Bodo Sperlein

Our Studio: London South Bank

Kari Sundli


For over 15 years, Bodo Sperlein Studio has been based at the Oxo Tower in the cultural heart of London's South Bank. Stretching from Blackfriars Bridge in the east to Westminster Bridge with 14 million visitors each year. Among the museums, galleries, skate parks and multiple centres of entertainment, you'll find us at
51°30'29.7"N 0°06'29.5"W. 

 

 

We love this bustling area being so close to the river, among other creatives and having visitors from all over the world who visit the London Bankside. 

What is Bodo's favourite features of working on the London South Bank, you'd ask? We guessed the breeze of the river coming through the studio on warm summer days, the raw feeling of the Barge House next door or the way to work cycling through majestic parts of central London. See his answers and learn more about the area in an interview with the designer himself below. 

As a designer, what is it about the London South Bank that inspires you the most?
The fact is that it's such a big part of the historic centre of London. A cultural hub with so many places to go and be entertained, like the dance productions at the Southbank CentreThe Royal Festival Hall, The National Theatre and the short walk to the Tate Modern to source inspiration. I appreciate being so close to the river in such an iconic area of London.

On your ride to work, what do you see?
The ride gives me the chance to see a lot of London landmarks, which is quite amazing because it's something many of us take for granted. From Westminster Abbey to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben to the London Eye. All of the London milestones, a great pleasure to see. 

How has the area changed since you first started working here 15 years ago?
The area's changed considerably. When the local Waitrose arrived last year, it was a significant sign. 15 years ago we didn't have anything like this.  

Are there any secret hidden gems around the Studio? 
Many. You can get one of London's most traditional Fish and Chips at Master's Superfish in Waterloo. Great drinks at The Cut Bar at the Young Vic Theatre and walk down Lower Marsh and get a coffee at the Scooter Cafe, which is also a great bar at night. And I love exploring the National Theatre, a brutalist concrete jungle. 
 

Loewe RAUM Website Launch

Bodo Sperlein

We are glad to introduce you to a new exciting platform for Loewe directed by Bodo Sperlein: 
The Loewe Raum

If you thought tech was just a place where cables, moving images and sounds are being discussed, think again. We can't talk for others, but for Loewe there's more to the brand than just TV's. As Creative Director, Bodo Sperlein has rejuvenated existing strengths of the brand, one of them being to embrace the holistic opportunities in introducing industries across disciplines, such as music, art, food, tech and architecture. 

 

This formulated Loewe RAUM, a pop-up event held in Berlin to coincide with IFA that showcased Loewe Products. Raum, or Room, was an international space on the vibrant boulevard Unter Den Linden in central Mitte. Bustling with individuals sharing ideas, cultivating projects amidst music from Me and My Drummer surrounded by the latest developments in technology. 

We wanted to expand the event to more of a permanent feature for Loewe, allowing for a transparent platform that could inform, curate and entertain in the sphere of technology and design, to show readers what Loewe is about. Produced by London-based Studio Small with art direction from Bodo Sperlein, the platform is a digital epitome of what the design consultancy of Bodo Sperlein can administer. 

Be in the know and see the website on www.loewe-raum.com

 
 

Bodo Sperlein Tabletop

Bodo Sperlein

With the sun shining today and thoughts of grey skies behind us, we wanted to share our fun and light hearted tribute to some of our collections here in our studio at the OXO Tower. Fruits, berries, sweets and Pashmak, a Persian rosewater candy floss, accompany the plates fit for any gourmand, emphasising the timeless elegance of the handcrafted pieces.

See more of our ceramics over on our shop

 

NIKKO CLOUD AND NIKKO MACAROON

 
 
 

NIKKO LANDSCAPE

 
 

DIBBERN DELICE AND NIKKO SENSU

 

NIKKO SENSU

 

DIBBERN CARRARA

 

DIBBERN DELICE

Beauty Objectified: bild 9 Photoshoot

Bodo Sperlein
 

Over a course of three days, we worked with a unique group of individuals to produce the bild 9 campaign that was styled and shot in Hackney, London. 

