2. Sustainability
  3. Shift. Our Platform for Debates
  4. Upcycling

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Film: Making of Shifting Shift

A project by students of Professor Jan Regett at BAU International Berlin and Professor Sebastian Feucht at HTW Berlin supported by Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft

The upcycling project “Shifting Shift” repurposed exhibits from the Volkswagen Group’s first sustainability exhibition. Young designers created coat racks, lounge furniture and a signage system for the Arche house in Berlin-Hellersdorf. The new creations were presented to children from Die Arche on June 25, 2018 at the DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum in Berlin.

Read the Press Release


Gregor Jahner designed a modular shelf with the available materials, which not only offers storage room, but also a stacking, work or presentation surface. Children can, for example, display self-made projects on it.

The hinged drawers can be repositioned or removed as required, and can also be used to store craft materials, toys and other small parts.

The Shift exhibition’s colorful design is easily recognizable, and perfectly suited to the context in question, that is to furniture aimed at children.

Furniture for the Café for Children

Asing on the existing premises, we created a set of furniture in order to improve and harmonize the situation. The set consists of three pieces: a playground, a wardrobe of hexagonal elements and a cabinet behind a bar counter.

The Playground

A hexagonal multi-level wooden podium for children of differrent height includes elements that may be used as tables and chairs.

Hexagon wardrobe

A plug-in system that, when assembled on a perforated plate, produces a honeycomb pattern on the wall. As a plug-in system, the children can reassemble the wardrobe again and again. Honeycombs could be added if more children come to the Arche.

The Cabinet

The Cabinet has been designed to make the room harmonic and attractive and to facilitate the work by Arche personnel.

Drawing boards

Drawing boards
Tim Schütze (HTW Berlin)

After talking with staff members from Die Arche, we learned that building relationships and personal development are among the most important issues for the young children and teens. This resulted in a particularly interesting design approach using materials from the Shift exhibition to create a product that offers added value for all ages. In the subsequent research phase, it became apparent that drawing pictures is a key factor in the early years of a child’s life. This supports their development beyond adolescence and helps them learn observational and motor skills. It also promotes creativity and improves their ability to concentrate. My design for the board aims to accompany this process and give the children and teens an intuitive basis for interaction and developing their talents.

The design is intended to meet the requirements of the target group and the Volkswagen framework conditions in the best possible way. For example, careful attention was paid to material-appropriate construction and simplified production in order to achieve a friendly, playful look. The boards can be used for drawing or for presentations indoors and outdoors. The different shapes of the panels enable youngsters to have fun creating various scenes. In the kindergarten, for instance, they can brighten up the empty hallways or add more colours in the outdoor areas.

Grow, Grill and Chill

The project “Grow, Grill & Chill” is located in the backyard, making use of a so far unused space. It is surrounded by a soccer field, basketball court and the play area. With our concept we tried to create an open space to integrate it into the environment. It implements a new central meeting point in the outdoor area that promotes interaction.

The overall centerpiece is the outdoor kitchen with a grill, place for food preparation and a waterbar. Around it we arranged some seating islands, making interaction possible from all sides, including the surrounding areas.

Garden beds and vertical gardening should enable the kids to see how their own food grows and cook with the crops afterwards. In between the garden beds we placed a big net to hang out together and relax. Altogether, the areas should bring a completely new spirit to the outdoor area where the entire Arche community can grow, grill and chill together.

Seating Island

The “Seating Island” project is located in one of Arche’s rooms for young kids, that is being used for different activities and as a sleeping area.

The concept for our “Seating Island” was directly inspired by the drawings the children drew during our workshop at Die Arche at the beginning of this collective project. The drawings had recurring themes of the Ark, as well as elevated platforms and the tree houses. The children loved the idea of climbing and having personal hideout spaces, which we wanted to include in our final design.

Our aim was to create a multi-purpose island that offers various seating options for different activities while transporting the children to another world and bringing nature inside. The platforms are versatile elevated areas that invite the children to play, read or rest. The lookout area allows the children to sit facing the window and enjoy the view. The cocoons on the other hand, provide the children with a place where they can have some privacy and feel embraced in the open cave-like structure.

Guidance System

A guidance system designed for the children in the facility of Die Arche. The building has a space of 2 floors and a basement and the system had to work for adults and children alike. Our main focus was on the 6-13 age group area as it is the biggest area they have; also signs for the main areas such as the main hall, office, and cafeteria and signs indicating the other age groups (2-6 and 13+).

In terms of icons, we decided to focus on highlighting main features of a given room. Our design concept was to color code the areas to make it simple and easy to distinguish for all age groups. As for directions, in order to make the system clear to newcomers as well, we use signs of all icons on area entries and exits.

Concept - Forest Bench

The Forest Bench is a modular seating and storage system. The basic wooden frame acts as a bench and provides under-seating storage space. The highlighted feature of the design is the laser-cut steel back plate that provides both function and form to the furniture. Our small design allows enough space for two users to sit, and by arranging several units side-by-side, effectively provides storage, seating, and division to a space of any size.

The bench is designed to bring together simple wooden forms and textures, and highlight them alongside pleasing, laser-cut designs. The natural color of the ash wood and the white paint of the back piece allow the design to match nearly any space. The negative space of the design allows the environments natural light and colors to shine through our design. By altering the size and curvature of the wood bench, as well as the design cut from the metal, a bench can be created to fit any environment.

Concept - Tozzo

Tozzo is a modular shelving system that has the potential to be utilized in any setting whether its commercial, office or home use. It can be a room divider, a feature wall and can be as big or as small as you like. Tozzo was designed to be a simple, practical and good looking design with the flexibility to be used in any space. Countless configurations make for infinite possibilities and should your storage needs change, it can change with you.

Concept - Sorora Modular Table

Sorora is a modular children’s sitting area characterized by its dynamic interconnecting system. The design is simple, sturdy and fit for any childrens area and was made with 100% upcycled materials. This table set is true to its Waldorf-inspired origins: clear and textured wood, raw iron colour, simple shape and a plethora of monster jigs are the components of clean-cut, bright looking furniture that hold appeal to both children and adults for versatility and playfulness.

This design’s aim is to balance functionality and playfulness, in a way that allows simple everyday use yet nurtures children’s’ imagination. The highlight is the interconnecting system which consists of recycled wood jigs that can be set in place in several spots all around the table’s edges, seamlessly linking it to its sisters in whatever shape you wish. The jigs are represented as little monsters, to have the extra play factor and make it appealing to the children.

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