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Nils Holger Moormann has left the building

In an open letter, iF CEO Ralph Wiegmann acknowledges the multi-faceted German furniture designer for his merits for the design industry.

After almost 40 years, Nils Holger Moormann, one of Germany’s most idiosyncratic designers, disembarks. From 1982 onwards, he has developed – with a number of mostly young, unknown designers – furniture which speak a reduced formal language and serve precise solutions to detail. Now, the siblings Kristina Münnix and Christian Knorst take over the helm of the Nils Holger Moormann GmbH headquartered in Aschau im Chiemgau (Bavaria, Germany). In an open letter, iF CEO Ralph Wiegmann now acknowledges Nils’ merits as someone “who is as serious as virtually no one else ever is about his value and the value of the things he produces”. They both share the common passion promoting good design since Nils is a longtime part of the iF community and jury.


Nils Holger Moormann ante Portas*


Dear Nils,

With such imaginatively descriptive names as “Tagedieb” (Idler for a bed), “Strammer Max” (name of a popular German sandwich for a kitchen stool), “Hut ab” (Hats Off for a coat rack) or “Walden” (a unique shed for garden storage) – these are examples from your range of products that are an excellent reflection of nothing less than your multi-faceted personality. Anyone who works away sitting at a desk called “Kant” would most certainly bristle a bit to hear what that famous philosopher once said: “If objects are judged only by what we call them, then all concept of beauty is lost.” Not so as far as you are concerned, dear Nils Holger Moormann. For you, the names are more than just the game; they have been weaving their own very special spell and putting Aschau im Chiemgau into the focus of the world of design since 1984.

You yourself describe the start of your career as “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Design”. It all began when New German Design made its way into your car, for which you abandoned the study of law, which you didn’t like anyway, to become a furniture maker and publisher, who drove right up to the gates at trade fairs and to the doors of your customers in that van converted into camper. Who was already living sustainability long before “sustainable” became fashionable. Who always has that glint of mischief in his eye and yet who is as serious as virtually no one else ever is about his values and the value of the things he produces. 

Regardless of whether it’s about furniture, brochures, invitations to trade fairs, booth presentations, newsletters, company buildings, corporate culture, production processes or interaction with young designers: For you, it’s the individual parts that create the whole. And you have been very successful in making your company so much more than the sum of its parts. Someone who refers to furniture as lifelong companions is bound to come up with a title for a company brochure like “Viewing Only Today. No Sales” (iF gold award 2008 in the discipline of communication, designed by jäger+jäger) or a trade fair invitation that folds into a three-dimensional representation of the Alps showing the transit route between Aschau and Milan (iF gold award 2007 in the discipline of communication, also by jäger+jäger). If the autodidact Nils Holger Moormann didn’t already exist, we would have to invent you, the man who values beyond compare his team and the place where he lives, works and plays host to his guests in the inn known as “berge”.

<i>Do you remember? In 2008 you received the iF gold award in the Discipline Communication - for the Moormann brochure “Viewing Today - No Sale”. A summary of 26 Moormann years. In the back pocket were stickers, construction paper, brochures, trade fair tickets, furniture as postage stamps and even a beer mat and a tattoo (designed by jäger & jäger, Überlingen).</i>
Moormann brochure "Viewing Today - No Sale"

Do you remember? In 2008 you received the iF gold award in the Discipline Communication - for the Moormann brochure “Viewing Today - No Sale”. A summary of 26 Moormann years. In the back pocket were stickers, construction paper, brochures, trade fair tickets, furniture as postage stamps and even a beer mat and a tattoo (designed by jäger & jäger, Überlingen).

<i>Another real highlight was your invitation to the Salone Milano in April 2007. The recipient of the invitation was tasked with creating three-dimensional Alps by folding the paper. The jury also honored you with an iF gold award in the Communication Discipline (designed by jäger & jäger, Überlingen).</i>
Invitation to the Salone Milano in April 2007

Another real highlight was your invitation to the Salone Milano in April 2007. The recipient of the invitation was tasked with creating three-dimensional Alps by folding the paper. The jury also honored you with an iF gold award in the Communication Discipline (designed by jäger & jäger, Überlingen).

  • 01/02

It was an incredible 19 times that we were able to witness the wonderful analyses, defenses and reviews, with which you supported our iF juries. You have now given Nils Holger Moormann GmbH, effective immediately, into younger hands to move onto the Supervisory Board with your wife, Silke, starting in February 2021.

We wish you a wonderfully restless retirement, Nils, and all the happiness in the world!

Yours, Ralph (Wiegmann) and the entire iF team

P.S.: Should you, like *Loriot (in the film entitled “Pappa ante Portas”), decide that this is your first stab at retirement and you still need some practice: we would be very happy to have you visit any time and you can rest assured that you will always find a parking spot with your name on it!


(published in October 2020)