 
 

We teamed up with Studio Small who have provided strategic art direction for over 20 years in the design and creative sectors worldwide. They deliver design solutions which are consistently intelligent, well-crafted and bespoke to each client. Working with brands such as Margaret Howell, Sunspel & Comme des Garçons, to BAFTA and the Design Council to name but a few. Take a look at their instagram page to see an excellently curated snapshot of their latest work.

 
 

Hana Al Sayed whose beautifully conducted set design has been featured in publications such as Hole & Corner, British Vogue and Wallpaper with clients including the likes of Stella McCartney and Burberry. Known for bringing structural elements to a domestic setting, Hana’s meticulous eye for detail and positioning has enabled a seamless and cohesive visual language of texture and form for the bild 9 campaign. 

 
 

Jake Curtis brings a fresh and scientific approach to each project, emphasising the importance of light and the viewer’s gaze. Jake’s photography has reinforced the timeless quality of bild 9, something that Jake prides himself on when carrying out his portraiture, interiors, lifestyle and advertising shoots. Clients of Jake's include Cereal, Elle Decoration and Telegraph Luxury. 

 

Videographers Ian Allardyce  and Peter Drinkell were responsible for shooting, editing and grading the bild 9 campaign film. With a plethora of globally renowned clients between them including Rapha, Nike, SPS HD and The Times, bild 9 has been filmed in ‘high dynamic range’, the very latest UHD format. 

 

Loewe bild 9: Concept to Launch

Bodo Sperlein
 

Here's an insight into the process behind the design of the new Loewe bild 9, launched last week. Check out more over on www.loewe.tv/de

 
 

Inspiration

Bodo’s direction for Loewe centres around the concept of warm minimalism.

Pictorial and linear sculpture inspired the design of bild 9, utilising 2D shapes and lines to create a 3D form, looking to artists such as Fred Sandback for inspiration. The Cold War graphic design of Max Bill and the Bauhaus art movement have informed the playful quality of bild 9. 

 
 

Concept

We looked creating a product which reasserts the TV as the focal point of any home’s interior, designing products which serve to enhance an individual’s life. 


By reinstating the television as a feature of the home, the aim of bild 9 is to challenge the recent culture of TV’s being the thinnest black panel possible with little consideration to the frame. As we shift away from this tendency, bild 9’s concept is to establish a sculptural presence, enhancing the advanced technology of the TV.

 

Development 

Stage I

bild 9 was originally designed with a rear leg completing the frame, a discreet method of cable management. 

Stage II

Experimented with perforation details on the frame, we explored the option of incorporating audio into frame of the bild 9 range. After much deliberation, it was decided not to incorporate this into the final product. 

Stage III

Working with the Loewe team in Kronach, developments in the production of the frame allowed us to push the design further, removing the rear section of the frame. Creating a product with a lighter more elegant appearance.

 

Modelling

Key to the design was to create a product with a solution for the age-old issue of cable management that suited the clean, elegant aesthetics of the bild 9. 


A process of refining the design with many iterations and changes were realised by the Loewe’s workshop in Kronach. This led us to devising a product with a discrete method of cable management. By running the cables inside the frame, there is little distraction to the sculptural quality of bild 9. 

 
 

Showcase

A preview of bild 9 was revealed during IFA 2016 coinciding with the exclusive Loewe Raum event held in Berlin. This was a significant opportunity to showcase the future direction for Loewe and an insight into the design direction of Loewe’s future products.

Showcase1.jpg
 

Photoshoot

In collaboration with Studio Small, the bild 9 campaign photoshoot took place here in London. Working with photographer Jake Curtis and set designer and stylist Hana Al Syad who have both previously worked with the likes of Telegraph Luxury, Aston Martin and Gucci to name but a few. 

