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Nina Lieven

Nature, science and design

Nina Lieven is a German designer. As long as she can remember, she always wanted to pursue a profession to do with creativity and the fact that she was born into a family of artists contributed to this. After completing her studies, she founded the Nina Lieven studio, but her keen interest in light and in the behaviour/genesis of things and matter already came about while she was still studying. She earned recognition from early on, as the first products created by her studio were internationally awarded and mentioned in several publications. 

Nina Lieven is interested in combining natural phenomena, geometric shapes and kinetic movements to create fascinating everyday objects. These three areas influencing her work form a logical evolution of her interests throughout her life, her experiences, her education and her studies. From an early age she was interested in the world of arts and her training included a vocational course as a Construction Mechanic (1999-2002), another in Sculpture, at the Universidad Complutense Madrid, Spain (2008-2009) and a degree in Product Design and Fine Arts, at the University of Arts in Kassel, Germany.
After having set up the Nina Lieven studio in 2015, it wasn’t long before the awards began to appear, including Best of Category, Archiproduct Design Award, in 2016, and the European Product Design Award, in 2017. Nina finds endless inspiration in nature, in the many interesting phenomena, colours, substances, shapes, which she translates into the language of design. The artist’s creative process begins with conceptualisation, which involves a great deal of research, reading, drawing and imagination. She tries to visualise the future object in a wider scientific and cultural context. The second step is to experiment, entering the field of materials, modelling, destroying and starting over. In this stage her team also plays a part, a group of very imaginative people. As a result of these experiments, they make choices and decide on the path to follow. After that comes the development, expanding and perfecting. The final stages include the prototypes and production.

Nina created SUNset, a lamp that brings sunsets into the living room.

This is how pieces of light come into being, literally, because this is something we find in everyday nature, but also other products. This was certainly the case when Nina created SUNset, a lamp that brings sunsets into the living room and is nominated for the German Design Award 2019. When you pull a metal ring, the cylinder of the lamp moves vertically, transforming the daylight, which is neutral, into a colourful and warm sunset. This is also how the award-winning inMOOV came about, this lamp that, through a small movement, allows you to darken the light and change its direction. Pulling a string, the lampshade opens and creates a soft light towards the ceiling. With the lampshade closed, the light is warmer and illuminates the space below it.
These and other creations from the Nina Lieven studio were inspired by nature, by its complexity, which needed to be divided on a molecular level, as if zooming in. This raw, apparently inhospitable environment is then translated into the language of science, geometry, usability. Nina calls this process and result Design.

T. Maria Pires
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