Systemflex – trade-fair stand system

The work was supervised by Professor Rieß at Hochschule für Architektur und Bauwesen in Weimar, Germany. Developing the concept and bringing it to production was the young architect’s first project after finishing his studies.

Freely formed rooms and objects – the principle of flexible nodes in this system for setting up trade-fair stands makes it possible to implement virtually any form. The nodes are made of resilient, formable elastomer which also is used in the aerospace industry. If the nodes and the connecting rods are attached, they form triangular shapes that make up a stable structure. The system is compatible with other common trade-fair stand systems.

Appreciation of the winner
by Ruth J. Soénius

This year, the jury gave one of the State Prizes for Young Designers to the designer of a product that is perfectly in line with Mies van der Rohe’s motto “less is more.” After investigating organic forms of architecture in his diploma thesis, Simon Bauer of the Faculty of Architecture at Bauhaus-Universität in Weimar developed the idea of a new system for trade-fair stands consisting of flexible nodes and adjustable connecting rods that facilitates the creation of free-form rooms and objects.

Flexibility is top priority for builders of trade-fair stands because the requirements are many, sometimes even contradictory. On the one hand, stands must be adaptable to spaces, presentations, products and environments at diverse trade fairs; on the other hand, they must fit into the company’s communication structures.

Systemflex was awarded a State Prize because its functions and options were presented in a convincing manner – they provide much leeway in the design of trade-fair stands and offer the opportunity to create amorphous forms using flexible nodes and adjustable rods to build structures without requiring sophisticated specialized nodes. With Systemflex , spaces can be designed according to the requirements of the users rather than those of the technological circumstances. The product is minimal in its appearance and does not pretend to impress through its exterior – two materials, three elements, many color options and an endless array of solutions. The designer successfully provides answers to the many demands of the market and turns them into masterful solutions, flexible yet structured, structured yet open, open yet consistent.

Systemflex makes the user think of Marshall McLuhan who once said, “When definition is low, participation is high.” Simon Bauer’s work can be seen as an offering that refrains from defining limiting consequences.

Technical data
Aluminum, Elastomer
Ø 80 mm (nodes)

Simon Bauer


Hochschule für Architektur und Bauwesen Weimar

Prof. Rieß

Wasserläufer – taxi for inland waters

The model was developed at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee under the supervision of Professor Staubach.

The intention behind this concept was to show new, visionary technological and design solutions for a high-end sporting device. The model of the recumbent bike, which is oriented strongly towards competition, differentiates itself clearly from common bikes of this type and symbolizes the innovative drive technology of “fluidic muscles” through adequate design.

Appreciation of the winner
by W. O. Geberzahn

Many of the works submitted for design prizes over the past few years were interesting concepts for water or air transportation; however, most of them focused on leisure-time use and the pleasure of movement. To date, the fact that water can be used intensively as a means of transportation has remained in the background, which not least had to do with the geography in former East Germany.

After the shift to Berlin as the Republic’s political and spiritual center it became known that the city and its environs are blessed with a unique broad and highly attractive network of bodies of water. Rivers, channels and lakes are integrated into urban planning and development and coastal areas and housing have been redefined. At least 200km of these waterways are navigable and can be incorporated into traffic planning. Using these bodies of water for transportation could take the strain away from land-based systems. Before Wasserläufer, however, the relevant means of transportation had not been invented.

This is where Robert Knossalla and his diploma thesis come in to fill a niche in the market. Most modern shipyards concentrate on offerings for leisure-time captains and ignore ships for transportation purposes. The jury selected this work not only because it can contribute to improving modern transportation systems, but also because it was presented as a convincing product concept.

Knossalla is aware of the demand for public transportation on inland waters:

Boats must be able to operate smoothly but rather quickly, must not harm coastal structures excessively, and most of all, must be maneuverable. In his model, Knossalla achieved this by combining a hydrojet, two flexible extension arms and a deck. When docking, the stern is flooded to lower and stabilize the boat and keep it steady. When operating, the boat is lifted and glides over the water, carried only by the deck and the extension arms. It provides ample space for seating four to five people and a perfect view of the surroundings through its large windows. Details, such as the door that opens upwards and becomes a protective canopy, underline the high quality of the model. Since the boat was developed as a platform concept, it also may be used as a work, police or fire brigade boat.

The jury highlighted the work’s autonomous, innovative nature because the designer successfully shed light on a problem that so far has been neglected, and presented a solution that is indicative of his thorough examination of the requirements in the field. The use of cutting-edge technologies and materials shows that the model can continue to be used in the future. Moreover, Knossalla convinced the jury with his vivid and clear presentation of the boat which facilitates access to the topic as well as the premium quality of the model.

Technical data:
5500 × 2300 × 2100 mm
Model at a scale of 1:10

Robert Knossalla


Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee

Prof. Staubach