Check back for a further insight in to behind the scenes of the bild 9 shoot.

 

Interview: Bodo Sperlein on art, the design process and the making of Loewe's bild 9 TV

Bodo Sperlein

You’re no stranger to a challenge having worked with a number of iconic international brands. What is it about Loewe that captured your attention as a brand? Is there anything in particular about their history, their design philosophy etc.?

As Loewe were responsible for the first electronic film transmission in 1923, to me this is on a par with the first moon landing. It’s always great to work with established brands that present a challenge. As brand and creative director for Loewe, uniting the legacy of the brand and navigating a new direction is crucial. Loewe have a plethora of products so enhancing their portfolio in a way that unites their history as a brand with products that offer a different perspective and an opportunity to reach a new audience was key. 
 

How does your own design philosophy align with Loewe’s history?

An interest in historical design and brand history is important when working with a brand that encapsulates all of these ingredients like Loewe do. 

Designing a collection of home entertainment products was an exciting challenge as it’s not something I’d done before. As a designer it’s important to communicate the story of the product in question, to establish a deeper understanding between consumer and product. I find it interesting how you can introduce people to new materials through everyday objects, you can spark people’s interest in the design and production process through an object that some may take for granted as part of their daily routine. I like to challenge the perception of a certain product, give it a new meaning and elevate its stature. 

Why do you think good design is important in particular when designing home entertainment pieces?

The objective is to encourage people to appreciate home technology products again. To me good design sparks people’s appreciation of how a product enhances their life. It’s very important to convey how remarkable materials are, specifically those that are natural to our planet, and that the product communicates the time and attention to detail that has gone into designing and producing it. 

Both bild 9 + Klang 9 bring a unique sculptural identity to home entertainment informed by Bauhaus architecture and the refinement of Art Deco. How and to what extent have other creative fields influenced this design?

Pictorial lines found in Constructivism and perspective sculpture have influenced the design of bild 9. Much like a good piece of jewellery, where the fitting is enhanced by the setting, the screen of bild 9 is elevated by the frame. Specific attention to the framing of the sleek black screen is incredibly important: the material, the finish, the width of the frame, the distance between the frame and the screen, these are all significant aspects to consider. 

 

 

 

Most products can take some years to be developed from concept to realisation, bild 9 was realised and developed rapidly, what do you think it was that drove the development of this range to be in production in less than 18 months?

I’m used to a lengthy design and production process having worked extensively with ceramics. If you try to understand the process of the medium you’re designing for early on within the process, you can try to overcome design hurdles and generate solutions rapidly.

The textural and colour finishes of the frames enhance the perspective lines of the design, was there any particular reason why you chose the specific finishes and colours? 

There’s a traditional quality in teaming an extremely sleek and high tech medium with a patinated metal. We live in an exciting time where the boundaries of materials and processes are pushed, where new materials are being discovered like graphene, celebrated for its thinness and flexibility, to me it is the unison of the classical with contemporary that brings the best outcome a design can offer. The frame has been designed to be a sculptural statement within its own right, reinforcing the advanced technology of the screen.

A number of brands are returning to manufacturing in Europe. How do you think this will affect how people purchase their home entertainment products?

I think people are purchasing more consciously now, there’s a deterioration of this throw away culture and people will stop just buying products and simply throwing them away when they’re perfectly fine. 
Europe remains known for its quality of craftsmanship and good design, hopefully we can maintain this and continue to produce products that are far more long lasting. 

In a time where people tend to watch television on catch-up often on their laptops or tablets, how do you see the functions of television progressing?

These are all intelligent pieces of design and as a mobility device enhance modern living greatly. There’s a strong trend for using these tablets for screening but a television offers more of a ritual for home entertainment with family and friends. Whether this is watching live shows or concerts, your favourite film or catching up with any programs you’ve missed. Televisions can and are beginning to take on roles that the tablet offer, being linked to the internet allows for homemade videos or images to be shared globally with friends and family.

