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Jonas Buck und Johanne Shoemaker machen hippen Schmuck in Berlin

Talent Success Stories: iF awarded Students share their Career Paths with us

Johanna Schoemaker and Jonas Buck: From design consulting to the launch of a sustainable jewelry brand


For iF, promoting visionary concepts created by upcoming designers is a matter of heart. Every year, we honor outstanding designs created by students from all over the world with the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD. We strongly believe in the potential of young designers to change and innovate. We want to find out: What became of our young talents?

Johanna Schoemaker and Jonas Buck received their iF Awards for their final projects in 2010, and have more than one answer to this question for us: they are owners and designers of the Berlin based jewelry label Quiet Quiet, as well as design consultants to international companies and agencies.

iF: Johanna and Jonas, what motivated you to apply back in 2010?

Johanna/Jonas: Our professors at Bergische Universität Wuppertal encouraged us to participate. The iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD is a very well-known international award and a great reference for young designers. We feel very lucky that we both received this honor.

iF: How would you describe your awarded designs and did they influence your work?

Johanna: In my thesis project, I designed an adaptable OLED lamp series that recreates important elements of natural lighting in indoor environments. Jonas designed a compact kitchen that brings cooking and dining closer together while being considerate of growing urbanization and spatial constraints.

Jonas: We believe, it is of high importance in any design project to build a deep understanding of human needs, emotions, technologies and cultural shifts to create desirable solutions. This approach has been important in our thesis projects and remains relevant until today.

iF: How come, you are where you are today?

Jonas: After spending almost five years working on consumer electronics and medical products at design agencies in the USA, our first child was born and we decided to move back to Germany. While we’ve continued to work as design consultants, we decided to establish our own little company – the jewelry brand Quite Quiet.

Johanna: While pivoting from consumer electronics or medical design to jewelry might seem like a stretch, the topic of jewelry design is actually close to heart. Before studying industrial design I completed an apprenticeship as a goldsmith. Creating our own brand allowed us to apply design holistically by influencing all aspects of a product: from the sourcing of the materials, to how a product is manufactured, presented and marketed.

iF: How would you describe your designs and your work today?

Johanna/Jonas: We wanted to create jewelry that people cherish and keep close for a long time. Clear visual principles make our pieces recognizable and create a calm yet strong expression. We both believe that true beauty comes from within and expands beyond the aesthetics of a product. Therefore sustainability is a critical element of Quite Quiet: All of our gold products are Fairtrade certified and we only work with lab-grown diamonds and gemstones that have the same physical properties as mined gemstones yet without the oftentimes numerous negative effects of mining. iF says thank you for the interview and wishes Johanna and Jonas good luck with their future career!

Compact Kitchen by Jonas Buck

Compact Kitchen by Jonas Buck, honored in 2010

The Compact Kitchen by Jonas Buck combines the kitchen table with the main kitchen element to create a generous table surface that also can be used for preparation & work. Key elements that allow for a multipurpose use and cooking right at the table are defined surfaces that use induction to heat cookware and wirelessly power electronic devices. He submitted the work for his university: Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany, at Prof. Oliver Grabes and Prof. Norbert Thomas.

Family of OLED Lamps by Johanna Shoemaker, honored in 2010

The OLED lamps create a diffuse, pleasant light, similar to daylight. The use of the OLED technology enables besides dynamic light color and intensity changes also smoothly changing light directions and wandering shadows, which turn the indoor artificial lighting almost into natural outdoor light conditions. She submitted her design for her university: Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany, at Prof. Oliver Grabes and Prof. Norbert Thomas.

Want to apply with your student concepts for the first round of the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD 2019? You can do it HERE until 31 January 2019!