"Real aesthetics and schöngeist comes from the heart"
Ulrike Krages CEO & Founder of UK Urban Comfort © Werner Gritzbach
We met Ulrike Krages, the Hamburg luminary in matters of design, architecture and Interior, in her beautiful villa in Harvestehude and talked to her about design, Living trends & Sustainability.
UK2 is the area of the business, where you concentrate on architecture. What challenges do you expect with regard to urbanization?
Since we have less living space available in the metropolises these days, this presents us as designers with a real challenge. There's a trend back too green plantsto grow within a microcosm; especially to plants that are able to absorb toxins and convert them into good indoor air.
Auch Cities become even greener; Gardens, chicken coops, beehives and even small farms are built on the roofs. Take a look at Singapore, for example. You have the feeling that the city is built in a jungle. In China and Japan there are micro-apartments that consist of only one bunk. They even do without their own kitchenette because they are used to being on the street or in Restaurant to eat.
We will also learn to deal with electrosmog differently if I just think of the cell phone that is on our body at all times. Radiation-decoupled sleeping areas will prevail in the future. Creating good energies is now the focus of our work.
Parkalle showroom © Werner Gritzbach
What do you think are the megatrends of building, living and designing spaces?
Megatrend is everything that gives us peace, comfort and health. Design is no longer in the foreground. Sustainability today also means reuse. You don't have to throw everything away and replace it. Vintage fabrics, old parts reinterpreted or carpets bleached.
You can make a lot of old furniture without disposing of it. For example, we have designed a new furniture collection that is only covered with old fabrics.
You have launched a collection called "Anti-depressive Collection". What made you do it?
The name was chosen because of the cheerful colors. I myself had a difficult private period to master in my life. I noticed how literally "illuminating" cheerful colors, especially pink tones, worked for me. That's how I set up myself.
All the guests I had asked me why the atmosphere was so cheerful and happy. Some even believed there were lots of elves flying through the rooms. I then dealt a lot with colors in our environment. Today I know: a pot of paint can change our lives.
Showroom Parkalle © Werner Gritzbach
What is special about your interior design and where do you manufacture your products?
The special thing is the convenience. Our customers like to "chill"; For us, this means that they like to sit in an armchair for two or put their feet up. For example, we have a table that allows you to put your feet on it. It is a mixture of an upholstered island and a table.
The products are manufactured in a small factory near Florence. Here in Hamburg we make the concept, design and prototypes, in Italy it is built. And it is brought here directly from Italy by an employee. Without a large freight forwarder. Of course, this shortens delivery times very much.
Which materials do you prefer to work with?
I prefer to work with cotton, viscose, linen. So with natural materials.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is that of a little girl who still believes in fairy tales and Santa Claus. That means: as much imagination as possible.
What is aesthetics to you?
Esthete. Aesthetics is always the beauty of man, the service of the warm heart. For me, everything that comes from the heart is aesthetics.
What is luxury for you?
Luxury is something you can completely do without. Luxury makes you independent but not happy.
Do you live sustainability?
For me, sustainability is primarily conscious action. No matter what I do, I always imagine that we don't even have electricity. I also try to avoid plastic waste wherever possible. I would like to realize my dream of self-sufficient life in the country one day.
Much obliged for the interview, Mrs. Krages!