reginadahmeningenhoven: Form follows fun – Architecture and design language for the 21st century
Text: Marilena Stracke I Photos © Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven
W ith an outstanding sense for design and purpose, Dr. Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven manages to turn effortlessly from high-end concept stores to nurseries or private residences, and delivers nothing but excellence. What sets her designs apart is their aim to have a subtle positive effect on our overall well-being.
Just from looking at the various different projects realised by Düsseldorf-based design agency reginadahmeningenhoven, you get a sense of the vast possibilities that interior design and architecture present. Author and designer Dr. Regina Dahmen-Ingenhoven finds the essence of a brand or company and brings it to life through clever, sometimes poetic design choices merged with expertise.
She probably inherited the passion for her craft from her father, who is an architect and hence Dahmen-Ingenhoven grew up in that creative environment. “I also had wonderful teachers in Aachen, where I did my doctoral thesis ‘Form follows fun’ – still an absolute favourite subject of mine.”
It should come as no surprise that the design awards keep coming in and the designer is happy that it means public recognition for her team, but naturally that is not what drives Dahmen-Ingenhoven. Architecture is her life and if it were up to her, our daily environment would be completely re-designed to give us a boost of positivity. Something we would certainly benefit from in this fast-paced world.
As a mother of five, Dahmen-Ingehoven remembers spending hours at the doctors: “The interiors were just so negative and especially with sick kids a cheerful environment can make all the difference. Back then when my children were little, I focused on smaller manageable projects, which still play a major role in our daily lives.”
Although she has since then realised fantastical larger-than-life projects such as the ‘Heaven is a place on Earth’- Curtain for Swarowski, or the dreamy ‘Allude Espace’ store in Kitzbühel, Dahmen-Ingehoven always pays attention to daily-life architecture. “Through form, colour and material, I always aim to give everyday architecture an appealing, soothing and healthy atmosphere. This goes for all projects: be it the paediatrician practice with a happy, vibrant interior that is not too overwhelming, the factory building hidden behind a fairy-tale curtain, or the sophisticated knitwear store which presents its colourful collection hung on a large metal mesh chandelier.”
A central question seems to be: ‘What do we surround ourselves with and what impact does it actually have on us?’ This goes from the question of how to incorporate a zebra-crossing in a more sophisticated way, to interior design for private residences such as the refurbishment of Casa Marieposella, where subtle colours and an uplifting poetic image language put you in a relaxed mood as soon as you open the door.
The design of Casa Marieposella touches all senses and has a very special flair, reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. There is a natural flow, which connects space and appliances effortlessly. With mirrored walls to add the illusion of more space, sliding doors and the incorporation of tasteful flower images, this is a comforting home. The well-known photographer Clemens Zahn created the image of the different shades of blue.
For Dahmen-Ingenhoven, design almost becomes a person with its own character. Hence the interior design of Casa Marieposella tells a story, one of flowers, warmth and perhaps the ever-changing possibilities life brings. In the words of Dahmen-Ingenhoven it is like ‘a third protective skin, a safe place for its residents’.
A stunning example of a place we often expect to have no particularly exciting design is the space of a Munich-based pharmacy, which Dahmen-Ingenhoven completely re-invented. Following the motto ‘Water is Life’ the pharmacy with its deep blues, round surfaces and flowing light installations has become an oasis of pure calm. Dahmen-Ingenhoven adds: “The pharmacy turned into a space that does not reflect illness but health, and it brings up associations of healing springs or the ocean.”
The agency’s client base is extremely diverse as Dahmen-Ingenhoven points out: “For me there is not just the one target group of clients. It is more about inspiring the building developer so that we can design appealing, creative and inspirational architecture together.”
Generally Dahmen-Ingenhoven is refreshingly modest but there is one award she is particularly proud of, the ‘Female Designer of the Year 2016’ by Build Women in Architecture. In the often male-dominated creative field there is still a lack of recognition for women, and having been able to keep her design work going – and extremely successfully at that – whilst raising five kids, is an achievement in its own right.
With a seemingly limitless imagination, solid expertise and an open mind, Dahmen-Ingenhoven manages to bridge the gap between larger-than-life designs and everyday architecture. We are excited to see her next project.
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