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WorldWide Carpets #3, "Highway", 140 x 190 cm, photograph printed on carpet material


WorldWide Carpets #2, "Sun City", 140 x 190 cm, photograph printed on carpet material




Artist: David Hanauer, Karlsruhe, Germany

Interview 55

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Interviews published by Gareth Bate & Dawne Rudman.



David Hanauer was born in Munich, Germany in 1982 and now lives and works in Karlsruhe.  He apprenticed as a dressmaker at Escada, Munich graduating in 2006.  During 2006-2007 Hanauer was part of the International Munich Art Lab (IMAL).  Since 2007 he has been studying product design at the University of Arts and Design, Karlsruhe.  In 2009 Hanauer did workshops at the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China and with the Goethe-Institute in Sofia, Bulgaria.  Also in 2009, he did an exchange semester at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, Australia.  In 2010 Hanauer undertook an intermediate exam with the works "the living structure" and "red black".  2011 saw him in Beijing and Handan, China with a porcelain project and a workshop in Jerusalem, Israel.

Since 2008 Hanauer has had numerous local, national and international exhibitions. His work has been shown in Karlsruhe, Milan, Sofia, Cologne, Stuttgart, and Berlin. David's Website


Artist David Hanauer


Tell us about your work?

I like keeping things simple and easy. However, this often gets me into a lot of work and a lot of thinking. It is not so much about creating new forms or improving production methods. What is more important to my work is showing a possible, future usage of common structures. I want to disrupt these structures to call peoples attention to them and to try to make people think about things, design in general and also about how they make use of it. My work is often conceptual and follows a certain target.


WorldWide Carpets #1, "6th & Flower St", 140 x 190 cm, photograph printed on carpet material

"6th & Flower St", detail

"6th & Flower St", detail


How did your work evolve into the WorldWide Carpet Project?

The idea of combining product design with photography in one piece of work.


Tell us about your "WorldWide Carpets" project.

In 2009, i started working with satellite imagery within my photographical practice. I was impressed by the quality and the richness of detail one can find inside the pictures. From the beginning, i shot the images with the help of screenshots on my PC. This usage was, and is still, very interesting for me, if you compare doing screenshots with the PC and walking around a city shooting with a photo camera. Both times you are a photographer searching for the perfect image detail.

After a while and at some point, you have to ask yourself how and in which way you want to present the photography. What is the perfect display for it?

Furthermore, at the same time I was reading the book "Learning from Las Vegas" by Robert Venturi, first published in 1972. It is a significant publication for architectural history and city planning. This book, together with the fact that Las Vegas was the base for my first photographical outputs, all was leading to printing the photography on carpets. It refers to the Strip in Las Vegas - the casinos and the carpets inside them.

Also with The "WorldWide Carpets" you create this lovely appearance of contemporary Persian Rugs, using images from our times for creating the pattern and creating identity for the people - just like Persian rugs in the past.

For the future there are two more goals I want to achieve. One would be to get the "WorldWide Carpets" into production, which is not a question of technology or cost – it is all set up and in scope. It is more a question of finding a company with the appropriate structure and the will to produce innovative products. The second goal is to produce a knotted version of the "WorldWide Carpets" which would close the circle in relation to Persian Rugs.


6th & Flower St, shooting

6th & Flower St, shooting of complete flooring with 12 carpets


From where do you get your inspiration?

From time to time I try to generate a kind of boredom, or short breaks. But at the same time I guess I never stop thinking and creating pictures in my mind. This naive process is highly important. I am interested in any sort of exhibition or architectural construct. I am interested in books and art in general. Also what really helps me in my own work, is to occupy myself with different artists and to really try to understand their method of thinking. Taking a closer look always helps.


WorldWide Carpets #2 "Sun City", 140 x 190 cm, photograph printed on carpet material

WorldWide Carpets #3 "Highway", 140 x 190 cm, photograph printed on carpet material


What do you think of us placing your work within the context of fibre art?

I don't know much about fibre art. Also I think it is not widespread in Germany or Europe in general. So it is even more interesting to get used to this different field of creative working. And since I am an apprenticed dressmaker, but have stopped using these skills for some years now, it could be a starting point to get back to former habits and incorporate these skills in my work.


WorldWide Carpets blur series, shooting of complete flooring with 12 carpets

WorldWide Carpets blur series, shooting of complete flooring with 12 carpets


How do fibre techniques and materials relate to your practice?

This is completely related to the project I am working on and the aim of it. Materials can be the starting point for new ideas, but I would never fixate on it that it solely works this way.



