Art, design and people with disabilities make up the fascinating focus of the work of two young designers from Bremen. Working together with employees from community-based workshops, they develop and improve on designs for handmade products – and are continually thrilled by the potential they see in their co-designers.
Juie Jittinan Kitsumritiroj is a 31-year-old designer from Thailand. She studied for her Bachelor’s degree in her home country, where she was also involved in community work. She came to study in Bremen for a semester through a partnership programme that her university shared with the Bremen University of Applied Sciences, and came across the University of the Arts (HfK) while she was here. She then fully relocated to Bremen at the end of 2011 to continue her studies at the HfK, and worked towards a Master’s degree in Integrated Design as part of the ‘Systems and Structure’ studio. During the course of her studies, Juie began working with the Martinshof organisation – an association of workshops for people with disabilities – and developed a concept for designing sustainable products in collaboration with disabled individuals. “I had so much fun,” explains Juie, “that I soon realised I wanted to make a career out of it.” During her studies, she also got to know Andreas Hensinger. The 32-year-old also carried out a community-based project as part of his Master’s degree, which sought to improve the everyday lives of people with dementia. “Both of us had chosen to focus on social work and people with disabilities, and we also got along really well together – that’s why we decided to work together,” explains Juie.