As you’re a German designer working in Britain, how do you perceive Brexit affecting your design process or who you work with?

I don’t really see it as affecting either things. Being based in London it can feel quite London-centric but the European and cultural influx in London is very important, I don’t really see this subsiding. I studied here, I’ve built my business here, it may well be trickier in the future to gain European individuals as part of the team but it’s something I deem as a necessity for a successful approach, having a variety of cultural aspects is very important to any business.


Bild 9 accommodates for a wide variety of interiors from a minimal modern environment to more of a traditional home. Was this something that you had in mind during the design process of bild 9?

I would agree bild 9 suits a variety of interiors, the range allows the television to become a feature in the home once again, from a traditional interior to a super minimal space. My aim is to design objects that look good when in use and not in use. bild 9 has a contemporary appeal without being too fashionable which is something that’s very important when designing products that aim to have a longevity. Gender neutrality gets bandied around a lot today but it’s long been a significant consideration when designing, I try to avoid designing specifically for men or women. 

How do you start off the design process? Is there anything unusual or usual that occurred during the design process?

Having never designed for technology and home entertainment before, I swiftly learnt about the considerations of cable management, circuit boards, the backpack and weight of the panel has an effect on the stability of the overall design. Until now I had never heard of a baby-topple test! This all of course informed the design of bild 9. 
Researching and identifying with the brand is very important, this is something we do early on when approaching a new design and brand. A successful product for any brand is one which is strongly related to the brand but is the signature of the designer.

development1.jpg

Were there a lot of models? Hand drawings… 3D printing? How important is it to communicate a 3D version of your ideas throughout the design process?

It’s essential to communicate your ideas in 3D. We hand sketch, create visualisations and then 3D print but a 3D 1:1 model has to be made to fully realise the magnitude and impact of what is being designed. Loewe have a model workshop with a dedicated team which is very important, the scale isn’t always as evident when presented in a 3D render especially if you’re presenting ideas to people who don’t have a thorough understanding of scale. Plus people are engaged more with something that’s tangible and as close as possible to the real thing. 

What is it about bild 9 that makes it innovative?

The aim was to produce a design that brings the television back in the centre stage of the 21st century home, to steer away from a utilitarian presence televisions so often have. Bild 9 aims to be more of an elegant object for the home. 

I think people are purchasing more consciously now, there’s a deterioration of this throw away culture
 


What challenges have you faced designing for technology? 

Technology is ever evolving so the process is fast paced, these products often take 2 years to come to market so within that time span there’s constant developments. 
Working with components such as the panels already places constraint that need to be considered when designing because they are preexisting components so this has an affect on the overall design. This is a challenging aspect of designing for technology and one to be truly embraced.
 

How do you think people currently interact with their televisions? What do you think of the future of tv? 

The way we interact today with our televisions is very different to the past, people have become their own editors which is liberating, we are in control of what we can watch and be more selective. We no longer have to necessarily wait until the following week for the next program. Television remains an important aspect of our daily routine, Antiques Roadshow is part of my Sunday evening ritual whilst I fix dinner, it’s a comforting part of our lives. You can be sat in a waiting room or in the airport and there will be television screens on. There will always be a desire for people to keep up to date with current affairs, music, film, art and news, and televisions will remain a significant means of communicating all of this whilst embracing future technologies. Radios are over one hundred years old yet we still listen to broadcasts and with the development of DAB this has only enhanced its presence in our lives. Television design will continue to accommodate technological advances as they develop. 

Our Milan Top 5 Design Highlights

Bodo Sperlein


It’s Milan Design Week and we’ve been following the developments from our studio here at the Oxo Tower.

 
 

Kvadrat x GamFratesi ‘Mask’

This playful installation of masks bring an experimental approach to an ancient form and design. Created by Copenhagen-based GamFratesi for Europe’s leading textiles manufacturer, Kvadrat.