WorldWide Carpets blur series, shooting of complete flooring with 12 carpets

WorldWide Carpets blur series, shooting of complete flooring with 12 carpets


What other mediums do you work in, and how does this inform your work?

Besides my design practice, I work a lot in the field of photography or imaging technologies. I do some commission work now and then and also photography is one area of responsibility I have within my side job in a gallery for contemporary art. The involvement of different artists have been formative for my work as a designer.

With my project "WorldWide Carpets" you can see best how photography informs my work as a designer. For a long time I wanted to bring these two fields together into one product. This is also what could become defining in the future. More and more people getting trained not just in one field, but also in many different or related ones. This could lead to exciting results when people really start to think outside of just one box.


RedBlack, 80 x 140 cm, tennis racket bags

RedBlack, 80 x 140 cm, tennis racket bags


What bridges the works that you have created in differing Media?

Actually I do not create work in differing media but what I am trying to do is to incorporate different media in my working field. So the work relates to different fields of interest, using different media but which follows one direction . . . concepts for a future living, a different way of living.



RedBlack, shooting


What specific historic artists have influenced your work? 

There are some specific artistic groups or periods, which draw my attention.

"De Stijl" is a Dutch artistic movement. The same name was used for a journal to spread the group's theories. Among the members were painters such as Piet Mondrian and Bart van der Leck, architects such as Gerrit Rietveld and Robert van 't Hoff and the writer, designer and critic Theo van Doesburg. Most interesting to me is the idea of expressing a new utopian ideal of harmony and order. Also they wanted to achieve pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour, which is something that goes hand in hand with my own work.

Beside this, i can't stop looking at paintings from those days when painting was still craftsmanship. I am impressed by the accuracy, together with the abundance of detail. Also you have this close relationship compared with the photo-realistic works of our time.


RedBlack, shooting


What specific contemporary artists have influenced your work?  

I am obsessed by contemporary ... the awareness of the here and now, the world we are living in, filled with prospects for a possible future and a new behaviour for things.

Brian Jungen, a Canadian artist with First Nation roots. I first saw his work at a solo show at the "Lenbachhaus" in Munich. I am impressed by the visual quality of his work and the deep impact he achieves. My work "red black" was developed in close relation to his artistic work. It is a transformation which provides a look at the small gap between art, design and consumer behaviour.

Donald Judd, well known American artist, who sought autonomy and clarity for the constructed object and the space created by it, ultimately achieving a rigorously democratic presentation without compositional hierarchy. I engaged myself with his work while I was creating "the living structure", a piece of furniture asking for the organisation and positioning of self, which our social environment demands from us every day as active human beings.



The Living Structure, shooting


Tell us about your studio and how you work:

Since I am still a student my studio is at the university. There are no compulsory courses so the work can be seen as regular studio work, with the benefit of having people around you who are working in the same field. It is just perfect to improve everybody's own work. My work is systematic, personal, pragmatic, naive, contrasting and disruptive.


The Living Structure, 100 x 160 x 70 cm, american maple, 70 x 80 cm aluminium plate, furniture concept

The Living Structure, installation

The Living Structure, installation


How many works do you currently average in a year and do you work on multiple pieces at the same time?

You never know what is coming next. So there is no average number of projects. It also depends on the size of each project. In terms of fabrication / processing, sales and exhibitions every project has a different running time. In relation to this fact you just can't avoid working on many different projects at the same time. But i do not consider this to be problematic; it is more a chance for each project itself.


Do you have any advice for artists starting out in their art practice?

Keep on moving and never stop doing.



Superflux, 25 x 15 cm, silicon, metal plate, edition of 12

Superflux, 25 x 15 cm, silicon, metal plate, edition of 12

Superflux, 25 x 15 cm, silicon, metal plate, edition of 12

Superflux, 25 x 15 cm, silicon, metal plate, edition of 12


Where do you imagine your work in five years? 

That is totally up to the market and the possibilities that will come up. I currently work on becoming a creative working self-employed. I would love to increase the cooperation with producers and people working in the field of industrial design. Also I am highly interested in the area of exhibitions with all its components and on both sides of it. And in general my imagination goes much wider.


What interests you about the World of Threads festival?

The concentration of artistic work from one specific area.



Laundry basket, 40 x 40 x 60 cm, oak, 35 x 37 cm, tyvek

Laundry basket, 40 x 40 x 60 cm, oak, 35 x 37 cm, tyvek

Laundry basket, 40 x 40 x 60 cm, oak, 35 x 37 cm, tyvek


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Interviews published by Gareth Bate & Dawne Rudman.