great art! I even know what my books smell like…

What’s your personal decorating style?
Lots of free space, clear forms, and warm materials. And of course, white and empty walls to provide room for mental projections, for ideas, free thoughts and creativity.

What are your interests outside of design?
My two boys! Outoors + nature, arts, sports.

Who are you design icons?
There are many, but Ray and Charles Eames were definitely the ones who opened up my galaxy of design.

Form vs. function?
Next to many others, these are both important aspects in the design process and they have to be weighted differently for every single project.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Authenticity—just be yourself and go for it.

To see all designs by Jannis Ellenberger furniture for CB2, go here.