Known for pushing the conventional boundaries of textiles and for being fully immersed in the process of textile manufacturing, Kvadrat bring a unique dimension to their showroom this year.Known for pushing the conventional boundaries of textiles and for being fully immersed in the process of textile manufacturing, Kvadrat bring a unique dimension to their showroom this year.

 
 

Calico x Snarkitecture 'Imagine Landscape'

With a true appreciation for natural materials it’s perhaps little surprise that we love the Imagine Landscape wallpaper collection. Designed by Faye Toogood in collaboration with Snarkitecture, Ana Kras and BCXSY for Calico. 

Inspired by childhood memories and Rococo paintings, this marks Calico’s first major wallpaper design collection. 

 
 

MINI Living x SO-IL ‘Breathe’

MINI Living will be hosting a talk with SO-IL, Assemble and Carlo Ratti on Thursday 6th April. 

Held at MINI’s Breathe installation designed by SO-IL, discussions of how conscious design has the power to continue to contribute to sustainable living in a world that is becoming increasingly limited in resources. 

 
 

Salvatori Stones x Michael Anastassiades ‘Rosa Portogallo Room’

As true advocators for natural materials, we love the purity and raw presentation of Salvatori stones in Michael Anastassiade’s Rosa Portogallo Room.

Silver Care

TaneBodo Sperlein
 

Sterling silver is a relatively sensitive material and will naturally become tarnished and scratched over time of use. We recommend using a gentle non-abrasive silver polishing cloth and soft brush for polishing silverware. It’s worth noting that small amounts of dried polishing cream residue can scratch silver. 

 

 

 

When cleaning silver it's important to follow the polishing lines of the object around the body and not up and down. Apply a firm but gentle pressure when polishing. We would also suggest wearing gloves when handling and polishing your silver. 

 

If you decide to store your silverware at some point, it’s best to do so in the original box with the cloths provided. We also recommend that you do so with a small packet of de-moisturising crystals like silica gel, if the storage atmosphere is humid.

Avoid your silver coming into contact with chlorine or bleach as both of these chemicals expedite tarnishing. Silver also tarnishes if exposed to salt air or other products containing sulphur.

 
 

TANE offer a professional silver maintenance service, you can contact them for more details. You can also take your silverware to be reviewed and cleaned by any professional silversmith or jeweller.


Featured Products

Atlas Plate
from 685.00
Dune Bowl
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Craft Story: Carrara Marble

Bodo Sperlein
 

'I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city or marble'

- Augustus


Located in northwest Tuscany is the Province of Massa and Carrara. Amongst the Apuan Alps is the vast landscape of Carrara's marble quarries.

 
 

During the Roman period, the extraction was performed manually. Utilising the natural fissures the rock offers, fig wood wedges were inserted and inflated with water until the expansion naturally developed a break from the mountain.

In the 1700's, black powder was used to mine marble. However, it was later found that the deposits of marble were greatly affected by using explosives.   

 

 

By the end of the 19th century helical steel wire and a pulley was used, accompanied by silica sand and a liberal amount of water this became the most efficient means of mining Carrara. It also visually changed the landscape with precisely cut steps known as Piazzali di Cava.

Carrara marble has been used since ancient times by sculptors. Its ephemeral qualities are one of its historical unique features, think of Giovanni Strazza’s 19th Century The Veiled Virgin.

 
 

Yuri Ancarani documents the astonishing accuracy of The Chief's direction of mining this precious natural material in this beautifully shot film.

 
 
 
 

There are several colours of Carrara marble, the cool blue-grey is the variation that inspired our Fine Bone China Carrara collection for Dibbern. Popular with acclaimed chefs such as Brett Graham and Gary Foulkes, this collection brings a little of the Tuscan Alps to your table. 


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Plate
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Vase
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